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How to Create a Partner Scorecard: Your Complete Guide

Are you ready to take your partner management to the next level? A partner scorecard can be your secret weapon for developing deeper relationships with your partners that drives real revenue. I've seen how partner scorecards can become a shared source of truth between partnership managers and the global network of partners they collaborate with, equipping both with the language and framework they need to grow.  

This post covers multiple aspects of crafting an effective partner scorecard, including tips for templates, best practices, and metrics to measure. Let's get started.

👉 What you’ll find:   

What is a partner scorecard?  

A partner scorecard is a visual representation that helps you measure and evaluate the performance of your partners. With the right scorecard, you can track progress with your partners, mutually set goals together, and inspire the types of behaviours that drive revenue.  

Not only can you create scorecards tailored to each individual partner, but you can also develop a macro-level scorecard that examines your partner programs on a broader scale. This program-wide scorecard enables you to compare performance across different regions, industries, or types of partners, providing valuable insights into the effectiveness of your overall partner ecosystem.  

I typically break it down into a few core components:  

  • Performance metrics: From sales revenue to customer satisfaction to partner engagement, each metric offers valuable insights into the effectiveness of each partnership and your partner program. 
  • Weightage allocation: Within your team, you'll define strategic weights to each metric to ensures that each one receives the appropriate level of attention, reflecting its impact on overall performance. 
  • Evaluation criteria: By establishing clear guidelines for evaluating performance, you create a standardized and fair framework for your ecosystem.  
  • Personalized flexibility: Modern partner ecosystems encompass far more than just resellers. Create flexible scorecards that can be personalized for both transactional and non-transactional partners.  

Together, these components form the backbone of your partner scorecard, providing a holistic view of partner performance and guiding your data-driven partner behaviours.  

Common channel partner scorecard metrics to track  

Many businesses begin by building a list of partner scorecard metrics they want to measure over time. These KPIs are an important part of building a data-driven partner ecosystem, but they'll vary widely depending on your business model, customers served, size of your business, industry, and more.  

Work with your team to build a list of metrics that make sense for you, and then run them past your partners too! They'll have good insights into what's missing or may not be as relevant for them.  

You can check out our full list of partner metrics here, but common partner scorecard metrics include:  

  • Overall sales revenue  
  • Customer retention and renewal rates 
  • Average deal size  
  • Training and certification completion rates 
  • Lead generation rates  
  • Lead conversion rates 
  • Support response times  
  • Net promoter score (NPS) 
  • ROI on MDF and co-op funds 
  • Customer acquisition rates  
  • Deal quality  
  • Portal engagement  
  • Overall profitability   

Tracking these channel partner scorecard metrics will enable you to gain valuable insights into partner performance, identify areas for improvement, identify behaviours that lead to greater revenue, and foster stronger, more productive partnerships. 

How to create a partner scorecard: 8 best practices  

Building an effective channel partner scorecard requires careful planning and consideration. Here's how you can design a comprehensive scorecard that drives success with your partners as part of your larger partner business planning and tiering processes.  

1. Identify relevant partner scorecard metrics 

As noted, you'll want to start by identifying the metrics that will serve as the foundation upon which you'll measure success.  

Using a partner relationship management (PRM) like Impartner can streamline this process by providing access to a wide range of predefined metrics and templates that you can tailor to your specific needs. With a PRM, you can also build real-time scorecards that you, your partners, and your other internal teams can access.  

2. Establish benchmark standards for each metric 

It's crucial to establish benchmark standards or performance benchmarks for each metric. These benchmarks serve as reference points against which partner performance can be measured and compared. Consider industry standards, historical performance data, and success metrics for each partner type when setting these standards. 

For instance, the average customer retention score for similar businesses in your vertical may be 75%. For non-transactional partners, you could set a benchmark standard of 80% to ensure you're only working with top-performing partners. This provides a clear performance target and could easily help you identify partners that are unengaged or need better support.  

3. Define clear goals and objectives 

You don't want to use these scorecards as a vanity tool; they're meant to drive partner behaviours that are proven to lead to more revenue and overall success.  

To accomplish this, establish clear, actionable goals and objectives for each metric. Utilize the SMART criteria—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound—to ensure that your goals are meaningful and attainable. This not only provides clarity and direction for your partners but also aligns their efforts with your overall ecosystem objectives. 

For example, instead of setting a vague goal like "increase sales," your goal for resellers may be to "increase quarterly sales revenue by 15% compared to the previous quarter by implementing targeted marketing campaigns and expanding into new market segments." 

4. Integrate the scorecard into your existing partner tech stack 

Your partner scorecards should live within with your existing partner portal and partner management workflows. Ensure that real-time, bidirectional data is reflected in your scorecards.  

Partner management platforms like Impartner offer robust integration capabilities, allowing you to seamlessly build and connect your scorecards within your existing partner processes. With pre-built integrations, you can automate data synchronization, streamline workflows, and ensure data accuracy across your partner ecosystem.  

5. Get your partners involved in the process  

Engage your partners early in the process to foster collaboration and buy-in. Share the objectives and benefits of your scorecard system. Get their input on metrics and benchmarks that are meaningful to them. 

By involving partners in development, you not only demonstrate transparency and trust but also ensure that the metrics you choose accurately align with their goals. This collaborative approach can further foster a sense of ownership and commitment among your partners, increasing their engagement with the scorecards. 

6. Offer training on your new partner scorecards  

Offer training sessions to familiarize your partners with the scorecard's components, metrics, and how to interpret their data. Provide access to additional resources such as guides, tutorials, and FAQs directly with your partner management platform.  

From on-demand training videos to knowledge bases, partners should be able to easily access the information they need to make the most of the scorecard system and understand why it's not only beneficial for your business but also theirs.  

7. Create regular review cycles to share feedback  

Establish a cadence for reviewing partner performance against the scorecard. Regular check-ins with your partners allow you to track progress, identify trends, and address any issues promptly. Provide constructive feedback to your partners based on their scorecard performance.  

And don't forget to celebrate successes as well! You can do this within your portal or even on your social media accounts.  

8. Use data to drive future improvements  

Treat your partner scorecards as a living process that evolves over time. Continuously evaluate their effectiveness, solicit feedback from partners, and refine them as needed to improve.  

Also, base larger strategic decisions for your ecosystem on the insights you glean from your scorecard data. Whether it's allocating resources, adjusting strategies, nurturing high-performing partners, or letting under-performing partners go, let the data guide your actions. 

By following these steps and best practices, you can create a partner scorecard that serves as a cornerstone for your partner management strategy.  

What to include in your partner scorecard template  

Ready to get started? The best partner management platforms, like Impartner, have scorecard templates and tools already built into them. If you're building from scratch, your partner scorecard template should contain a few essential components.  

  • Partner information: Capture basic information about the partner, including their name, ID or code, contact information, and location.  
  • Performance metrics: Define the key metrics that align with your ecosystem goals that you'll measure for each partner or type of partner. Assign weights to each metric to reflect its relative importance in their overall score.  
  • Specific goals: Set specific, measurable goals for each performance metric. These targets should be challenging yet achievable. 
  • Performance stats and notes: Record the actual performance data for each metric for each partner, either as absolute values or percentage achievements. Don't forget to leave space for comments to capture qualitative insights about partner performance. This can include feedback from partner meetings, sales reviews, customer interactions, or other relevant sources.  
  • Overall score: Calculate an overall score or performance rating based on the weighted average of individual metrics to simplify comparative analysis across partners or partner groups.  

Want to uplevel from a basic partner scorecard? Include a section that tracks performance trends over time. This allows you to identify patterns, trends, and performance trajectories. 

How scorecards can help you build an ROI-validated program  

For today's partner leaders, there's unprecedented pressure to demonstrate ROI in your ecosystem and securing funding remains a challenge for many.  

You can do more with data. By incorporating these best practices into your partner scorecard strategy, you can create a comprehensive tool for measuring, evaluating, and optimizing performance in your partner ecosystem. You'll be able to bring exact numbers, trends, and projections on how your program efforts are leading to demonstrable ROI for your business. Do that well and you'll instil confidence in your executive team and unlock future investments.   

Want to see what a real-time, industry-leading partner scorecard looks like? Set up a demo with the Impartner team today to learn how you can build an automated and seamlessly-integrated scorecard for your partners!  

This post was developed in collaboration with Jet Tomlinson, Director of Solutions Engineering at Impartner.  

About the Author

Ben Taunton is a Senior Sales Engineer at Impartner. Ben is an experienced channel consultant with strong sales, marketing, research, and insights skills. He’s passionate about finding solutions to solve market problems and helping support businesses to succeed. With over 17 years’ experience in corporate leadership, strategy building, technology, and corporate innovation, Ben is driven and passionate about software solutions, client service, and delivering the best results for his customers. Ben is focused on business goals and providing best practices on using our robust channel products, services, and solutions to solve global technology's business challenges.

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