Here they are again for reference:


  • True alignment to corporate and sales strategy
  • Defined partner selection process
  • Adherence to a channel governance process
  • Partner focused recruitment package
  • Comprehensive channel enablement content


channel selection criteriaToday, we apply strict standards to the type of customers we will do business with through credit checks and our potential new hires must meet specific requirements or their resume never makes it to our inbox.  But, when it comes to channel partners, we see the same pattern repeat itself over and over again.  The assumption is that any revenue is good revenue and our cost of sale is nominal when dealing with partners so why not add one more.  Organizations that take this view typically have a 20-30% higher cost model.  More importantly, in our 2011 study of channel sales organization performance, the top quartile of performers all had strict selection criteria


We all have to contend with limited resources.  Make sure your channel managers are supporting channel partners that really matter.  To define your selection criteria, follow these steps:


  1. Review the corporate and sales strategy – these are the high level objectives you want to support
  2. Consider your current market position by maturity, vertical, geography, etc.
  3. Define your priorities in terms of where to focus channel efforts
  4. Define selection criteria that best support your priorities


Here are a sample set of criteria to prompt some thought:

  • Years in business
  • Reputation (among customers, other suppliers, peers, trade press)
  • Professional background of key executives
  • Business and management stability
  • Financial strength
  • Overall revenue and revenue numbers for complimentary products
  • Locations, number of active accounts, territorial coverage
  • Complimentary lines represented, competitive lines represented
  • Knowledge of markets
  • Employee quality
  • Type of market served (horizontal/vertical), number of sales people
  • Sales people comp plan, marketing aggressiveness
  • Internal support for product
  • Payment policies, price integrity
  • Ability to develop new markets, advertising spend, training programs
  • Accept sales quota, share account information
  • Future growth prospects, resource commitment


This list is far from exhaustive but it is a start.  Do you have a well defined set of channel selection criteria driving your channel management strategy?


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