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The Levels of Partner MAturity

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We have classified five stages of partnering maturity – each stage producing more impact to the organization and generating more awareness. Companies at each phase have similar organizational characteristics such as executive level of commitment, revenue driven by partners, resources dedicated to partnering. They also tend to be facing similar pain points in their partnering efforts. We’ve identified several partnering initiatives that propel an organization into the next stage of maturity. Who are you? How do you grow?

Not sure where you fit on the path of Partner Maturity? Take the Partner Impact Quiz.

 

Partner Maturity Level

Traits

Challenges

Growth Initiatives

Novice

  • Less than 10% of revenues driven through partners
  • Limited executive commitment
  • No channel executive
  • Need to grow topline revenues faster
  • Limited market validation and product adoption
  • Facing big competition
  • Internally limited agreement on the value of partners
  • Develop a route-to-market model
  • Implement the channel plan and budget
  • Design a partner program framework
  • Build a communications plan
  • Launch a basic partner portal

Tolerant

  • 10 to 30% of revenues driven through partners
  • Divergent executive commitment
  • No dedicated channel executive
  • Limited resources to grow market share
  • Engaging and empowering partners
  • Growing channel conflict
  • Unclear partner performance expectations
  • Coverage and capacity plan
  • Partner engagement model
  • Industry benchmark to foster next-generation program framework
  • Expand portal to streamline on-boarding and deal registrations
  • Implement partner solution directory

Reliant

  • 30 - 50% of revenues driven through partners
  • Divergent executive expectations
  • Regional channel executive
  • Experiencing channel conflict
  • Unclear on ROI channel spend
  • Confusing program and communications
  • Limited engagement in distribution
  • Segment and align partner ecosystem
  • Unify and simplify global program
  • Refine field engagement processes
  • Build a partner dashboard for measurement
  • Automate partner marketing and training processes

Accomplished

  • 50 - 80% of revenues driven through partners
  • Aligned executive commitment
  • Strong channel chief
  • Misaligned channel coverage
  • M&A activity is creating a broad line card
  • Waning partner profitability and satisfaction
  • Disparate partner management systems
  • Evaluate coverage and capacity to ensure desired ROI
  • Design a specific services channel program
  • Analyze partner profitability
  • Create a plan to streamline communications
  • Develop a partner-to-partner model
  • Automate the partner scorecard and business planning processes

Centric

  • 80% of revenues driven through partners
  • Sustained executive commitment
  • Strong, senior global channel chief
  • Experiencing intra-channel conflict
  • Defending channel spending budget
  • Complex programs processes and communications
  • Program legality and compliance
  • Assess an optimized channel spend and cost-to-serve models
  • Benchmark industry programs and assess innovative options
  • Enhanced use of doing business processes
  • Assess processes to ensure program compliance and train teams
  • Integrate portals and automation systems (field, partner, functionality)
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