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Measuring Partner Performance: Metrics That Matter

11.30.17

For the better part of a year now, I’ve been banging the drum about partner experience. Much of that is because of what we’re seeing among partner ranks—an evolution into true “solution providers” as they address customer needs with a more solution-centric rather than vendor-centric approach.

Vendors, meanwhile, now find themselves working doubly hard to remain relevant to this new breed of partner. Where it once didn’t matter as much how easy it was—or not—for channel partners to access sales tools, for example, today vendors are being judged by their partners on this and other seemingly innocuous metrics.  

Topics: Channel Best Practices

Renew Your Focus on Channel Conflict

11.16.17

It’s one thing for partners to not have the ideal experience with a vendor. There’s always room for improvement (hopefully we’ve informed and advised your improvement). But it’s another thing entirely for partners to regret having joined a vendor’s program in the first place.

Topics: Channel Best Practices

Start measuring important performance metrics.

11.07.17

Top athletes know to get the best results you need to regularly measure performance. In this year’s State of Partnering study, we asked partners all about the elements affecting their experience with vendors. Although Performance Metrics ranked lowest of the partner experience pillars, both vendors and solution providers need metrics to gauge improvement. Plus, everyone likes to know whether they’re doing well. 

Topics: Channel Best Practices

Are Your Program Policies Helping or Hurting Your Channel Partner Relationships?

10.31.17

A lot of our discussions in the channel of late have focused on the changing demographics of the channel partner and how vendors must respond to accommodate these changes. Everything from partner program models  to sales enablement motions and even what we call channel partners these days is evolving—and mostly for the better, in my opinion.

Topics: Featured, Channel Best Practices

Align channel roles to the partner lifecycle

10.25.17

Through our many client engagements and vendor interviews on this topic, we believe it has become imperative to establish and refine partner management roles to match and support the phases of the partner development lifecycle. We identify the lifecycle in five steps: Attract, Engage, Enable, Ramp and Manage. Ideally, organizations shouldn’t be dumping Channel Account Managers in lieu of Partner Development Managers. Instead, these two roles should be working in concert for maximum engagement throughout the partner lifecycle.

Topics: Channel Best Practices

Managing Multiple Channel Models

10.10.17

Finding Organization Among the Chaos

Channel partner programs used to be simple: Resellers were VARs and System Integrators were SI. Each had their own programs with lines that were not crossed. But today we have VARs, MSPs, CSPs, SIs, agents, consultants, solution providers and others that can’t be labeled, and few fit neatly into any particular channel partner program.

Topics: Featured, Channel Best Practices

Deal Registration and Co-Marketing Benchmark Data

09.13.17

Data, data, data! Who doesn’t love data?  No doubt you’d enjoy program benchmarking information as you go into 2018 planning, so here are a few highlights from the 104 vendor respondents in our 2017 State of Partnering.  Surprisingly, more vendor respondents offered co-marketing funds than deal registration.

Topics: Featured, Channel Best Practices

Actionable Insights or Disparate Data

09.07.17

Which does your automation system provide?

Lately there has been a lot of talk about automation. Setting up systems to do things without human intervention has become a popular notion in a number of different areas of IT and beyond. But when it comes to managing channel partner relationships  – how is automation best leveraged?

Topics: Channel Best Practices

What is a Partner Development Manager?

08.31.17

Partner Development Managers think differently than traditional Channel Account Managers. Definitely look at a new hiring profile for this new role – more business savvy, more sales-oriented and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Topics: Channel Best Practices

Do Distributors have a bright future?

07.12.17

The recent news of Synnex’s acquisition of Westcon-Comstor’s American operations, on the heels of Tech Data’s acquisition of Avnet’s Technology Solutions group, has many industry pundits asking about the future of value added distribution. As I mentioned in the Channel Partners article on the merger, there’s an upside and downside for partners regarding Synnex’s acquisition plans.

Topics: Featured, Channel Best Practices