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Thursday, 06 November 2014 00:00

How to Use Channel Partners to Expand Internationally

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To accelerate growth, you may want to expand your business geographically. For example, because emerging markets are less mature, they are likely to be on longer growth cycles. While these regions may be attractive, there are risks. These include lack of understanding of:

  • Local competition and pricing
  • The legal environment
  • Delivery channels
  • Culture

With a do-it-yourself approach, you’ll have to spend money on overhead items such as new regional offices. To mitigate these risks and move into new markets more rapidly, you can use channel partners. 

How to Set Up a Channel Partner Program

Take this step-by-step approach to creating a channel partner program that gets results. 

  1. Do Your Research
  2. Use geo-specific-search to collect and analyze online data that’s local to the area where you want to expand your business. Learn how potential channel partners go to market and which are most successful.

  3. Create a Channel Partner Profile
  4. Create a profile of an ideal channel partner. If you already use channel partners in other geographic areas, look at those that perform best in terms of sales, growth, and other metrics that are important to you. Once you’ve selected the top performers, describe the characteristics that they have in common.

    This description serves as the basis for your channel partner profile. Layer on top of this profile anything you’ve learned about attributes that lead to success in this region.

    If this is your first venture with channel partners, you will need to create the partner profile based on your research.

  5. Develop a List
  6. You can either develop a list of potential channel partners via your research or buy a list based on the parameters you’ve developed.

  7. Recruit Your Partners
  8. Now it’s time to dial the phone and learn more about potential partners. Where are the synergies? How could your company help their business grow?

    Savvy partners will also want to know how you plan to help them with product training, sales support and marketing programs. If there seems to be a good fit, let the prospect know how you believe partnering with your organization can benefit them.

    Don’t expect immediate results. It may take several months and multiple phone calls or meetings to iron out business goals and how to approach the market.

  9. Cement Your Relationship
  10. Once you seal the deal with a partner, the hard work is just beginning. Now you have to make the relationship work for both parties. That means providing necessary support.

    For example, you’ll need to make changes to localize your marketing initiatives. You may need to translate your website and other materials into additional languages and do keyword research and optimize your site for terms used locally.

    Test your marketing outreach—emails, phone calls and more. You’ll likely discover that what works in one country may backfire in another. By testing the fine details of marketing tactics, you can ensure you’re providing plenty of qualified leads to help partners to be successful.

For a free consultation on how to create a channel partner strategy, call us now at +1 718-709-0900 (Americas) /+39 06-978446-20 (EMEA).

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