Businesses are constantly growing and changing. So if you’re availing yourself of the unparalleled revenue-building opportunity that is a channel partner program, you can’t afford to sit still; nobody else is—not your partners and not their customers. Partners change tactics, go through overhauls, move into different spaces, and reevaluate their priorities. Customers arrive with different needs and require different tools to meet them. And with today’s economy moving at an unprecedented speed, the changes happen quickly—from the smallest micro-business to the biggest multinational enterprise.
In order to evolve your channel as quickly as your partners and their clients are evolving, it’s critical that you’re using the right resources to orient your thinking and guide the never-ending project of evaluating, reevaluating, and tweaking your channel program.
Taking a look at the following resources and tools and understanding their insights will enable you to keep building, sustaining, and getting the most out of your partner relationships.
1. Ongoing Partner Marketing Assessment
How do you know how well your channel partners are performing? It’s an easy thing to speculate about, but in today’s complicated business environment, you’re dealing with a lot of disparate information, and going with your gut can only get you so far. That’s why things like partner marketing scorecards and questionnaires are a critical way to keep track of what your partners are up to, how well they’re leveraging the resources you give them, and if their interactions with their clients are meeting your overall needs and working in the service of your business goals.
There’s also the matter of getting your partners on board with the initiative. This can be done by making the process easy with the right tools, and making certain that incentivization extends to driving partners to self-score.
With this type of data coming in regularly from your partners, you have the raw information to conduct an ongoing evaluation of what’s working and what’s not with all of your channel relationships—and that’s invaluable material for determining what steps you’ll take to move forward.
Like so many aspects of our new tech-enabled economy, analytics—and an informed understanding of what to do with them—are critical to successfully managing and evaluating a channel partner program. Three important observations: Analytics can help you determine how your channel is performing, analytics can help you determine how best to price your services, and analytics can help you determine how to most successfully generate leads in a way that differentiates a vendor from the competition.
Armed with that knowledge, it’s a matter of getting the right channel analytics solution in place and having people on your channel team who know how to read and interpret the data to inform action that will keep your channel and your offerings fresh and profitable. Implement a sales acceleration tool to track analytics and then create a channel dashboard to help you measure success.
Bridging the gap between what your channel is doing and what you should do to maximize your channel’s performance is, obviously, critical for an ongoing channel strategy. You can have the most robust data in the world, but if you don’t have a strong sense of what those data mean or what kind of action they should inform, you’re still setting yourself up for stagnation—and the churn that comes with it.
That’s why myChannelScore is an incredibly valuable resource for gauging where you are with your channel. It allows you to answer a list of questions about how your channel is progressing and provides insights into what that means in terms of the key performance indicators that are proven to drive channel revenue. It also allows you to see how your performance compares to other top channel programs and points you in the right direction with the insights it gleans from your answers. It can help you better evaluate how your channel is doing and show you where to go from there.