To enable success, you must first be able to measure it. So when it comes to measuring partner success in the channel, what are the metrics?
Measuring partner success comes after first establishing what that looks like to all parties. Each stakeholder will have their own idea as to how they define a healthy and profitable partnership, based on their own specific parameters.
However, when it comes to measurement, this has been a somewhat undefined and imprecise practice that often fails to consider the perspective of those stakeholders. Additionally, the methods by which vendors have judged a successful relationship often fail to properly measure true business value.
For example, historically there has existed a level of coziness between the channel account manager and partner. Indeed, the partner business model reflects that people like to work with people they like. But it is important to look beyond the ‘happiness’ of the partner. This is because while meeting for drinks, dinner or a round of golf might be great for relationship building, the metrics by which they should be measuring partner success often fall by the wayside.
In reality, vendors need to employ the processes that have been applied to inside sales for years. They need to make everybody accountable and jointly establish metrics for success that can drive better business behaviours. So, what could those business metrics be?
– Quantity of new leads?
– How many of those leads could I convert?
– What revenue will I generate?
– How many new logos did I get?
– How easy is it to work with the partner?
– Is there any conflict?
– How responsive are they to my requests for help for collateral?
There is of course a much wider range of metrics to consider, many of which are tailored to specific roles or functions within the business. Channel sales, marketers, operations managers and program managers will all have different ideas as to how to measure success.
Additionally, the C-suites in both the vendor and partner will have their own ideas as to how to determine the worth of the partnership outside of the balance sheet – whether that’s the partners’ commitment to the vendor, their level of trust in them or if their businesses are truly aligned. There are other elements too, such as how conflict is managed, the effectiveness of your communication, or whether you can effectively collaborate to create good outcomes for customers.
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Data-driven Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Platforms take the guesswork out of measuring partner success. They provide insight into the key performance indicators (KPIs) that vendors should be evaluating – across all partner types and job functions.
This is particularly relevant when it comes to partner leveling, or partner tier change management. Having to apply their tier parameters to determine the performance of hundreds or even thousands of partners, can be a complex task. This is set against a backdrop of increasing customer demands and a rapidly evolving partner ecosystem. Having to calculate and measure multiple performance criteria of all those different partners is a laborious and time-consuming process. But new partner levelling automation solutions as part of a channel enablement platform eliminates that.
Automating the process means there is no more confusion, miscommunication or vague definitions of what constitutes success. Instead, both vendor and partner have clearly defined parameters for measuring partner success, and they can see their progress at any time, delivered by a unified, on-demand dashboard.
Not only is this a more accurate and transparent method of measuring their achievements, but it also simplifies the process. This is essential to partners, as being ‘easy to do business with’ is one of the most important factors in their relationship with a vendor – which actually brings us back to partner happiness! Deploying a channel enablement platform means the individuals in those roles we’ve talked about are freed up to focus on innovation, driving revenues and ultimately, growing the business.
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