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How to Build Your Ideal Channel Partner Persona

Posted by Jairo Gomez on Nov 18, 2021 2:29:00 PM

Did you know, according to a DemandGen Report, fewer than 15% of partners engage in the marketing programs created by channel marketing executives?

One cause of this is the absence of persona profiles that outline the key psychological and behavioral attributes of your channel partners. Do you know their goals, aspirations, fears, and limitations?

The more information you have about the partners you interact with, the better you can segment them more effectively and guarantee your messages will connect. It is important for more sign-ups, higher engagement, and achieving channel sales goals to connect with partners.

Let’s dive into the details of how you can get to know your channel partners better, craft a channel partner persona, and use it to ensure the success of your channel program.

But first...


What is a Channel Partner Persona?

You can think of a channel partner persona as a semi-fictional story about your ideal partner. It is a marketing artifact that outlines the psychographics and demographics of an ideal partner category with whom you and your team communicate.

This isn’t a story of an actual person that exists, but it represents the characteristics of your ideal partner. It is not cooked up from imagination but based on actual research of your current partners or partners you intend to target.

Why do you need to build channel partner personas?

A partner persona helps you:

  • Ensure your incentives work
  • Guarantee more channel engagement
  • Figure out the most productive way to communicate with them
  • Recruit the right partners who are more likely to flourish in your channel
  • Launch more successful channel programs designed around the needs of your partners
  • Understand how your partners think and what drives their decisions and achievements

Now, how can you design one to get these benefits?

How to Create a Partner Persona

1. Define the general identity of your ideal partner in broad strokes

First, on a basic level, who is your ideal partner? If you were to have a star partner who tops the top performers, what would they look like? Where do they live? What education do they have?

These are the surface-level information you want to gather. If you already have a partner program in place, you can gather some of this information from sign-up/application forms. What you'd want to be looking to find out are:

  • Demographic - What is their nationality, ethnicity, education, etc.?
  • Reach - What is their primary area of operation/business? What is their customer base?
  • Expertise - What can they offer in terms of experience and knowledge of products, services, and solutions?

You will find differences. Categorize these into separate partner types… or personas. It’ll be necessary for the next step.

2. Research your partners on a deeper level

In this step, you’d want to pay closer attention to each persona you categorized in step 1. Now, you want to get granular on their motivations, goals, and problems.

Gather this info by researching representative partners of each group. You can have interviews, surveys, focus group sessions, or a simple conversation over a cup of coffee.

What you want to know are:

  • Goals - What are they looking to achieve in the long-term and short-term? What drives them?
  • Pain points - What problems are they looking to solve? What could potentially drive them away from a vendor? Are there resources they want but can’t access?
  • Motivations - What drives them? What is the reason they chose to do what they do? Have they ever hesitated in doing business with you? Why?

Craft questions around this and have that conversation. Don’t just fire questions when talking to them. Listen and ask follow-up questions so you get a free flow of undiluted insights.

3. Build a more detailed story around your partners

You’ve gathered your qualitative data, but at this point, you have multiple filled forms, scattered notes in your notepad, and a ton of recordings to go through.

You want to cut through the noise and collect all relevant data into an easy-to-digest format for each group or persona you researched.

This can go in this format:

Plus, even more details...

4. Update this story and make it accessible to others in your organization

Now that you have your partner persona, you have to use it productively to gain the benefits we earlier mentioned in this article.

This can help marketing, sales, development, and the executive teams come up with better content, sales enablement resources, technology integrations, and stronger programs respectively.

Share this channel partner personas you’ve created with them and start having a uniform channel strategy. Let everyone work for the same channel partners and drive growth.

Key Takeaway: Using a Partner Persona to Optimize Channel Performance

A channel partner persona prepared from quality research can mean the difference between poor channel engagement and high engagement; low sales and consistently meeting sales goals.

Use this strategy to tell the story of your ideal channel partners:

  1. Define the general identity of your ideal partner in broad strokes
  2. Research your partners on a deeper level
  3. Build a more detailed story around your partners
  4. Update this story and make it accessible to others in your organization

Know your partners better, learn their goals, aspirations, fears, and limitations. This will help you boost the percentage of partners who engage with your channel partner programs.

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Topics: Sales Partner Enablement

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