The following blog was written by guest author Kellie Auman.
A new year brings a fresh start and often a re-focused approach to new challenges or ones that were faced before. In this case, the challenge we are referring to is channel partner performance. When it comes to your channel partners, there is no better time than now to take on a new perspective and improve your relationships by applying a practical and proven approach.
Recently, we hosted an online seminar Got the 80/20 Rule Blues in Your Sales Channel? Find the Cure with New Techniques and Technology, part of our Channel Profit Center Series, with MarketSource, a LogicBay partner that provides a proven alternative to traditional outsourced channel sales.
The seminar touched on a variety of topics such as:
- Trends in today’s sales channels
- How to define the process and improve your sales channel
- How to leverage technology in your sales channel
- Best practices and tools that will help the success of your sales channel
With an eye toward partner recruitment and onboarding, training, and enabling, we have put together a list of key considerations from the seminar—we hope these thoughts will help spur an innovative approach to partner management in the new year!
1. Assess B2B buying behavior.
Before taking the initial steps to assess your partner management strategy, consider the metrics listed below to help paint the picture of how B2B buying behavior has changed:
- 80 percent of channel sales typically come from only 20 percent of channel partners.
- 71 percent of sales processes start with a generic internet search.
- 90 percent of buyers do their own research before engaging with a company’s sales team.
- 74 percent of buyers buy from the company that adds value first.
2. Look around. Are things as they should be?
It’s important to take a close look at your partner program and assess your list of partners and how they represent your brand. To do this, we encourage the use of scoring metrics to better qualify and segment your partner list. By segmenting your partners, this helps to determine a sales strategy, establish expectations, and define goals for growth.
It’s imperative to consider partner needs, successes, challenges, and performance in this process. When encountering partners who are under-performing, reflect why and work to prepare and re-energize them for a fresh start! (Key scoring metrics include: partner revenue, pipeline value, number of engaged and trained employees, and current share with product category.)
3. Leverage technology.
A lot goes into evaluating your partner performance, measuring their sales activity, and gauging future goals and milestones. To implement a seamless plan, you need access to accurate data and a platform that is easy to use. An example: Companies like ours (LogicBay) can assist in keeping track of partner performance by providing one integrated and secure system of record. Our ChannelStack™ framework combines best-of-breed technologies, is configurable to meet the needs of each customer, and provides a window into partner activity from afar.
4. Apply the best practices and start on a path to success!
It’s extremely difficult to get accurate and reliable results from one tool, but an innate and insightful toolkit will position you to improve your partner performance more quickly and easily. An intuitive system of record will help you to recruit and acquire the right partners, capitalize on leads, and establish measurable indicators that will drive positive results.
Channel partners are more than just a route to market or sales channel. Understanding the broader landscape and correlations to channel partner behaviors are critical to maximizing channel relationships, which in turn boost revenue and market share. Let MarketSource help. Learn about our assessment process or contact us now to get started. And to learn more about LogicBay, click here.