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Maximizing Your Channel Success: Why Competitor Coverage is a Must-Have for Partner Recruitment

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Partner recruitment is a vital component of building a successful channel program. 

Productive partnerships with capable channel partners can drive significant revenue and help establish your company’s position in the market. 

However, the success of your partner recruitment strategy can be heavily influenced by competitor coverage.  

In simple terms, competitor coverage refers to the ability of your channel partners to effectively compete with the partner networks of your closest competitors.

In this blog post, we will explore the concept of competitor coverage in depth. We will define what it means in the context of channel partner programs and explain its importance. We will also provide guidance on identifying partners that can provide you with this coverage, as well as practical tips on how to measure the effectiveness of your competitor coverage strategy.

Whether you are an established program looking to recruit additional partners, or a new program seeking to grow your channel, this article will demonstrate the power of recruiting partners that offer protection against your competitors. So let’s dive in and learn more about the critical role of competitor coverage in channel partner recruitment.

Why Competitor Coverage Matters

As mentioned briefly above, competitor coverage refers to the ability of a company’s channel partner network to compete with the network that has been established by your competitors.

The reason competitor coverage matters is that if you aren’t able to replicate the size and reach of your competitors’ partner networks, you will end up losing potential deals and market share.

To highlight this further a diagram is helpful:

In the diagrams above, Company A has less partners than Company B.

What this means is that there are more chances for Company B to reach their potential end customers, because they have more coverage caused by a larger more robust channel partner network.

To take this one step further, imagine for a minute that you are a piece of software in the PRM space such as Allbound. 

If one of our competitors was to partner with every fractional partnership executive, and every partnership consultant in the space, and we didn’t, there is a far higher probability that our competitor would be mentioned in more deals, and thus close more business due to the influence that their channel network exerts.

Identify Competitors

In order to work on growing your overall competitor coverage, you first need to identify who your competitors are, and then decipher what their partner network looks like.

So, how do you do this?

Who are your competitors?

The first question should be a relatively easy one to answer.

Your first stop on identifying who your competitors are should be your marketing team. 

Typically, the marketing team will have done some type of competitor analysis to figure out how to position your product in the market.

An additional source of information on the competitor landscape can also come from your sales team, who are often selling to customers who are considering additional solutions. 

A final resource that can be used to build out a map of your competitive landscape is to use product review sites like G2 or Capterra.

If you navigate to your product page on G2 and navigate to the left hand side of the page, you will be presented with a section entitled “Comparisons” ( see the image for more context).

Clicking into this section will detail all the solutions that are comparable to yours, and will give you a list of potential competitors.

What do your competitors’ partner networks look like?

Once you have built out a list of all the companies that could be considered competitors, you now need to turn your attention to their partner networks.

In order to work out who they currently partner with you need to do some market research. 

A good place to start is to navigate to their websites, and scan for a section entitled “Partners”.

An example can be seen below when we look at Qualios homepage:

Clicking into this link on the Qualio home page takes us to a publicly facing partner directory where you can view a list of their approved partners.

This strategy can help you build a good idea of not only the types of partners that Qualio have, but also specific names of partners, and their capabilities.

If you are unable to get any success out of this strategy, you can also do this in the reverse and interview your partners to figure out who else they partner with.

Although this won’t help you directly with new partner recruitment, it can help you understand where your partner coverage might be better than your partners and where you are likely to see market share increase.

For example if you were a software company that had a large partner network in EMEA, and when interviewing these partners it becomes apparent that they do not partner with your North America competitor, it means that you have better coverage in this territory and therefore are likely to see an increase in wins.

Bonus tip: look at integrations

Although, outside of a traditional channel relationship, another important factor to consider when looking at competitor coverage is to also assess where you might be lacking in terms of features and functionality in your core product.

If a competitor has a robust integration ecosystem, which adds a lot of value to their core product, this would be another area, as a partnership manager I would be concerned about.

To demonstrate this further, if I am a customer support solution and one of my competitors has a a number of VOIP integrations, which we have none off, it means that customers are going to find their overall offering more compelling because of the option to add voice and calling. 

To minimize this, start to formulate a list of integrations that are commonly mentioned when going head to head with competitors and make it a priority to also build this technology partnerships.

How Do I Decide Which Partners to Prioritize?

Once you have done your market research you should have a fair idea of which areas your partners are stronger, and thus the areas that you need to develop coverage in.

So how do you prioritize which areas to address first?

As with many things in partnerships, start by looking at the business benefit you are likely to get by recruiting a specific type of partner.

To explain this further, perhaps you have identified that your competitors have better coverage in a specific territory, but also have consultant style partners that you are also missing. As a business one of your company OKRs for the year is to expand into said territory, therefore these partners should be prioritized over recruiting consultant style partners.

Once you have established a list of priorities it is now time to recruit these partners.

It is important to note that when examining competitor coverage, don’t be intimidated by the partners already signed with your competitors.


While it may be challenging to explain the unique value of your solution and how it differs from your competitors, it’s worth the effort.

It is important to note that when examining competitor coverage, don’t be intimidated by the partners already signed with your competitors.

These partners have shown a willingness to work with businesses in your industry and are likely receptive to a conversation about your solutions.

While it may be challenging to explain the unique value of your solution and how it differs from your competitors, it’s worth the effort.

Once you have reached out to the publicly available partners of your competitors, an additional step in recruiting partners that can give you coverage over your competitors is to build out a partner profile based on the research you have conducted above;

By taking a list of partners that represent gaps in your channel coverage, you can start to map out what that type of partner might look like, and then go to work in surfacing more partners that fit this profile.

By combining these two methods, you will quickly be able to build a roster of partners that will not add to your partner program, but ensure that you are positioned to compete effectively in your industry.

Training and support

As most in channel partners know, signing a partner is the first step, on a long road to a productive partnership.

For those that have been reading the blog post up to this point, there has been a significant focus on initial recruitment, and bringing on partners to give you the coverage that is all important to win against competitors in the market.

Once you have these partners signed, the next to solidify these partners and ensure that your solution is top of mind, is to provide premium training and support to move the partnership forward.

One of the quickest ways to turn a partnership sour, and have new partners revert back to promoting your competitor solutions is to provide sub-par training and support to teach them on how to position your solution.

This training should also include content that is specific to how to position your product against competitors in addition to your unique value proposition, points that will not only help them understand how you differentiate from your competitors but also help them win deals where your competitor solutions are mentioned.

By not only focusing on the recruitment of partners to expand your channel coverage, but also providing these new partners with great support and training, you are likely to see increased win rates, and improved revenue coming directly from these newly recruited partners.

Evaluating and Iterating

The process detailed above, should give you a blueprint on how to assess, recruit and support partners to compete directly with your competitors, however it doesn’t end there.

As with many things in the world of partnerships, there is a need to revisit this strategy periodically to reassess and evaluate how your channel program stacks up against that of your competitors.

The reason you need to keep re-doing the exercise mentioned above is that your competitors are likely to be recruiting new partner types, in new verticals in different markets on a regular basis. 

Therefore your competitors’ channel may shift totally from one year to the next.

Additionally, feedback received from your internal teams, might also give you some insights into how you might need to pivot or change your channel coverage strategy.

For example, if they keep losing deals in a specific territory or vertical to a competitor, this might be the catalyst to switch up your recruitment strategy and actively start to recruit partners in these verticals/ markets to increase win rates.


To summarize, a comprehensive understanding of competitor coverage is essential for effectively recruiting partners and building a successful channel program. Failing to account for your competitors’ partner networks can result in missed opportunities and a decreased market share.

In order to optimize your partner recruitment strategy, it is crucial to identify your competitors’ partner networks and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of potential partners. By targeting partners who can fill gaps in your coverage compared to your competitors, you can enhance your overall partner ecosystem and gain a competitive advantage. 

However, recruiting new partners is only the first step. In order to fully leverage their potential, it is essential to provide comprehensive training to ensure that they are equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to effectively represent your products or services. By investing in your partners, you can build stronger relationships and increase the likelihood of long-term success.

In this article, we have outlined the importance of competitor coverage in partner recruitment, as well as the key steps involved in identifying, evaluating, and training new partners. By following these guidelines, you can build a robust and successful channel program that maximizes your market share and drives business growth.

Ali Spiric
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