The past two years have shown how resilient and agile companies can be when faced with what at times may seem like forced adaptation or change. Truth be told, the digital transformation age as it relates to channel and the technology deployed to manage the channel revenue has been changing for years. The past two years just accelerated that change, it was like dumping gas on an already burning fire. The tale of two companies really starts to materialize when one digs deep into the mechanics of that change, and how quickly and painlessly said the change was implemented. In a remote world, if your organization wasn’t already leveraging channel, you are officially behind the curve.
Scrolling through LinkedIn, it is not hard to find stories and statistics about companies never returning to the office. Remote work is here to stay, which means the traditional borders established by geographical locations of individuals have now been redrawn or removed completely. What does that mean? It means that companies set up to take advantage of a dispersed workforce are going to win.
We have put together some simple action items your organization can start to do TODAY to help make up lost time.
1) Back of the napkin math
It is important that the daily tactics that your team executes are aligned to the strategy for your channel revenue, and the strategy for your partner program should align with the goals of the program and the company goals. Start with doing some quick, back of the napkin math and work backward to daily action items if you do not already have a deal registration solution in place. Total channel revenue, divided by average deal size. How many deal registrations does it take to close one deal, worth your average deal value? If your product is more transactional in nature, this is simply because you can look at an input of deal reg, recognizing value and converting within a measurable amount of time. With longer deal sizes, this is more difficult. Know this math and use it to set some basic units of measurement to determine short-term success towards our goal.
2) Do not re-invent the wheel
Maybe you are starting your new role as the Director of Channel, with a calendar quarter already in the books. Normally, there might be some sort of ramp time associated with any new sales role, but your Chief Revenue Officer is adamant that an impact needs to be made “tomorrow.” In order to know how to enable your partners to go after the right customers, you should know that first. Lean on your coworkers in marketing, channel revenue operations, customer success, and sales to gather intelligence quickly. Within a few half-hour meetings, you should have a good understanding of what the ideal customer profile looks like for your organization. Do not try and go alone when time is of the essence, lean on the expertise of those around you.
3) Get your hands on data ASAP
Get your hands on data as soon as possible. All your organization currently has to support partners is an excel spreadsheet, and a Dropbox folder, that is ok. It is a start. Does the excel spreadsheet have column headings like date submitted, date approved, and deal registration disposition? With that simple information, you can begin to understand how long deal regs take to get approved, and how often. Pair that with the Opportunity creation date inside of your CRM, and before you know it you are calculating the velocity of Channel revenue driven by channel partners.
4) Move the needle quickly with incentives
We have written multiple times here at Vartopia about the relationship behind compensation and behavior. In sales, financial motivation is usually the carrot that moves the proverbial revenue needle. If you need to drive channel sales quickly, consider seeing who has an extra budget they can spare for a quick SPIFF or Incentive program you can run to your partners. Can you find $6000 in the leftover marketing budget that went unused and make the case for a $500 bonus to the first twelve partners who submit an approved net new opportunity?
Ultimately, the time will come when you might be able to pick your head up and start to think strategically about the next phase of your channel program. Do you want to build a partner ecosystem? What role does a partner marketplace play in your organization’s future? As you drive incremental improvement through some of the action items above, pick your head up for a breath of air and think big picture.
At Vartopia, we help you do the right planning and give you the automation you need to ensure you do not have to run fire drills ever again. Request a demo today to get started with your channel sales planning!