Zeroing in on the Right Suspects: Where to Look for Partner Recruitment Success


You’re constantly on the hunt for them. Your program can’t exist without them. You need quality partners to recruit to your channel. Finding them isn’t as easy as you’d like them to be, though. Where can you find the right partners to work with? You have to find the secret and not-so-secret watering holes.

Here is a list of where to start when you’re ready to go:

Competitors’ Partners

Listen for channel partner dissatisfaction with one of your competitors or even competitors discontinuing support for a product/service or market segment.  These circumstances will probably make their partner community very receptive to hearing about your value proposition. Sources for competitive partner information include their partner locators, press releases and success stories, as well as a simple web searches (e.g., Google).

Complementary Vendors’ Partners

Reach out to the partners of complementary vendors.  They still need to be screened before pursuing, but at least you know that they are already familiar with your market space, and maybe even your product or service.   At the very least, they could prove to be excellent sources for referrals.


Distributors have a complete list of e-mail, spiffs and promotions to contact the partners you want and promote to them. See your distributor’s packages for ideas of what they can offer.


Survey your users to ask what kinds of companies they partner with to provide services related to job function or the product you’re selling.   Reach-out to your Product Marketing team. More than likely, their pre-launch research included details on which specific partners your target customers are already pursuing for like-products or services.

Industry Publications

Many industry publications have annual editions that provide lists of top channel partners, such as the “Solution Provider 500” and “Top 100 Healthcare VARs” lists from Computer Reseller News (CRN)  and CDN’s “Top 100 Solution Providers.” The information typically included in these lists include: partner’s name and location, sales revenue, names and titles of key managers and number of employees.

Third-Party Companies

There are many companies that will provide you with an NFR list of potential partners (and even call them for you).  However, these companies can be expensive and may not be necessary if you use the other suggested prospect sources.

Trade Associations

The major trade organizations, such as the Computer Technology Association (CompTIA) and NASBA ( The Association of Channel Resellers), have membership lists that include descriptive profiles of each company.

Your Direct Salesforce

Ask your peers in direct sales for their recommendations.  They are in contact with (and even competing against) many varieties of channel partners and can provide you with valuable input on who they are and their market reputation.


Want to hear more ways to find the right partners? Catch the Supercharge Your Channel: How to Recruit Partners webinar on-demand.  If you’re still eager for more ideas, get the How to Recruit Partners eBook!



Originally posted on Channel Chatter, by Laz Gonzalez, Zift Solutions VP of Marketing.

As a prominent thought leader, Laz brings unparalleled channel expertise to Zift as Chief Strategy Officer. Before Zift, Laz was Group Director of Channel Sales & Marketing Strategies at SiriusDecisions serving as a strategic advisor to leading B2B channel programs worldwide.

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