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7 Questions to Determine Which Resellers will grow your Business

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If you sat ten (or 100) of your resellers across from you, could you tell which ones are most likely to generate new growth for your business? Based on what you know about your resellers (i.e., agents, partners, brokers, dealers, distributors, etc.), could you determine which ones you want to nurture and support more than the others? This is a question that is on the minds of most executives who manage and optimize their company’s indirect channel. Below are some assessment questions to ask about each of your resellers to determine which ones you want to invest in and support their success.
7 questions to determine which resellers give your company the best return on investment
This assessment is likely to be done by your field / channel sales team who are not market research professionals. Providing them with a five point scale for each question will yield a more reliable assessment of each reseller.
Points for each response
a) Extremely committed to demand generation (i.e., professional dev., innovation, etc.) (5)
b) Very committed to demand generation (4)
c) Committed to demand generation (3)
d) Somewhat committed to demand generation (2)
e) Not at all committed to demand generation (1)
Reseller Assessment Questions:
1) Does this reseller have a commitment to demand generation?
Resellers who are committed to demand generation have invested in building a substantial target customer database, execute monthly or more frequent outbound marketing campaigns, run events, and are active in social media channels in their served market.
2) Does this reseller invest in the professional development of the sales team?
Resellers who are committed to professional development have an operating CRM system, actively participate in product, market and competitive training, and also invest in advanced selling skills workshop training for their teams.
3) Does this reseller have a strong reputation in the local market?
Resellers who have a strong reputation are one of the top three brands in their served market, have been in business for 3+ years, and actively survey their own customers for feedback where they have been rated very positively by their customers.
4) Is this reseller an innovator, first mover, and/or a leader in its served market?
Resellers who are innovators adopt new services or technologies and provide identifiable initiatives (e.g., seminars, website communications, thought leadership publications, or other activities) that demonstrate their commitment to innovating and leading the market vs. their competitive set.
5) Does this reseller have a proven track-record of closing deals?
Resellers who have generated substantial year-over-year growth with your company’s products or services over another vendor – this highlights their ability to build sales momentum with their team.
6) Is the reseller’s management team open, collaborative and responsive to your organization?
These are the resellers who will take your team’s phone calls, are open to discussing their business strategy, are willing to be collaborative to develop joint business plans and provide candid, honest feedback and suggestions for building a business partnership.
7) Is this reseller financially sound and well-staffed, with a stable recurring business?
These resellers have a strong credit rating, consistent payment history, meaningful staffing levels to support your business, and a strong and longstanding customer base with renewal income.

Imagine if you had reliable responses and scores (25 out of a possible 35) for each of these questions from all of your resellers. You probably wouldn’t invest in resellers that have scores lower than 25. You would also likely look to eliminate resellers that have scores of less than 21. The tough part is figuring out who and what you want your top resellers to be – defined by these seven questions. The easy part is implementing it with new processes, reseller contracts and supporting technologies to track, measure and report on all seven dimensions on a regular basis.

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