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Partner roles

  • Published 25/08/2014
Before initiating cooperation with a distributor, it is of key importance that your company clearly defines how to structure the work process with a future partner. Through this exercise, you will analyze the entire sales channel and define desired roles and responsibilities for you and your partner, respectively. The partner role template provides you with a tool that addresses this task.

Without a clear definition of roles and responsibilities before initiating partner screening, it is difficult to evaluate potential partners’ relevancy during the screening process. This tool helps break the sales channel into phases and establish a clear picture of who is responsible for which tasks within each phase. The analysis is based on the principle that all functions, which you believe your company does best, should be carried out by your company. Likewise, all functions for which the partners are best suited should be carried out in the local market. Remember to challenge yourself—and adjust the division of labor to the dynamics of the particular market.


Please refer to the matrix, where the stages of the sales process have been divided into the sales, delivery, and service phases. Adjust the phases so they fit your business. For each phase, decide who is best suited to deliver each task listed and mark it with a C for company, P for partner, and E for external 3rd party supplier/sub-supplier.


The template can also be used in meetings with your local partner to present your ideas and understand which roles your partner is interested in taking.


  • Break the sales process into overall phases (marketing, sales, delivery, after-sales service, etc.)
  • Only include absolutely necessary phases
  • Define roles and responsibilities; decide whether you or your partner is most suitable to undertake each defined task/responsibility







"A big problem in China is understanding all the formal requirements for your products. It is really important partners are clear on roles and responsibility on this type of issue. Nordic companies have been in trouble because they were not aware of rules on for example product registration"

Glenn Mikkelsen, DI China