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.
First, 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.
Second, insufficient governance results 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 labeling 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 using analytics
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 most 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 the 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 using data
Utilizing data analytics can also help you decide how to distribute your Market Development Funds (MDF). The right data allows you to understand which partners are performing well and top performing 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. The return? Higher ROI.
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. Connects prospective customers to qualified channel partners
The added benefit of implementing channel sales analytics is that you also have visibility into your end consumers. This enables you to understand their needs better, identify where they’re located, and select what kind of partners may be best matched with them.
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 are having difficulty converting them into customers, this could be an indication that the leads are not high quality.
Channel analytics can help to identify the problem and suggest solutions. For example, changing the targeting criteria for marketing qualified leads could mean 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. Use data from the channel to help your partners discover additional insights about their target audience, develop messaging that resonates with them, and reach them on the right platforms.
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.
7. Conduct Quarterly Business Reviews (QBR)
Having quick access to channel sales analytics means being able to review performance data on a more consistent basis. Instead of waiting to collate the information yearly, this enables you to conduct business reviews quarterly. You’re also seeing information that’s more up-to-date, which means you can make more relevant decisions, faster.
There’s no need for guessing and you will have a clear way to communicate with partners if or when they ask about their performance.
Find out more: Use Program Compliance Manager to see partners’ rankings based on your set partner segmentation goals.
8. Improve partner communication
Anticipating the needs of your partners is essential for delivering a great partner experience. After all, no one wants to be constantly chasing down info or waiting on someone else to get back to them. Which is 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 info they need to increase sales, they are more likely to be engaged. This means higher retention, greater loyalty, and better quality in partners – which in turn means higher revenues and better ROI.
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.
Learn more about how the Impartner PRM solution can help get your channel ecosystem scale ready. Request a demo.