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5 Channel Partner Metrics to Prove the Value of Your Role

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Proving that you’re indispensable at work can be one of the best forms of job security. It not only helps propel your career in partnerships forward, but it also helps protect your role during times of economic downturn.

So, as a channel leader, how do you indisputably show the value of your role? With partner program metrics.

Career advisors typically hone in on skills like leadership, adaptability and thinking outside the box. Those are all important traits to cultivate, but when push comes to shove – like during a performance review meeting – you’ll want the hard data to prove your point.

It’s a challenge Tai Rattigan, Global Head of Partnerships at Deel and Co-Founder of Partnership Leaders, dove into recently on our podcast.

If you’re a VP of Partnerships or a Head of Partnerships or maybe you’re the first partner manager at a company, you’re effectively having to justify your existence all the time,

Tai Rattigan

Global Head of Partnerships at Deel and Co-Founder of Partnership Leaders

“If you’re in sales, marketing, customer success – a CEO of a company isn’t like, ‘Do we need a sales team?’ It’s a no brainer. With partnerships, you’re always in a position, even in really good times, where people are questioning the impact that you have on the business and whether your team should even exist.”

Show Your Impact With These Top Channel Metrics & Partnership KPIs

Here are the top five channel metrics to keep an eye on and, more importantly, how to use them to build a case for partnerships at your organization and your role in that partner ecosystem.


Channel Metric #1: Partner Engagement

Active, engaged partners are one of the best leading indicators of a successful channel sales program. High levels of engagement indicate that you’re recruiting the right type of partners who are invested in your mutual success and willing to put in the effort to sell.

RECOMMENDED READING: 7 Elements of a Successful Partner Engagement Plan

When it comes time to build your case showing the successful engagement of your partners, highlight KPIs like:

  • Portal logins

  • Content engagement

  • Training completion

  • Use of co-marketing materials

  • MDF requests

  • Participation in events or initiatives


Channel Metric #2: Partner Satisfaction

Happy partners are more productive and more fulfilled by being a part of your channel ecosystem – which, in today’s competitive landscape, is critical. 

One effective way of measuring partner satisfaction is by running a regular, online partner satisfaction survey to track feedback and learn about opportunities for improvement.

Consider including questions, with a sliding scale of answers from “Not at all” to “Completely,” such as:

  • Rate your overall satisfaction with the partnership.

  • Do you feel like a valued member of our partner community?

  • How prepared do you feel working with us? 

  • Are our learning resources easy to find and use? 

  • How effective do you find our co-marketing materials?

  • When you reach out to us for support, do you receive the help you need?

  • Do you feel like you understand our strategies and goals? 

  • How aligned are those strategies and goals with your organization?

  • Are you motivated by our incentives and rewards?

  • Are you satisfied with the profitability of our partnership?

  • Do you have any suggestions or anything else you’d like to share?

In addition to surveys, you can also hold 1:1 interviews with partners to gather more in-depth insights and anecdotal feedback.  


Channel Metric #3: Partner Recruitment and Retention

Finding partners and convincing them to join you is an ongoing part of a successful partner program.

A big part of strategically recruiting the right partners is to know exactly who you’re looking for by developing an ideal partner profile and structuring your program in a way to attract those top performers. 

RECOMMENDED READING: Nine Tips to Find and Recruit Channel Partners

Track the growth of your program in terms of:

  • Number of total partners

  • Net new partners 

  • Active partners 

  • Partner by tier and type

If you’re struggling to recruit or retain partners, there could be a number of factors at play. 

Look into:

  • Your onboarding and training process: Is it too long or complicated? 

  • Your supporting sales materials: Are you adequately preparing partners for success and setting realistic expectations? 

  • Your commission structure: What’s the ROI for your partners?

Partnerships require investment from both parties so making sure your goals, vision and commitment align saves considerable effort and resources over the long term.


Channel Metric #4: Partner Performance

Partner performance is very much tied to partner-influenced revenue, with the former laying the groundwork for the latter. 

Measuring that performance is an unavoidable part of showing the impact of partnerships at your organization. However, performance is not just one singular KPI. 

RECOMMENDED READING: The Best Metrics to Measure Partner Performance and Engagement

Instead, take a holistic approach and dive into markers of success that span the different stages of the partner lifecycle.

This can include looking at KPIs like:

  • Deal registrations 

  • Prospect page creation

  • Closed deals 

  • Conversion rates

  • Average deal size

  • Average length of time of sales cycle

  • Customer renewal rates


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Finally, the metric most leadership is most interested in: bottom line revenue. 

Showing the impact on the bottom line is fundamental and, when combined with these other four channel metrics, can paint a vivid picture of the benefits of partnerships for your organization and the direct impacts of your work.

RECOMMENDED READING: Auditing Your B2B Sales Funnel – Recommended Process and Tips

Partner-influenced revenue is the most common KPI to look at in terms of financial impact, but also consider including metrics like these in your reports:

  • Active pipeline value 

  • Lead and sales cycles time

  • Conversation rates

  • Net retention of your product or service

  • Partner-referred revenue for both new deals

This kind of data is critical to illustrate the direct value of your program and the return on investment of partnerships.

Leveraging Automation To Improve These Metrics

Partner management is a nuanced, relationship-driven role that requires a strategic mindset and tactical abilities. 

Simply put, it’s not something AI could ever replace. 

But there are automation tools you can use to your advantage to streamline your workflows and parts of your partner management cycle to improve these channel metrics.

For instance, a PRM can help you automate:

  • Recruitment 

  • Partner training 

  • Content distribution

  • Engagement 

  • Lead distribution

  • Analytics tracking 

  • Reporting

Automating these parts of your work frees up time to focus on other parts of your role that can help move the needle on your partner-related goals and hit your KPIs. 

PRM automation also helps ensure a better partner experience by making training modules easier to complete, resources easier to access and progress easier to track.

Great Partnerships Are Built on Great Partner Processes

Strategic partner operations make the world of partnerships spin around. Check out these additional resources on how to build great processes that underpin great partnerships.

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