Executing an effective channel sales strategy is a critical component of a successful channel business endeavor. Its formulation and design depends on thorough and careful analysis and planning. It follows certain steps that begin with understanding your channels, down to the continuous management of recruited partners. Probably one of the most vital and challenging steps in formulating channel sales strategy is selecting your potential channel partners. Right now, there are a lot of businesses that commit themselves to their own channels and sell products down to their end consumers. The huge population increases competitiveness which makes it difficult to gather a list of credible and appropriate potential partners. However, no matter how tedious or complex it may be, it is something that companies cannot afford to accomplish half-heartedly. Before getting down to the task of selection, it is very important to identify who your potential partners are. Begin by listing down all the available partners you believe to be worth your consideration. Researching their attributes, accomplishments, management and marketing strategies, goals and philosophy will help you paint a better picture as to who they are as a company and what they can offer you now and in the long run. Moreover, you can use this information to find out if they are compatible or suitable to your business operations and objectives. The next thing you have to do after listing down all your potential partners is to finalize the list. It`s time to engage in the formal recruitment process. Actually, this is the most complicated part of the channel sales strategy design and formulation because one wrong choice can have dire consequences and potentially harm your channel. Creating a table is an easy and organized method of comparing potential partners` qualities to that of a set criteria of characteristics classified as business process, advertising, promotion and compatibility. This criterion will allow you to objectively study how potential affiliates perform business processes, execute channel management and conduct various non sales related tasks. A detailed list of the areas to study includes the following: expenses, adequate to substantial resources, high-performance levels, efficiency and good standing in the industry. By reviewing their capability in the areas of marketing and sales, you will be able to determine whether or not they fall below your expected and required standards and can keep up with your pace. Review how they fare with the following details and make a critical comparison: influence/presence, marketing strategies, enrichment of goods and services, expected payment/reward, level of skill and ability.