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How to Optimally Segment Partners

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Introduction

No matter which platform you use to manage your partners, you should be able to segment your channel depending on a few factors. Just like you would segment your sales or marketing lists, there’s immense value in dividing your partners into groups based on specific attributes.

This article will explore the value of segmenting your partners, example groupings to consider, and best practices to keep in mind.

Why Segment Your Partners?

By segmenting your partners, you can engage with large portions of your channel simultaneously. For instance, you can set up your PRM’s content library to distribute materials only to certain groups. This allows you to streamline your efforts without sacrificing the quality of your partner experience. You can send personalized content while still reaching your channel at scale. As a result, your partners can drive the best results with relevant, timely resources based on their segment.

You can also leverage segmentation to intrinsically focus resources on the most valuable partners in your channel. Divide your channel by revenue impact to distribute your resources appropriately.

Moreover, by segmenting your partners strategically, you can conduct deeper data analysis rather than misrepresenting your ecosystem as homogeneous. For each group, you can dig further into specific performance metrics to uncover key growth opportunities specific to the partner-type.

Partner Segments to Consider

There are a few ways to group your channel. Depending on your goals, you may segment partners by location, type, size, and tier.

Partner Location

If your channel program operates worldwide, you may segment by regions, such as NA, APAC, EMEA, etc, or country. This is valuable data for creating events and networking meet-ups.

Additionally, adjusting partner management strategies based on culture can be beneficial. For example, we’ve noticed that American buyers prefer narrative-driven selling, while European buyers look for data.

Partner Size

Grouping your partners by size is another valuable strategy for content personalization. Ensure the resources you provide align with your partner’s organizational capabilities. 

For example, your smallest-size partners won’t be able to facilitate complex co-marketing campaigns like webinars. Meanwhile, larger partners will.

Partner Tier

When you segment partners by tier, you can ensure you deliver the right resources to the correct partners. At each higher stage of your tiers, partners should earn additional resources, custom assets, and attention. 

You may also choose to segment by partners on the edge of your partner tiers. These partners may advance to the next tier with just a little help. Plan campaigns for this segment around renewal time to help partners reach a new level in your relationship.

Partner Type

Segmenting by partner type can be especially helpful for effective onboarding, training, and engagement.

Your various partner types may include:

Just like you would segment your sales or marketing lists,

 there’s immense value in dividing your partners into groups based on specific attributes.

Partner Segmentation Best Practices

There are a few best practices you’ll want to keep in mind when grouping your partners.

Segment for a Reason

Determine why you’re segmenting your audience to ensure the attributes you filter for are appropriate. For example, if you’re grouping to optimize marketing resources, you’ll likely want to divide your list by partner type or partner tier. Meanwhile, if you’re looking to distribute your Channel Managers appropriately, you’ll want to segment by location.

Ensure Communication is Appropriate

Once your partners are segmented, leverage this information to customize your communications and engagement strategies as appropriate. After all, if your efforts have increased relevance to your partner, you’ll both be able to drive better results.

Maintain Data Accuracy

If you don’t keep your database up-to-date, you risk sending inappropriate communications to partners at the wrong time. Partner segmentation only works if it’s as accurate as possible.

Leverage your PRM to house all partner data and track partner activity, ensuring your segments accurately reflect your evolving sales network.

Re-assess Partner Segments Regularly

Revisit the partner segments you’ve established regularly to ensure they’re still working. For example, you may find that you’re segmenting your partners too granularly by location and they can instead be grouped more broadly.

Alternatively, you may find that grouping your partners by size needs to be far more specific and you don’t have enough segments.

Additional Reading to Help Advance Your Partner Grouping Strategy

Segmenting your partners is critical to a strong ecosystem strategy. Leveraging the segments we’ve mentioned above based on your needs is critical to delivering the most value to partners efficiently. 

How to Set Up Partner Tiers & Different Levels — Partner tiers are an advanced strategy for segmenting your partners based on the impact they drive. Read this article to discover the value of partner tiers, when to implement them, and how to get started.

Adding Partner Types to Your Channel Sales Program — If you’re considering expanding your channel sales program to include new partner types, this blog will help you understand essential differences and the benefits of each option

Partner Ecosystem Strategy Guidelines — Your partner ecosystem isn’t complete without a strategy. Discover the essential factors to consider when building your strategy, from setting measurable goals and recruiting top partners to marketing and beyond.

Ali Spiric

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