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What metrics should you track in your partner program?

As with everything in business, it comes down to numbers. Metrics not only help steer your partner program in the right direction but prove to whoever holds the purse strings that it’s worthwhile. If you can display clear growth and profit, you’ll find it easier to get more investment, new leads and buy-in into your partner program. Let’s take a look at why metrics such as partnership KPIs (key performance indicators) are important, which ones you should be tracking and how, as well as the benefits you may not have thought about.
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Why bother tracking partnership KPIs

We all know data is where the power is. But understanding that in theory and actually collecting data that you can easily interpret and make decisions from can feel worlds apart. 

First off, you’ll thank past you tenfold if you set up the right partnership KPI tracking from the start of your partner program. Whatever you do, don’t leave it as a “nice to have later on” – we both know that day will never arrive, and you’ll be making decisions blind forever. 

Tracking partnership KPIs falls into two main benefits. The first is it shows you where you can make improvements. The best decisions are data-driven, so don’t argue with the data if it’s painting you a clear picture – obviously, make sure the data is reliable and of significance first. 

There are so many factors and moving parts that influence a partner program’s success that making changes can feel difficult. What you change for one partner type might not be helpful for another. You need to have a clear understanding of what’s working and where to unpick what’s going on. Only from there can you make informed decisions about what should be next for your partner program. 

Secondly, the easiest way to get more investment and buy-in into your partner program is to show that it’s generating partner-influenced revenue. Money talks, and for Channel Managers, the dialogue would be “I told you so.”

What types of metrics to track in your partner program

The top-level data will tell you how your partner program is trending. What’s the general consensus on how things are going? Getting a quick snapshot of what’s going on can be super helpful when you don’t have much time but need to keep tabs on things.

The lower-level stuff will indicate whether your training content is good enough and what types of partners are the best fit for your program. Doing a regular deep dive into these tighter metrics will lead the way when you’re looking to make changes. From there, you can identify where you should double down your efforts and what you should abandon entirely. 

Let’s break down (not emotionally) what exactly which metrics matter and the data points you should focus on.

If you take one thing away from this entire article, let it be this: data will make or break your partner program. 

Data is your guiding star when it comes to making decisions, measuring impact, and generating revenue. Without it, you are blind, and it’s all guesswork. 

Partner-sourced revenue

How much money is your partner program generating in total? A crucial metric to know and understand. After all, this is what everyone cares about. 

Inside of your partner revenue figure, you should analyze these metrics to gain a better understanding of direct partner-influenced revenue and how things are going:

1. Top performing partners

Take a look at which type of active partners are bringing in the most revenue. This is a great indicator of what types of new partners that you should be recruiting. Spend the time figuring out why this partner type works so well for your business so you can easily recreate this success with others.

2. Average deal size

For partner-led deals, is the average contract size going up or down? Ensure things are trending upwards rather than slowly fading away. 

3. Time to close

Another question for partner-led deals is do they close faster? Comparing how long things take when they’re partner-related to your normal sales cycle will indicate whether these deals are worthwhile. 

4. Total number of partners 

Of the total number of partners, how many are generating revenue? Sometimes, a small percentage of partners can be bringing in the largest percentage of deals. If that’s the case, you may want to consider whether all the partners on your roster are worth keeping – it’s likely time to make space for more top performers. 

Partner engagement

Tracking how engaged your partners are in your partner program is super important. Disengaged, uninterested partners = not really a partnership, is it? That’s just friendship, let’s be honest.

So, are your partners interested? If they’re proactive and excited about working on strategic partnerships with you, then the revenue metrics will naturally inflate themselves. So, you could argue that partner engagement is more important to focus on than revenue.

These metrics will help you to track how engaged your partners are:

1. How many of your partners have logged into your PRM?

If they’re not logging in, they’re not doing anything. And they’re definitely not registering deals. Start here to work out who needs the boot (or just further support and direct engagement.)

2. How many partners have completed training content?

Well-informed partners are going to be the ones easily selling on your behalf. If your training content is being ignored, take the time to figure out why. Are there changes you can make to encourage partners to engage with your material? The best partner training content is quick and easy to digest, not War and Peace II. 

3. How many partners have downloaded relevant marketing assets?

Download figures indicate whether selling is going on behind the scenes. Again, you might need to adjust the assets you provide, or it might just be a sign that you’re partnered with the wrong business. 

4. What’s going on outside of your partner portal?

Other partner metrics to focus on away from your PRM are things like whether they attend sales calls, hold QBRs, or let you train their sales team. These are all indicators of how close your relationship is and what you can do to bridge the gap between your businesses. 

Looking at partner satisfaction

The best place to get data? Directly from your partners. At least once a year, ask them via a questionnaire how happy they are, what extra support they need, and how you can improve your partner program. 

This data will be invaluable for a few reasons: one, it’s specifically about you, two is directly actionable, and three will allow you to paint a bigger picture of how your partners collectively feel and correlate these data points to see if they say similar things. 

Finding your way with partner performance metrics

If you take one thing away from this entire article, let it be this: data will make or break your partner program. 

Data is your guiding star when it comes to making decisions, measuring impact, and generating revenue. Without it, you are blind, and it’s all guesswork. 

Now you have a greater understanding of what metrics you should be looking at and why, as well as the importance of using them to improve your partner experience. Having an intuitive PRM portal on your side that collects all this key information will always make things easier, too. 

Through careful planning and digging into your data, you can pick the right partners for you, tweak your program effectively, and create the best partner experience possible. Then you can build a partner ecosystem that really takes your partner marketing initiatives to the next level.

Frequently asked questions about partnership KPIs

Why is it important to track partnership performance metrics in a partner program?

Tracking partnership performance metrics is crucial because it enables data-driven decision-making, aligns partner profitability with program KPIs, and significantly impacts the overall financial success of a partner program.

What are the key strategic partnership KPIs and partner performance metrics to focus on for program effectiveness?

The key partnership KPIs and partner performance metrics to focus on for program effectiveness include specific metrics that provide a comprehensive overview of a partner program's key performance indicators.

How does tracking partner-sourced revenue contribute to program KPIs and overall partnership performance metrics?

Tracking partner-sourced revenue is essential to successful partnerships, as it directly contributes to program KPIs, providing a vital component in evaluating the overall success of a partner program and influencing partnership performance metrics.

What insights can be gained from analyzing top-performing partners in a partnership program?

Analyzing top-performing partners provides valuable insights into the characteristics of partners and key stakeholders that contribute the most to partnership performance metrics, aiding in strategic decision-making for partnership strategy and program improvement.

How does deal size impact the effectiveness of partner-led deals in a partnership program?

The deal size directly impacts the effectiveness of partner-led deals within a partnership program, and understanding this correlation with partner values is essential for optimizing strategies and ensuring successful partner initiatives.

What is the significance of measuring the time to close for partner-led deals in a partnership program?

Measuring the time to close for partner-led deals is significant as it provides insights into the efficiency of these deals compared to the standard sales cycle, helping gauge their effectiveness in the overall strategic partnership program.

Why is partner engagement a critical metric in a successful partnership program?

Partner engagement is a critical metric in a successful partnership program because it goes beyond traditional revenue metrics, indicating the active involvement and commitment of partners, which is paramount for program success.

What role does the PSAT (Partnership Self-Assessment Tool) play in improving partner program KPIs and partnership performance metrics?

The PSAT (Partnership Self-Assessment Tool) plays a crucial role in improving partner program KPIs and partnership performance metrics by gathering direct feedback from partners, offering actionable insights, and contributing to overall program enhancement.

How does customer satisfaction influence the effectiveness of partnership performance metrics in a partner program?

Customer satisfaction plays a pivotal role in shaping the effectiveness of partnership performance metrics within a partner program. The degree to which end customers are satisfied directly impacts the success of the program.

Why is a PSAT (Partnership Self-Assessment Tool) key to improving partner program KPIs and partnership performance metrics?

The PSAT (Partnership Self-Assessment Tool) acts as a bridge between customer satisfaction and the enhancement of partner program KPIs and partnership performance metrics. By directly gauging partner satisfaction, this tool provides valuable data to improve overall program effectiveness and ensure customer satisfaction is a focal point in partner engagements.

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