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How to Effectively Measure Partnership Success – 20 Metrics to Keep in Mind

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Identifying your most successful partners is critical to driving additional results through your channel sales program. Your top partners are opportunities to influence further success by investing deeper in the relationship. Additionally, you can identify different factors contributing to their success, allowing you to make better decisions for your organization. 

Unfortunately, without a plan in place for partner measurement, it’s challenging to determine who is contributing the most and how. Depending on the goals you’ve set for your partner program, there are many ways you can determine how successful a partnership is. Consider 20 metrics you may use to measure partnership success.

Determining Success: Setting Goals

Before measuring partnership success, you’ll first need to define what that means to your organization. There should be one driving factor you’re focused on improving, but there can be secondary factors that you care about.

For example, one channel sales program may be entirely focused on revenue. As a result, the partners performing the best in sales will be your top partners. Meanwhile, another channel sales program may focus on audience expansion. In that scenario, marketing efforts will be the most critical indicator of success.

Partnerships can be enormously impactful when it comes to enabling the goals of Sales or Marketing, as such it helps to define the program value outside of ecosystem-specific KPIs. For example, partnerships can significantly shorten the sales cycle, increase deal size, expand marketing campaign reach, and more.

Why Do Your Most Successful Partnerships Matter?

I’ve seen where, let’s say 80% of revenues are being driven by 20% of the partners. And even if it’s 70/30 or 60/40, I think your prioritization must be based on the productivity side. So the way the bottom of the funnel should be managed is through the prioritization of first, your most productive partners, followed by the next level of productivity and so on.


Navistone on The Partner Channel Podcast

By identifying your most successful partnerships, you can ensure you’re focusing the right amount of effort on those relationships. Your top partners are worthy of additional attention and investment from your team so you can continue driving fantastic results. By incorporating prioritized metrics into your partner tier criteria, you can inherently reward successful program participants and give others well-defined benchmarks to achieve. 

Meanwhile, by evaluating the top partners in your program and what makes them successful, you can identify key opportunities for improving your lower-performing partnerships. For example, if your top partners leverage specific co-marketing campaigns, you can be sure to promote those assets to the rest of your channel for co-branding.

If You Define Success by Partner Engagement

Engagement is an important measurement of success for partnerships. Typically, the more engaged a partner is, the more likely they are to stay in your program and drive additional results for your organization. There are a few metrics that you can use to measure partner engagement. These may differ based on your program’s setup.
  • Number of team members trained or certified – How many employees from your partner’s organization have completed your partner training or certification?
  • Rate of participation in partner events – How often does this organization attend and participate in partner events you host? How many team members attend? Remember that this should only be based on relevant events — your referral partners shouldn’t be docked points for not attending VAR events.
  • Portal sign-in frequency – How often does this partner sign into your partner portal? Do they visit daily, weekly, or monthly? Are they consistent in their portal use, or do they spike after a meeting, then dwindle in the weeks to follow?
If you determine program engagement to be pivotal to your success, consider reading The Best Metrics to Measure Partner Performance and Engagement for additional guidance.

If You Define Success by Enhancing the End Users’ Experience

Partnerships present a unique opportunity to enhance the end-user experience. Through partner involvement, integrations, and co-developed platform capabilities, users can enjoy additional benefits and drive better results.
  • Integrations developed – How many integrations has this partner developed with your platform? Do these integrations support various customer types or only specific customers?
  • Integration adoption – How well adopted is the integration your partner developed? What kind of customer feedback do you hear from users leveraging this integration?
  • Customer retention – How long do you retain customers brought in through this partner? Do customers continue working with you and your partner or do they churn after a certain amount of time?

If You Define Success by Building Brand Credibility Among New Audiences

Marketing metrics are an early indicator of future revenue and can demonstrate success when your organization is focused on reaching a broader audience and generating more brand awareness online. 
  • Number of assets co-branded – How many assets has this partner co-branded? Do they leverage new materials when launched or do they stick to the tried and true content they’ve used previously?
  • Number of co-marketing campaigns launched – This may include joint social posts, case studies, and co-hosted events.
  • Click-through rate (CTR) – What is the CTR for marketing campaigns distributed by your partner? Do the campaigns get a lot of engagement and ultimately lead to conversions? Is this a consistent CTR or do you see it spike for specific campaigns?
  • Campaign impressions – How many impressions do your partner’s campaigns generate? Is this a consistent metric or does it spike for specific campaigns?

If You Define Success as Increased
Partner-driven Revenue

Revenue is often the top metric partner programs focus on. There are many ways to measure sales and revenue success, and a variety of metrics you should consider when determining partner value.
  • Partner-sourced revenue – How much revenue does this partner generate? Specifically, how much revenue is driven directly from partner actions?
  • Partner-influenced revenue – How much revenue does this partner influence? This is different from partner-sourced, as multiple partners can influence a single sale. Additionally, a partner may only touch a deal early on in the sales cycle, but is still considered an influential partner.
  • Number of active deals  How many deals does this partner have active at a time? Do they have a consistent quantity of active deals or does it spike and fall?
  • Number of active leads How many active leads does this partner have at a time? Are they consistent?
  • Close ratio What is the ratio of registered leads to closed-won deals? Does this partner maintain a high close rate?
  • Time to first sale After first onboarding, how long does it take your partner to land their first sale?
  • Average deal size What is the average size of a deal closed by your partner? You may also consider the range of deal size, including the largest and the smallest deal closed to best understand your partner’s revenue influence.
  • Average sales cycle length How long is a typical sales cycle with your partner? Is this shorter or longer than deals conducted without partners? How does it compare to the average sales cycle length of partners of the same type?
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC) How much does it cost for this partner to acquire customers? Does this partner require many additional investments, such as MDF, SPIFFs, special events, and team involvement or are they successful with minimal resources?
  • Year-over-year (YoY) Growth It’s critical to consider YOY growth instead of month-over-month. Many factors, such as seasonality, can influence monthly changes, making it an inaccurate growth indicator. You may consider YOY growth for the following metrics.

•  Number of leads generated
•  Number of deals registered
•  Amount of revenue generated
•  Amount of revenue influenced

Effectively Measuring & Reporting Partnership Success with a PRM

Leveraging a PRM to house partner training, marketing assets, deal registration, and more will allow you to keep track of all these different KPIs in one spot. This is particularly beneficial as you can see how different factors influence each other, such as how a high rate of engagement early on in the partnership leads to exponential YOY growth later on.

Within your PRM, you can develop dashboards and reports that allow your partners to see exactly how they’re performing on key metrics and make adjustments in real time to better reach your joint goals.

By using your PRM, you ensure there’s one single source of truth for you and your partners to reference, so there isn’t any confusion about the accuracy of the data or concerns about pulling in multiple data sources.

Maintain Successful Partnerships

There are various ways to effectively measure partnership success, and the right way will ultimately depend on your organization’s goals. Whether you’re focused solely on revenue or looking at other metrics, your PRM can make it easy to measure and report on partner success.

With Alllbound’s Channel Sales Insights, it’s easier than ever to visualize partner data and determine your next steps. You can unify information from all stages of the partnership — training through deal close — to identify which partners to prioritize and how to improve your partner program.

Save even more time by automatically visualizing data and generating rich reports, providing in-depth measurements of your most successful partners, campaigns, and marketing assets. Request a demo to learn more about how Allbound can improve your channel sales program management.

Explore these other articles on improving your channel performance.

Why Channel Should Pay Attention to SaaS Renewal Rates — Renewal rates are tied directly to your organization’s bottom line, but can also signify other channel health metrics. If you’re currently neglecting your SaaS renewal rates, discover why that’s a mistake, along with strategies for calculating your rates and increasing channel stickiness.

Channel Partner Lifecycle Management – Processes for Each StageFrom signing and onboarding partners to re-engaging dormant partners, various stages of the channel partner lifecycle require different management strategies. Discover effective processes for supporting channel partners in each phase.

Audit Your B2B Sales Funnel – Process + Tips — Conducting a B2B sales funnel audit is a critical way to identify your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. Discover the areas of your funnel to monitor — from lead quantity to velocity — and exactly how you can audit them.

Ali Spiric
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