How do you find the right partner?

Let’s say you’re Santa Claus and you are fed up with the inefficient reindeer-pulling-the-sleigh gift delivery system. You want to build an electric, autonomous sleigh. How do you find the right partner to help design and develop this modern sleigh that must withstand various climate and atmospheric conditions while maintaining a 24-hour battery charge to make it all the way around the world? You need to find a partner – the right partner.

That’s where a vendor’s partner locator comes in. Partner locators help prospects and customers identify vendors’ partners based on location and the skills and industries that best match the criteria desired. The more advanced platforms optimize how a partner’s competencies and expertise are presented using keyword search, multi-language and location support, and functionality that helps partners stand out with success stories, accreditations or other assets. It seems simple enough, but in reality, the search results are only as good as the data uploaded into the system.

Fluff vs. facts

The best written – or best sounding – value statements are useless if they don’t include appropriate and accurate keywords. The thoughtful selection of unique keywords is a win-win since search tools extract content from long text field descriptions. So, partners, if this sounds like your company description, and everybody else’s, consider revising it:

My company is an automation technology distributor, providing digitalization PLM solutions and long-term customer value to many leading manufacturers around the world.

All Siemens partners are in technology and are involved with product lifecycle management in some respect. If they’re not trying to provide long-term value to their customers, they may want to consider retiring. If you’re a Siemens Digital Industries Software partner, you’re likely already at least dabbling in digitalization. A customer would ask: a distributor of what kind of automation? Where specifically? For what industry? What type of manufacturers?

Language and location

Bonjour, Hola, Zdravstvuyte, Nǐn hǎo, Salve, Konnichiwa, Guten Tag, Olá, Anyoung haseyo. Platforms that support multiple languages help enable more aligned partner searches. I have yet to meet a non-native English speaker who prefers to communicate in English. Multinational partners using both local language and a little English in their descriptions fair best and tell the reader they can accommodate not only multiple languages but likely multiple locations as well.

Be explicit in your search to find partners closest to where you need them. Robust partner finder systems display an interactive map with location details in one view so you can narrow your search.

Filter and more filters

Basic filters in a partner finder include company name or keyword, partner type, geographic location, products, country and industry focus. Well, that returns about 100 companies, so how do you narrow your search to the top two or three?

Be specific. Use terms and phrases that describe your requirement not only in the precise locations you need but the areas of specialization and expertise required.

Social media research

With more IT buyers doing their own research, don’t forget about social media. Social media channels listed in a partner finder help expedite the evaluation process. It also provides a way to quickly see how active a partner is sharing and interacting with its constituents.

The bottom line is the more specific you can be in your profiles, partners, the easier you will make it for people looking for you to find you. You may have been at the top of the list in Santa’s search if your profile opened with something like this: North pole-based transportation industry expert specialized in comprehensive digital twin technology, automation, simulation and testing, guaranteeing your place on Santa’s gift list for years to come.

James Gregory is Director, Global Channels Business Development at Siemens Digital Industries Software with over 25 years of sales leadership with leading technology providers around the globe. At Siemens, he is responsible for global partner coverage and capacity. He’s passionate about delivering value for customers, and helping sales professionals perform at their highest potential.

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