Channel Performance – How to Measure it in a Data-Driven Way

[fa icon="calendar"] Apr 26, 2017 9:50:00 AM / by Chris Becwar

Chris Becwar

Everything around the world continues to be increasingly data-driven. So why should your channel partner program be any different?

Selling through channel partners can help a business rapidly scale and reach revenue goals that continue to grow. Channel managers have so much to manage in the partner relationship and traditionally had to make decisions with very little data. Channel managers are responsible for the measurement of partner revenue, engagement, profitability, and ROI. They need to be flexible to manage these moving parts. Luckily, the abundance of data and tools for utilizing this data can help channel managers make educated business decisions.

Too Much Data?

However, this abundance of data can also be harmful if channel managers are not trained on how to use it. Of course, bottom-line metrics such as profitability and revenue are the most important things to optimize, but channel managers have all kinds of other things they need to consider. Engagement, portfolio depth, number of leads, ability to find new partners, upselling, and partner satisfaction levels must also be monitored by channel managers. According to research from March Insight, only 25% of channel managers are tracking both portfolio depth and number of partner-generated leads. This means that three quarters of channel managers don’t know whether the portfolio depth effects the number of leads they have. Additionally, 1 in 4 channel managers don’t track partner revenue at all! Webinfinity can help channel managers organize their partner programs and optimize performance by helping channel managers find smart, data-driven solutions.

Why Effective Channel Management Is Important

A well-operated partner channel can empower a company to operate far beyond the reach of its own sales team. Channel managers can effectively manage hundreds of individuals. That way, even a small change in the effectiveness of your channel management can have significant impacts on the revenue of the entire company. However, many of the current systems and resources out there are leaving channel managers unsatisfied. Measuring channel partner engagement, productivity, revenue, etc. is the most commonly shared responsibility of channel managers, but only one in four managers are very satisfied with the resources provided to facilitate that measurement.

PRM’s Impact

Channel managers that use PRM are more satisfied with the resources provided to them for tracking of business metrics than those that do not use PRM. Channel managers that do not use a PRM were not satisfied with the resources provided to them to conduct training. Additionally, channel managers who use PRM systems are more satisfied with the resources they have to measure partner engagement, productivity, revenue, etc. So, it’s clear that PRM helps channel managers. But why is it that, even with PRM, many managers are still not satisfied? Even with their flaws, PRM systems help managers keep track of their measurements more consistently. From the March Insight research, channel managers that don’t use PRM typically check only one metric on a weekly basis, and rarely check more than one. This is due to the amount of work and time that goes into monitoring all this data. Channel managers simply can’t afford to spend so much time navigating through data.

In Conclusion

That’s why building a great partner experience is so important to us at Webinfinity. It’s not just about PRM, it’s about the experience. We offer a portal that is both easy-to-use and deeply data-driven. This way, you can spend time looking at the metrics that matter and making smart, agile business decisions. Miniscule changes in a channel manager’s efficiency can have lasting effects on a business’ revenue and profitability. Contact Webinfinity today to help your channel managers stay as organized and effective as possible.

Topics: PRM, Partner Portals, Channel

Chris Becwar

Written by Chris Becwar

Chris is a Channel and Marketing veteran with expertise in SaaS platforms & indirect routes to market, advising top channel programs on strategy & trends.