What is a partner locator? (+ examples)

June 20, 2024
What is a partner locator? (+ examples)

What’s a partner locator and how do you build a good one?

This year I needed a fix for my washing machine – a fix that could only be done by a qualified mechanic. So, instead of searching the internet for hours, I went to the manufacturer’s website – their partner locator – to find their local partners in my area. (And I found one!)

Enterprise and mid-market SaaS companies often have similar partner locators. They're search engines full of certified solutions partners available for implementation, server setups, strategy consultations, and other services. Newer SaaS companies have partner directories or marketplaces, which serve essentially the same function.

Are you thinking about building or improving your partner locator?

In this post, we’ll cover what a partner locator is, what yours needs to include to be legitimately useful to customers, and show some examples of good and bad partner locators.

What is a partner locator?

A partner locator is a tool or feature often found on business websites that allows users to find authorized partners, resellers, or service providers based on various criteria such as location, expertise, or product offerings. This tool typically includes a searchable database or interactive map, enabling users to easily identify and connect with the appropriate partners for their needs. Partner locators are commonly used by companies to help customers and prospects find reliable partners who can provide local support, services, or sales.

What should be included in a partner locator?

(...for it to be useful to customers and prospects.)

Your partner locator needs to include thorough information about what your partners do and how to contact them. There are two main personas you want to cater your partner locator to:

  1. Your customers looking for solutions to expand the use of your product
  2. Prospects looking to confirm you have specific solutions before purchasing your product

With that in mind, here are some must-haves for your partner locator:

1. Searchable database

Partner locator users need to be able to search at the very least for partner names, locations, and services. But let’s be honest, in 2024 you need a full search engine where someone can search for any keywords they need in a single line… like we’re all used to.

This is a bad search experience:

This is a good search experience:

2. Filters

When someone searches your partner locator, they might not necessarily know the solution they’re looking for. But they do know the problem they’re looking to solve, the services they need, and/or the location they’re looking in. So your locator needs to include ways for visitors to filter down to the best options for them.

Here’s a great example of filters for service category and location on a partner locator for a sales tech company:

You could also offer filters based on what the person wants to do, like this fundraising tech company does:

Either way, make it easy for viewers to quickly understand the value your partners can offer, and filter down to the ones ideal for their needs.

3. Rich partner profiles with contact information

Once customers have found some partners to help with solutions, it’s time for them to make a decision. This is your partners’ time to shine. And it’s also where a lot of legacy partner locators get it wrong.

These partner pages are sales pages. 

They need social proof. Service details. Visual assets. Calls to action. 

No visitor of a profile on your partner locator should ever walk away having questions about the partner. They should either choose another partner better suited, or have exact next steps on working with that partner.

This is a particularly good partner profile page from a solutions partner of a leading HR tech company:

This is a bad partner profile example:

4. Interactive map

Is it important that your partner is close to your customer? Then you need a map on your partner profiles. This will be the case for examples like mine, where I needed to get a washing machine fixed. It’s also the case for software that needs servers installed or other in-person services.

This partner locator is more or less the same thing as Google, but with only certified Samsung partners.

But in 2024, most SaaS companies are cloud-based. And with a globalized workforce, they can recommend the best partner based on services, experience, and price rather than location. If your customers don’t actually need a partner nearby, your partner locator doesn’t need a map.

Benefits of having a partner locator

Using a partner locator comes with several perks that can significantly enhance your business operations:

Easy access to solutions by authorized partners — Your customers can make better use of your software are and find solutions to their problems, quickly. A partner locator makes it simple for customers to find authorized partners who fit their specific needs, all in one place.

Improved customer support and service — When customers connect with qualified partners, they get better, more tailored support and services. This means happier customers and smoother experiences.

Increased business opportunities for partners — Partners listed in the locator enjoy greater visibility and more potential business. Being easily discoverable leads to more leads and deals for partners.

Streamlined partner management for companies — For companies, managing partners becomes a breeze. A well-designed partner locator helps keep track of and support your partners more efficiently, leading to better collaboration and results.

Partner locator vs. directory vs. marketplace

What’s the difference between a partner locator, a partner directory, and a partner or app marketplace?

Essentially, nothing.

They’re three different use cases with many varying layouts – but ultimately the same technology. 

  • A partner locator focuses on helping users find partners based on location or specific criteria, often with map integration.
  • A partner directory is a comprehensive listing of partners, providing detailed information and categorization, but generally without direct transaction or integration functionalities.
  • An app marketplace is a platform for discovering, purchasing, and integrating software applications, often with transactional capabilities and a developer portal.

So when building or improving your partner locator in 2024, don’t just stick to legacy solutions and layouts. Think of the customer experience and make sure your partner locator fits current buyer expectations and your specific customer needs.

Get a best-in-class partner locator for your SaaS company

Partner Fleet is an out-of-the-box tool to build a partner locator in weeks. Get a SEO-optimized and fully branded partner locator to fix best practices laid out in this post. Plus, your Partner Fleet locator comes with a back-end management tool and a partner portal to make robust partner listings easier to create.

Get started with a consultation with our team to look at your current solution and see if we can help you build something amazing.

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