Let’s say you’re a VP of Sales and Marketing, and your CEO has asked you to come up with a list of your company’s top go-to-market partners within your indirect sales channel. How would you go about it?
You can do it old-school: pick up the phone, set up an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of what you learn, and start filling in the cells. Seems logical, right?
Yes, it probably was logical—in 1998. But in 2012, this approach is time-consuming, labor intensive and unreliable. Not to mention antiquated. One of the many advantages of living in the information age is that we have partner relationship management software, which creates super-easy access to data that empowers better decisions. In five minutes, you can run a report that shows your top-performing partners.
PRM software is not just more efficient—it’s much more accurate. The problem with relying solely on a manager or other human to make a determination about partner performance is gut feeling. Because, unfortunately, sometimes our guts are just wrong. We humans are very impressionable. We’re easily swayed by the shiny object effect.
Someone who’s just closed a big deal will probably be the first partner who comes to mind, but if you look over a longer time period, what do his numbers show? How many new total deals has the partner registered this year? What’s his registered-to-closed ratio? What’s his utilization rate for co-op or marketing development fund (MDF) spending? How long does it take on average for him to close deals?
The other problem with gut feeling is that your CEO probably doesn’t want to hear this is the reason these partners are on your list. Having accurate, reliable data, in real-time, to back-up assertions always improves your credibility and professionalism.
Next time you want to know how your partners are performing, check your PRM program first. You will be able to get the data you need to make the right decision and put together a compelling, stand-out report in just a few minutes.