How Can ISVs Discover New Partners?

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By: RSPA Niche & Startup ISV Community

During a recent meeting of the RSPA Niche & Startup ISV Community, software executives shared their best practices for discovering new partners. The two areas that they focused on were: trade shows and LinkedIn.

Trade Shows

  • Going to industry events and especially RSPA events has been good for us.
  • Before a conference, I will look up almost every single person who’s speaking and then try to find contact info.
  • I typically try to get the attendee list and do a little bit of research. We will try to see what kind of functionalities the company offers and then we reach out to see if we can schedule a one-on-one session.
  • I started listing POS vendors and other technology players that we would like to work with. Go to their websites and see if there are any decision makers attending.
  • Do LinkedIn research and try to figure out who the decision makers are and then approach them on LinkedIn or maybe through RSPA.
  • We are positioning ourselves to say, “This is what we have, and we see that you don’t have this kind of a functionality in your current portfolio, and we would love to talk to you about partnership.”


  • It’s kind of a warm lead in the sense that you can say, “Hey, I saw you’re speaking at this event, I’m really excited to hear you. I’d love to chat with you afterwards.” I probably get 5 out of 20 connecting with me., it’s still not perfect, but it tends to help.
  • LinkedIn is not necessarily the first place we find new partners or new vendors, but it is where we’re getting more information and expanding on those contacts and finding new contacts within an organization.
  • Engage with their content whether you’re liking it, sharing it, or commenting. Sometimes that builds a rapport because they consistently see your name so that then when you do reach out to them on LinkedIn, they might be a little bit more likely to accept.
  • Presentation on LinkedIn matters, too. Increase your connections, add a banner to your profile, and have people recommend you to improve your brand. You want to optimize your own page.
  • LinkedIn has a great video feature. Once I have someone accept my invitation, I will send them a video for a minute saying why I would want to chat with them.
  • I try to spend only an hour a day or otherwise I go down a rabbit hole with it because there’s a lot of good information there.
  • You want to make sure that you’re doing follow-ups once you start interacting with people because consistency matters.
  • Every couple of days you want to post an industry article you thought was interesting and make a comment.