I am trying to use LinkedIn to contact people that work for potential partner companies to resell my software. Can you offer any advice on what to say to gain information from them?
Would it be better if I called? Whom should I speak to? At this point I am just trying to gather information on the company objectives, etc...
Getting someone to make the introduction for you is almost always going to be more successful than cold calling yourself. Always look for connections within your Linkedin network (and network in general) to people at the prospective partner companies.
Personally I prefer to receive well crafted emails about opportunities instead of phone calls. Phone calls seem to take so much more time and effort to deal with.
Serve up tangible benefits in the message - a reason for them to care.
Best of luck!
Try to determine how much this person utilizes the web. If they are on Facebook, Twitter, and have a blog of some sort, you could email them and get a response.
Lesser users may need to have someone else recommend you.
Non connected members of traditional management are going to need a a more traditional approach like a phone call.