The Best Metrics to Measure Partner Performance and Engagement
December 2, 2020

When it comes to sales KPIs, specifically in the SaaS sales world, the same performance metrics tend to get the lion share of attention. Sales leaders track revenue, leads, customer lifetime value (CLV), and churn rate. But what are the best KPIs to measure the success of your channel partnerships? 

Tracking partner engagement isn’t as straightforward as tracking direct sales team metrics. Unlike measuring a standard sales pipeline, relationship metrics are difficult to measure. That’s why you should gauge your partners with these KPIs instead:

 

1. Partner Portal Activity

Use your PRM to track the number of logins your partner portal receives. After all, the frequency of activities like logins, training completion, and deal registration reflect the overall dedication of your partners, as well as the quality of your platform.

For example, if one of your partners isn’t downloading or using the assets you provide via the portal, it could raise a red flag about their dedication to improving. However, if this is a program-wide problem, the issue may be with the materials or accessibility. If this is the case, you can tweak your existing setup or implement a PRM solution that grants a joint marketing portal. You can gauge the success of your efforts through whether partner engagement metrics show marked improvement.

 

2. Communication Levels

Track and analyze the level of communication your channel account manager (CAM) has with your partners. Even if your partner does use the portal regularly, it doesn’t always equate to meaningful sales results. Communicate regularly with partners and ensure that they’re aware of learning tracks, playbooks, and other tools that will help them along the sales process. Be a tool that your partner can leverage to help hit home runs.

 

3. Sales Meetings and Demos 

No product or service sells itself—that’s why we employ salespeople. Without partners actively setting up meetings with prospects and customers, there’s little likelihood they’re pursuing sales opportunities.

A salesperson calendar can point to a significant lack of effort or capability, making it a crucial partner performance metric to track. Gather and measure sales meeting data to forecast your partners’ sales pipeline accurately. Ultimately, product demos, especially for SaaS companies, are a critical element of winning the business.

 

4. Conferences and Events

Tradeshows or live webinars are secondary to sales meetings with customers. They’re an excellent lead generation opportunity, and your company could miss out on deals if partners aren’t participating.

Measure the number of events partners attend, the amount of market development funds (MDFs) you invest, and the number of leads generated. Jointly attending conferences and tradeshows is a great way to prove their commitment to the partnership.

 

5. Joint marketing campaigns

There are two ways to measure partner marketing metrics. The first way is to track how many downloads your marketing assets receive in your partner portal. The second is to track how many joint marketing campaigns and efforts you execute with partners. 

Partners who take the initiative to create customized, joint campaigns are showing more engagement and commitment. Make sure such campaigns are efficient with time and budget so you can repeat your efforts easily with different partners in the future.

 

6. Revenue, Margin, and Overall Performance

Your business success as a channel-centric company relies on maintaining a stable base of profitable partners. However, a critical performance metric to have on your radar is how much margin your partners make on your product. 

Partners who aren’t making a meaningful profit from selling your product will turn their attention toward your competitors. If they are ultimately not the best fit for your brand and processes, this may not be a bad thing. However, if multiple partners fulfill all other engagement metrics mentioned above but fail to make a profit, then it’s time to realize that your sales practices may be the issue.

 

Bottom Line

You can’t measure a channel partnership’s success with the same metrics used by internal sales teams. Relationships are nuanced, so you must analyze the overall effort and results of your partnership. Keep an eye on the communication levels, the number of demos partners book, and the conferences you attend together. Track the level of engagement with your partner portal and how often they utilize your joint marketing materials. Tracking these partner performance metrics are critical to effective channel management, as they can help you figure out if you’re recruiting the right candidates or if you need to revamp your materials

Want to create a formalized process for measuring partner engagement? Check out Allbound’s free channel partner scorecard template.

Ali Spiric