By Brian Anderson, Associate Editor
In today’s marketplace, channel managers have to adapt to shrinking budgets and aggressive revenue goals by ensuring their companies are receiving maximum ROI from their partner programs. But many vendors in the channel still are not sure whether or not they are effectively measuring the worth of their partners.
In a webinar, titled: Key Partner Scorecarding Practices for Channel Success, executives from CCI and PartnerPath discussed the art of partner scorecarding and shared the best metrics to use while analyzing partner performance.
“Whether it is quarterly business reviews with our existing clients, or in conversations with future prospects, almost all of the conversations at some point turn to scorecarding because everyone is trying to get the most out of their spending,” said Steven Kellam, VP of Sales and Marketing at CCI, in the webinar. “Even during discussions regarding partner enablement and lead generation, scorecarding always comes into the conversation.”
The main objective of partner scorecarding is to assess partner programs and/or potential partner programs in order to prove the investment is worthwhile. With that in mind, vendors also need to ensure that they are partnered up with the right companies in order to reach maximum ROI.
“In today’s market, every dollar counts,” Kellam explained. “Every dollar and everything you are doing has to have measurable return. When it comes to seeing whether or not you are spending your funds wisely, so much of it comes down to how you are identifying and measuring these partners.”
Kellam also discussed the growing trend of vendors switching from co-op programs to marketing and/or business development funds (MDF/BDF) in order to reward partners for their growth. Rewarding growth is an effective incentive for partners to return as much investment as possible.
According to Diane Krakora, CEO of PartnerPath, there are several factors that need to be considered when constructing a game plan for partner scorecarding.
“When we begin scorecarding, we are either looking at measuring partner performance, or the potential of the partner,” Krakora said. “The first question you should ask yourself when setting up your scorecard is: What is the plan and what is the overall goal?”
Krakora also shared several business objectives and goals vendors must consider while analyzing potential partners. For example, cloud adoption and customer segmentation can show early signs of whether or not a partnership will be of everyone’s best interest.
In the final segment of the webinar, the presenters held a roundtable discussion regarding what CCI and PartnerPath consider the best metrics for partner scorecarding. They placed each metric on a matrix, which displays their accessibility and value towards obtaining reliable data.
Some of the top scorecarding metrics included:
According to Peter Hornberger, Business Development Associate at CCI, most companies that are in the early stages of scorecarding current or potential partners will not be able to use each metric mentioned. This is completely acceptable since all of these metrics are not required in order to make an assessment of partner performance, he explained. In the end, vendors will have a better understanding of how to analyze partners, while also learning new ways to prove your partnerships are valuable to the overall business.
Click here to access an on-demand version of the webinar.