Tips for Managing the Performance of Channel Partners

Your channels are ready, your new channels are on board, joint arrangements were decided. Now, what should your next steps be?

First of all, you need to identify partners that will become your best performers, help your business accomplish its strategic goals. You should also pay attention to determine the partners that could possibly hold you back, require more support from channel management, or be discarded. At this stage, your job is to manage the performance of your channel partners and determine whose evaluation would have a positive impact on the business.

It is highly recommended to appoint a review meeting with all stakeholders. This should, apparently, be planned when substantial progress has already been made against the previously agreed-upon joint business plan created during the channel sales training phase. You must make sure the meeting is formal and includes relevant stakeholders, and has an appropriate structure.

  • Who is allowed to participate?
  • Team members of sales, marketing, training, and technical departments of both sides must be present.
  • What does the schedule consist of?
  • Is there an agreed structure?
  • Accurate data should be provided instead of merely relying on opinions.

The mechanism for transparency and fixing failures should have already been established in the joint business plan, and this should be used as a reference during the conference. As far as possible, the meeting should concentrate on metrics and statistics, with a focus on marketing, sales, preparation, financing, product creation/expansion / intellectual property, and all other relevant topics.

Some metrics examples that should be included are the following:

  • ROMI: Overall marketing ROI
  • During the time, how many MDF claims by the partner were accepted or denied?
  • What is the amount for each claim?
  • What pipeline was made throughout the given time?
  • MQL’s V SQL’s
  • What are the trends?
  • How much has the partner achieved in terms of digital marketing?
  • If the vendor is concerned with this
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Miscellaneous metrics for the time frame may be used to examine the pattern for things like:

  • Profitability of partners
  • Engagement rates 
  • Content marketing, events, training, and social media
  • Solution specialization
  • Is it possible for them to become a specialist in a high-priority new approach, technology, or industry?

All of this data can be viewed in a simple, easy-to-understand format, such as a KPI Scorecard, which is often used in channel management.

KPI Performance

KPITargetActualComment
Sales$100.000$70.000Decisions were pushed to next Q
Marketing50 SQLs70 SQLsConversion improvement
Training3 SEs trained3NSEs trainedOn track
ProductNew BetaCompletedOn track

A skill scorecard for the partner may also be developed for a channel sales training program by the channel management team. This allows us to compare and contrast partners as well as recognize skill differences in the channel partners. You can compare their performance to the average and top performers and share their findings with partners. This will also serve as the foundation for a long-term strategy.

After the previous period’s analysis has been finished, it’s time to turn your attention to the future and begin preparing for the next period. Here are a few examples of marketing practices to remember:

  • Create two new joint case studies.
  • Start four digital co-marketing strategies with the vendor marketing team.
  • Get a minimum of $50k into the vendor contract registration scheme.
  • Save $25k in co-op and also MDF marketing funding from the seller marketing team.
  • At the XYZ gathering, co-host a booth with a vendor.

As the partner performance preview finishes, make sure to wrap it up formally. Consider having a general discussion about the next period where you will be covering:

  • Partner’s performance
  • Vendor’s performance 
  • Communication
  • Updates by the vendor
  • Anything else worth discussing
  • Scheduling the next review
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Evaluating partner success is an important activity for channel managers because it allows them to compare partner performance to goals on KPIs that are consistent with policy. A structured framework and agenda for the meeting are needed, and it should include a review of the next quarter’s goals and activities. It’s still useful to talk about long-term capability growth and potential value-add.

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