First off, congratulations on the new role! And if it’s your first time in channel management, welcome to an exciting industry. With a little planning and legwork, you should be able to transition into your new role in no time. Having a game plan for your first 90 days not only sets you up to flourish, it ensures that your channel is optimized for success.
Your first 90 days will establish the foundation for things to come. First impressions go a long way—so here are some tips so you can make quick wins in the first few months on the job.
If you can’t measure your partner program, it’s nearly impossible to improve it. However, every channel program is different—and your first steps will depend on how developed the program is upon your hire. Take a good look at your current program. Is it brand new or is it well established? Is it healthy or does it need some improvement?
To determine the state of your partner program, consider the following components.
Content: Partners should be able to discover, consume, and use content. Getting the right content to your reps results in relationship - and data-driven growth. You should be able to measure utilization of content by partners and there should be a correlation between consumption and revenue.
Training: Training should be designed so partners know exactly how to position your product. To evaluate your team’s training program, look for a correlation between learning and earning. Is your partner journey well defined? Is there a clear progression from recruitment to onboarding to training? Is there a link between your training offerings and your partners’ success?
Incentives: In addition to training, the best partner programs include certificates and gamification to track success and incentivize partners. To track the true health of your partner program, you should be able to see a long-term effect of your incentives.
What do channel managers need to pay the most attention to in their first few months? The following five KPIs are some of the most important to track and can provide you a full picture of whether a channel program is on the right path to success.
Reviewing KPIs is also an ideal time to analyze the impacts of your partners. Through data collection and other methods, it’s possible to identify the best partners. In addition to identifying opportunities per partner and partner engagement, here are some signs that a partner is worth holding onto:
Unless your partner program is perfect upon hire, tweaking your channel management strategy is not only a completely normal procedure—it’s a surefire way to modernize your program to meet any market shifts. Not only is it important to recruit and retain the best partners, it’s essential to create a best-in-class experience that emphasizes their needs and goals.
As a new channel manager, you’ve inherited your partner program—for good or bad. If you’re in need of a refresh, or are simply looking to optimize your results, sales acceleration tools may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Next generation partner relationship management tools (PRMs) enable partners—and management—to succeed. This technology boosts communication and alignment out of the gate. It enables your team to make the most of content to drive your sales cycles. It turns data into insights, improves business intelligence, and drives partner engagement. Finally, it enables you to collaborate with channel reps and keep them motivated, all while accelerating the sales cycle.
For new managers, sales enablement encourages faster time to value and time to market. How’s that for helping you during your first 90 days?