For a partner program to be successful, it requires powerful channel sales analytics that produces meaningful data and comprehensive reporting for quick and impactful decision-making. Many of us already know this – data could be a catalyst for business growth, but only if you are able to harness it. And here’s the problem: accomplishing this level of data analytics in the channel can be a challenge. Why?
Often, channel analytics visibility is subpar or even harmful to company growth, and this can happen in two ways.
1. Data may be siloed in different systems. Thus, there’s no single source of truth.
When different departments or teams are collecting and analyzing their own data, it becomes difficult to get a comprehensive view of what’s going on. This can lead to decision-making based on inaccurate information.
2. Insufficient governance resulting in incomplete data sets.
Incomplete data sets make it difficult to draw accurate conclusions. This is often due to a lack of standardization around what data should be collected and how it should be structured. In some cases, best practices might have already been set up, but following them can be laborious and time-consuming.
These data issues can lead to reduced ROI, which often leads to Finance labelling the channel and other indirect sales teams as “cost centers” that do not generate sufficient revenue. This is why it’s important to implement good sales channel analytics processes and tools – not only because it makes it easier to show that you’re making an impact, but also because it can help increase revenue.
Here are eight ways channel sales analytics can increase ROI from your channel.
1. Recruit and segment partners better
When used correctly, channel sales analytics can improve the process of identifying and qualifying partners. With access to relevant data, you are able to develop partner profiles, giving you a better view of what kinds of partners are mostly likely to perform well, even without extensive support. At the same time, you also have a clear idea of the kinds of partners that have potential to grow with additional support.
Thus, when you bring in new partners, you can easily segment them into tiers, without having to go through a lengthy onboarding process. And since they are segmented right off the bat, you can also immediately create a customized journey for each new partner that you bring in.
Rather than wasting time training a partner that could hit the ground running, your partner success teams can spend more time assisting a partner who just needs a little more assistance to get their sales engine going.
2. Distribute funds and resources more efficiently
In addition to helping partners better, having data analytics can also help you decide how to distribute your market development funds. The right data allows you to understand which partners are performing well, as well as how they are performing in specific areas. This enables you to make better informed decisions for allocating funds to achieve maximum impact.
For example, your analytics might show that one partner has much higher sales through Google Ads, while another partner has much higher conversion rates through events and meet-ups. Having this bird’s-eye view allows you to allocate funds at a very granular level i.e., you can put your funds into the areas that have the highest impact for each individual partner. This means a higher ROI for you as well.
3. Reward and incentivize high-performing partners
In any business relationship, it’s important to nurture your partners and show them that you value their contributions. This is especially true for tech solutions, where partners play a critical role in promoting and selling your products.
The meaningful data you gain from having channel sales analytics gives you a clear view of whether your partners are meeting sales targets, and how much they are surpassing or missing these targets. This allows you to create more accurate tier thresholds and plan timely incentives for partners that are performing well within the top tier.
At the same time, you can engage with other partners who may not be performing as well as your top-tier partners but have the potential to do better. They may be missing tier targets by just a little – and you can only develop better strategies to motivate them if you can identify them accurately.
Besides showing your partners that you value their efforts and want to help them be successful, you are able to build and strengthen the relationship you have with these partners. Thus, improving the overall partner experience and increasing partner retention.
Find out more: Automate tier requirements and assign qualifying partners accurately with Program Compliance Manager
4. Improve partner location for end consumers
The added benefit of implementing channel sales analytics is that you also have visibility into your end-consumers. This means you can understand their needs better, where they’re located, and what kind of partners may be best suited to them. You are then able to pair them with the right partners, in the right locations.
Find out more: Use Partner Locator to quickly connect prospective customers to qualified channel partners
5. Create better synergy between sales and marketing
Since the channel supports sales and marketing processes, valuable data from the channel can be used to feed better quality leads from marketing into sales. For example, if marketing is generating a lot of leads but sales is having difficulty converting them into customers, this could be an indication that the leads are not high quality. But how would you know how to fix this?
Channel analytics can help to identify the problem and suggest solutions, for example changing the targeting criteria for marketing qualified leads. This means less time wasted on scheduling calls and talking to prospects who aren’t likely to convert.
6. More collaborative and productive business planning
Channel sales analytics helps you enable your partners to develop and optimize their yearly marketing plans. You can use data from the channel to help your partners discover additional insights about their target audience, develop messaging that resonates with them, and choose the right platforms to reach them on.
With a plan in place, it becomes much easier to work with partners on executing marketing campaigns that are likely to succeed. And while a plan can always be adjusted as new data comes in, it’s helpful to have a starting point rather than trying to fly blind.
Find out more: Use Business Planning to develop a collaborative, transparent business plan with partners, then Journey Builder to automate helpful training and required action requests. Using these two features in tandem enables you to facilitate on-going progress from partners according to plans that have been created.
7. Conduct quarterly business reviews
Having quick access to channel sales analytics means being able to review performance data on a more regular and time-efficient basis. This enables you to quickly optimize existing partners who are performing well and assist underperforming partners better.
Having meaningful data that you can access easily allows you to conduct reviews more often – quarterly, instead of waiting to collate the information yearly. You’re also seeing information that’s more current, which means you can make more relevant decisions, faster.
What this means is that you can provide assistance to underperforming partners before they lose engagement in your program. And if you really need to, you have the data you need to eliminate poor performing partners. There’s no need for guessing and you will have a clear way to communicate to partners if or when they ask about their performance.
Find out more: Use Business Planning with Program Compliance Manager to see partners’ rankings based on your set partner segmentation goals.
8. Improve communication
Being able to anticipate the needs of your partners is essential for delivering a great partner experience. After all, no one wants to be constantly chasing down information or waiting on someone else to get back to them. That’s why having the right data can be such an asset.
Great communication can speed up the onboarding process. Since you have a clearer picture of exactly what each partner needs, you can develop the relevant onboarding materials and collateral for them to start selling faster.
When they’re able to see higher sales through your program – because they can start selling and continue to get the information they need to increase sales – they are more likely to be more engaged.
This means higher retention, greater loyalty and better quality in partners – which means higher revenues and better ROI for you.
Find out more: Use News on Demand to deliver 100% personalized news and target newsletters to your partners.
Getting data from your channel should be easy
Accessing and making sense of your partner ecosystem shouldn’t be a cumbersome challenge. Using an agile and powerful partner relationship management (PRM) solution can help you get the data you need to grow.
Impartner PRM is designed to help you manage and make the most of your data so you can drive more sales through better partner relationships. In fact, our users report a 32.3% increase in revenue within one year of using our PRM solution.