Why Channel Performance Measurement is so important

If you want to fix poor partner engagement and performance levels, you need to be able to identify them first. And, that requires measuring channel performance. You can’t fix what you can’t measure. However, vendors often don’t know what their channel partners are up to. Did they take the latest certification training? How did they utilize the MDF? How many deals did they really close? Sometimes vendors are clueless about their channel partner’s activities and just assume they are doing fine. Whereas in reality, the channel partners couldn’t be more lost! This is a big part of partner relationship management that is surprisingly ignored by many. You cannot fix what you can’t measure. If you want to determine the performance of your channel partners, you need to have metrics to rate their performance. Monitor your channel partner’s performance and based on that, coach them—offer them the right training and tools to help them do better.
Why Channel Performance Measurement is so important
Tip: In order to be able to measure the engagement levels of your channel partners, you need to have clear visibility into channel partner activities. You need tools that tell you exactly where and how your channel partners spent the MDF allotted to them, what marketing/sales campaigns your channel partners engaged in, how effective they were, how they are faring with opportunities, how many leads they registered, etc. In short, you need detailed reports that identify how each channel partner is performing so you can take remedial measures. Invest in a tool that offers you a 360-degree view of your channel partners so you know, at any given point of time, what your channel partners are doing and more importantly, how they are doing. Once you set that up, you need to monitor their performance consistently and coach, guide and support them until they are ready to fly on their own.

Your PRM Program may be failing due to this!

PRM Program
One truth about a partner relationship management program is that the one-size-fits-all approach just won’t work. You need to understand your partner base, divide them into different personas and see what works with each of them and what doesn’t. The next step is to apply that knowledge to help your channel partners. The solution is simple. If you want your channel partners to sell more, help them to market, to sell, and to reach out to you. It is up to you to put an end to your channel partner’s inertia. Channel partners are never going to tell you what they need, and no matter how much support you offer, no matter how many sales and marketing campaigns you create or assets you provide—they are not going to use them unless it is easy for them to do so. Browsing through multiple emails or folders for that presentation is a turnoff, so is having to contest with another channel partner for their lead. Successful vendors know what their channel partners are up to—at any given point in time. They know what their channel partners want, their strengths, weakness and they work to protect their channel partner’s interests. 

So, understand your channel partner’s mindset and tailor your PRM program around it.

Here’s why your partner reward program is so important

Your salespeople get commission, invitations to company dinners, events, etc. What about your channel partners? Don’t forget to motivate your channel partners. They are a part of your sales network just like the direct sales team. Have a value adding partner program in place to motivate your channel partners to sell.

Partner Reward Program
Tip: Make sure you market your channel rewards program. The value your channel partners will derive from it should be clearly communicated to them. Offer something that they will value and ensure that the goals are not so high that it seems nearly impossible. You want to push your channel partners to aim higher, but not set the goals so high that they give up trying altogether.

Once you have a great partner program in place, make sure you fine-tune it every now and then to suit your partner base. A stagnant partner program will soon stop generating results. Evolve your channel partner program to suit your partner base and the end market so it is a win-win situation for you and your channel partners.

This one mistake can cost you your channel relationships

This one mistake can cost you your channel relationships
When we talk of poor channel performance, vendors often say, “we have invested in the best PRM Software. Why are our partners still not ‘up-there’?” Well, it is surprising to note that many companies have the tools and resources their channel partners need to succeed in selling their products and services. However, those tools and assets never really reach the channel partners because vendors expect their channel partners to proactively look for them and use them. If you want your channel partners to really use your sales and marketing tools, programs and materials, you need to make it easy for them to do so! Bring the tools and assets your channel partners need, rather than waiting for them to ask because they never will! You have to find a way to fit your marketing and sales assets into the systems they use on a daily basis such as their gmail account, Outlook or even their CRM. When integrating your tools and assets make sure it also integrates with any third party portals that your channel partners may already have. Examples include their product database systems, war-rooms, cloud based vaults, etc.  

Bring the tools and assets to channel partners rather than expecting them to reach out to you asking for them & watch your channel relationship bloom.