Data is the backbone of modern-day companies looking to scale. Up until very recently, only certain parts of an organization had dedicated OKRs and KPIs to measure success and incremental improvement. It has only been through the proliferation of Partner Portal Software and PRM Tools that companies can begin to truly measure the ROI of their channel dollars.
You cannot manage what you cannot measure.
Metrics, for the sake of metrics, does not make sense and usually only creates confusion. Not understanding the “why” behind a KPI is just as bad as not having one at all. Look around your organization today, how many things have acronyms or KPIs associated with them, and you have no clue what they mean? I am guessing there are a handful. We do not want to create confusion within your organization, and worse yet, is creating confusion for the partners participating in your partner program.
Revenue growth alone can be a clear indication of success, we will not argue that fact; however, monitoring all the moving pieces that go into making that revenue growth a reality is just as important. Let us dive into a couple of these KPIs:
Partners have many options with your competitors when they decide to enter a certain market. You do not want to lose out on your best partners by skimping on the margins. Try your best to find, and monitor the margins being pushed out by your competition.
In B2B SaaS it is all about LTV, and market share. Partners move the needle in both of those categories, so do not lose out on a successful relationship that drives LTV and long-term market share just over one or two points of margin.
2. Channel Churn
Churn is a business killer. Allowing water to leak from the bottom of an empty bucket in any department is a sure-fire sign of something that needs to be patched. Given the fact that it takes sometimes months to recruit a partner, months to onboard a partner, and then months to get the first deal closed together it becomes extremely painful to lose a partner. If you are losing partners, or partners are ghosting you, it should be a sign that Partner Engagement needs to be fixed.
3. Partner Portal Logins
Communication is the crux in every channel partner relationship. It is crucial that your organization develops, and then understands the use of content as it relates to how your partners engage with end customers. Since most of what partners do happens outside of a partner portal, it becomes increasingly important to measure what is capable of being measured. The number of times a partner logs in, which content they are consuming, what playbooks they are pinning, and how long they are staying engaged inside the portal. If partners are not logging in, it is time to review the levels of personalization you are building for your partner’s engagement.
4. Consistency of training
A partner is an entity that falls outside of your organization. They have their own culture, their own business process’ and their own methods of training their reps. Chances are, the way your partners train their own sellers is not in line with how you train your direct team. So, the key is to produce a unit of measurement that accounts for that discrepancy but also provides meaningful insights into when a partner falls off the bandwagon for a couple of months. Deep dive with your partners on their commitments to a regular training schedule, and when that is not met, raise the red flag.
5. Collateral Consumption
Modern-day partner portal solutions have the same advanced capabilities that websites have. With the ability to track things like bounce rates, time on page, scroll depth, and search source there really is no excuse to not understand which pieces of collateral are being consumed.
Start by installing a free tool like Clarity or embed a product like WalkMe into your partner portal to watch what users are searching for (and struggling to find), which strengthens the research on Partner Engagement strategy. By monitoring and measuring which pieces of content are consumed; and which are neglected thereby providing immediate visibility and feedback into your content creation efforts.
6. Deal pipeline movement
Moving deals through any pipeline is not easy. Depending upon the maturity of your channel program, it should be easier when partners are involved. Meetings, demos, proof of concepts, trials, executive-level support, and many other factors all get intertwined to make closing deals as difficult as possible. When deals slow down, it is already too late to pinpoint a potential root cause.
By tracking things like deal velocity, conversion rates, and ACV it is easier to pinpoint problems before they become issues that cause deals to die.
A healthy channel partner engagement program can be a real asset for any business. Request a demo today to learn what a well-designed partner program looks like and how to keep your partner performance metrics and strategies on track.