One of the most enduring and contended challenges for organizations with indirect sales channels is the data and metrics used to measure channel performance. What metrics really matter? What don’t? Which vendors do we believe? And, is this really so complex that we need a scientist to make it meaningful?
Forrester Research recently said that "the channel ecosystem is undergoing dramatic changes, and channel partners' loyalty is up for grabs as a result."
AMEN! The first step toward eliminating outdated, overcomplicated methods and systems is to identify them.
The Top Three Outdated and Misconstrued Methods for Measuring Channel Partner Performance
Measuring in terms of leads generated.
Measuring only in terms of deals registered or “new logos.”
Measuring registrations, time spent or number of visits to a partner portal or website.
Fortunately, the main culprit behind many of the channel’s outdated methods, ineffective data and lackluster business intelligence can be traced back to legacy systems and outdated technologies that are easier than ever to “rip and replace.” These platforms, most of which are categorized as PRM (partner relationship management) and TPMA (through-partner marketing automation) simply have not been able to keep up with the digital revolution or subscription economy — nor were they ever meant to.
Four Metrics You CAN and SHOULD be Measuring for Channel Partner Performance
An entirely new breed of channel technology is empowering suppliers and partners to be more productive together by focusing on three key areas: collaboration, content and customer success. The byproduct is a multitude of new data that is painless to extract, easy to understand, and most importantly, proven to drive partner loyalty and accelerate channel sales performance:
Analyzing which partner trainings, behaviors and activities are most impactful on partner sales rep loyalty, productivity and performance
Gauging the usage and effectiveness of content, tools and resources for attracting prospects and moving them through stages of the sales cycle
Measuring which (co-) marketing programs and MDF spends result in the highest ROI and most closed revenue
Tracking how partner engagement with existing customers can help reduce churn and accelerate revenue growth
Partner sales acceleration enables organizations to create channel partner loyalty with minimal effort. New technology incorporates a focus on driving partner engagement and performance to foster partner loyalty and channel growth. And, it enables you to make real-time adjustments so that your partners don't have the chance to forget that you exist, or worse, move on to a competitor.
If you make it impossible for partners to ignore you, increased engagement will result in the perfect trifecta for success: increased sales, partner loyalty and overall customer satisfaction. Shifting your focus from management and control to collaboration and empowerment can put your organization on the fast track to turning lukewarm partners into loyal assets.