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Attribution: Making Sure Channel Sales Gets Credit for 2022 Wins

With Q4 in full swing, it’s all hands on deck to achieve the goals you’ve mapped out for the last quarter of 2022.

Now is also the time to take a look at the impact channel sales had on organizational goals and bridge the gap between departments.

To develop and deliver an effective strategy next year, you should be digging into the channels generating leads and conversions and gain visibility into what’s working and what could be changed or improved.

This is where attribution comes in.

It’s a key component of marketing analytics, and it looks at the interactions people have with your channels so you can pinpoint where action takes place and why.

Attribution helps organizations better sift through all their available data to determine the impact of each channel on purchase decisions.

Why You Should Look Beyond Last-Click Attribution Models

When running attribution reports, channel sales can be overlooked when it comes to identifying and giving credit where credit’s due.

Avoid this oversight by measuring and connecting all touchpoints in the buyer’s journey.

There are more channels and touchpoints than ever before, which means more opportunities for people to interact with a brand in the method that serves their particular needs at that moment.

Touchpoints, where the end user takes some sort of action from researching to booking a demo, live within channels.

Channels serve in part as a way for your brand to interact with others and respond to their interest, inquiries or issues.

Every touchpoint and channel is important in analyzing the success of your partner program strategy.

However, it’s common for organizations to focus on the final interaction a person takes before they convert or, more likely, decide to spend money with your company.

There are multiple attribution models that determine how credit for sales or conversions is assigned to different touchpoints. A few common attribution models include:

First-Touch Attribution —

Credit is given to a single source, which is the first interaction a person has with a business. If the person ultimately becomes a customer and goes through several touchpoints along their journey, the final sale is still credited to the first place they found and took an action with your brand.

Last-Touch Attribution —

The final action a user takes before converting and becoming a customer is considered responsible for their decision to buy. This model is useful for organizations with a short buying cycle, but it doesn’t factor in all the steps along the buyer’s journey and interactions a person had that influenced their final decision.

Multi-Touch Attribution —

Depending on how this model is broken down, a fraction of credit is given to each touchpoint, not just the first or last. An individual will likely interact with a brand multiple times and in multiple ways before making a purchase decision, and this attribution model accounts for all of those efforts along the way.

Common Attribution Models

Looking only at the last touchpoint before a customer converts limits the understanding of how they got there and made their final decision.

Why Involving Channel Sales is Crucial

More channels mean greater reach, additional opportunities to make a sale and, ultimately, happier customers.

While tracking the path individuals take toward a purchase is a key component of your partner program marketing activities, involving sales in the process is crucial.

Various parties work together and collaborate to execute initiatives, and channel sales is a piece of the puzzle that helps make up the bigger picture.Without it, there will be gaps in your understanding and analysis of compiled metrics.

We’re living in the age of omnichannel, which includes marketing and sales activities.

Channel sales is a vital part of influencing consumers to take an action and should be included in your 2022 attribution reports. Include channel sales early on in your reporting so you’re not misrepresenting strategy or consumer behavior.

An organization can have a killer marketing strategy with ample touchpoints and opportunities to convert. But digging deep into the data is likely to reveal conversion paths that involve your channel partners, and now is the time to give credit where credit is due.

Giving Credit

So, how do you determine when, where and how your channel partners are contributing to conversions and sales?

First, run reports on partner-related conversions and check in with channel partners on their successes.

Tracking users across multiple interactions can be achieved through analytics in your PRM, assessing UTM parameters and comparing your in-house marketing and sales results with your channel partners. 

Utilize deal registration software to gain a comprehensive look into each prospect’s actions and interactions with your channel partners to pinpoint successes. 

Use your PRM to follow prospects and customers throughout the sales journey to establish a full view of potential opportunities registered in both your PRM and CRM tools.

Review your goals and work to tie your partner’s achievements with these targets

Incentives and Rewards

As you’ve analyzed your organization’s wins and identified when, where and how channel sales have contributed to new deals and customers, it’s time to reward your partners for their wins. A great way to do this is by offering incentives and rewards when channel partner sales help boost revenue.

Some examples include:

  • SPIFF programs with rewards like all-expenses-paid trips, prepaid debit or gift cards, tech products and increased commissions
  • Market Development Funds (MDFs) that provide dollars for marketing activities like trade show booths or ads
  • Leveling up in your partner program, where progressing to the next tier unlocks extra bonuses or resources
  • Direct cash of a predetermined amount


Learning from Channel Sales Wins

As you assess your organization’s goals in Q4, use the data collected from channel sales to help drive strategy for next year.

Learn from successes—and challenges—to develop and fine-tune strategies for the future that incorporate all channels and touchpoints.

In 2023 and beyond, it’s important to bridge gaps between your partner program and marketing.

Channel sales data can help your marketing team refine their partner-oriented content and gain better insight into the materials, strategies and touchpoints that can be developed.

A single system that manages all partner sales training, marketing and deal registrations enables you to directly tie materials to results and evolve your strategy accordingly.

Refining Your Strategies in 2023

As you dig into your attribution models and KPIs, think beyond the data by taking actionable steps to refine strategy in the new year. The following resources will help you perfect your marketing, channel sales and performance actions in the months ahead.

 Channel Partner Marketing Best Practices & Planning – the Ultimate Guide – Learn best practices for creating and improving your channel partner marketing materials and promotional campaigns.

13 Partner Program KPIs to Measure Channel Performance – New key performance indicators (KPIs) are emerging to quantify partner program success and act as an analytics-based foundation for driving growth.

Channel Sales Business Plan and Proposal – Guidelines and Tips – Communicate intentions for your partner program and get buy-in from leadership by putting together a channel sales business plan.