A channel program is a big investment with the potential for a big payoff. But in order to see those returns, a channel manager can’t take a hands-off approach. Keeping an eye on the metrics to measure how their channel partners perform and taking subsequent actions are necessary steps. With plenty of suites of next-generation tools out there promising to gather and parse information, there’s a world of new key performance indicators (KPIs) emerging to quantify partner program success and act as an analytics-based foundation for driving growth.
What do channel managers need to prioritize to as they sit behind that control panel, scrutinizing the numbers and making the calls on how to move forward? The following five partner program KPIs are some of the most important to measure and, when analyzed together, can start to give you a full picture of whether or not a channel is on the right path to recurring revenue. These KPIs can guide you to successfully managing the complex web of partner relationships that make up a channel program:
1. Active Pipeline Value
At the end of the day, channel success means bringing in revenue. So it’s critical to track and calculate your active pipeline value: all of the revenue that’s being generated not just by your partners, but the players that they themselves are leveraging to move value up the chain and into your hands.
Understanding all of the active players working on your behalf and how they’re impacting the bottom line is fundamental. This channel KPI reveals how much the partner program is worth when measured against what you’re investing in it.
Dissatisfied with your active pipeline value? Other supporting metrics like the ones detailed below will show how to best tweak the positioning of your resources and adjust your incentives.
2. Opportunities per Partner
The number of opportunities each partner produces is another program KPI critical to knowing where to direct your resources. To dive deeper into this channel performance metric, ask yourself the following:
- Are your partners in five companies, 50, or 500?
- Are their clients micro-businesses with five or 10 computers in house, or are they massive enterprises with thousand-employee headcounts that are going to need a license for each one?
- Are their clients looking for one very specific type of software, or do they have multiple needs they will need you to fill moving on into the future?
3. Active vs. Pending vs. Inactive Partners
Just having a business signed up as a partner doesn’t mean that it’s doing what you need it to do. Use your acceleration tool to drill down into the channel program KPI to define partners as active, pending, or inactive based on their behaviors.
If a partner is active and working on your behalf, you can invest resources to support and incentivize their growth. For pending partners, you can see where they’re stalled in the process and how you can get them up and generating revenue for you. For inactive partners, you can decide if you need to retool or jettison the relationship.
The primary purpose behind this partner program KPI is to ensure you maximize your return-on-investment by focusing on those 20% of channel members who yield 80% of your results, as well as to identify common barriers that block partners from enrollment and success.
4. Average Deal Size
In today’s world of subscription-based selling, you might assume that the size of a given deal isn’t as important as it would be if you were trying to move a traditional product. But it can be even more important. The terms of a deal that a partner is making with a client, the number of machines your solution is being installed on, the number and type of licenses, and what that all adds up to in terms of deal size is crucial to knowing how much revenue you stand to make—not just from a partner, but from any given type of deal.
If this particular channel performance metric falls short of expectations, reexamine whether there are new opportunities through which you can grow your offering. Also consider why customers choose to forego your current larger packages; is it the deal that discourages them or perhaps lack of education for your partners on how to sell? Such program KPIs are most helpful when followed with critical problem-solving.
5. Percent of Content Engaged
You’re putting resources into your content for a reason. It’s what drives your partners’ positioning of your solution and underpins the quality of the support they provide. So are your partners actually using the content? By measuring the percentage of content engaged as a channel performance KPI, you can determine which of your dedicated partners are taking the time to understand your brand. But this KPI isn’t just about your partners following your lead. It can also show you how to improve your partnerships by incentivizing partners to utilize the content and how to hone the content to better tell the story and meet the needs of your partners and their customers.
To measure these five partner program KPIs with optimal accuracy and efficiency, consider utilizing a PRM tool like Allbound. This will enable you to automatically track engagement, associate MDF distribution to leads, consolidate your CRM and PRM program pipelines, and automate partner onboarding and content sharing.
To learn more about how Allbound can help measure and improve your partner channel performance, request a demo or contact us today!