Companies that effectively log data around meaningful metrics from the start begin to detect trends that can inform better partner selection.
But what are those metrics?
Well, that depends on your company, your product and the channel partners you’re hiring. Errors come into the equation when vendors just let a relationship evolve without any forethought or consideration about strategy – who they’re going after as customers and what kind of channel partners are most likely to be able to reach and serve those customers.
Instead, vendors make the mistake of going out and talking to potential reseller partners with only their sales model: what are the revenue shares going to be? How do we build a program that’s enticing to the partner? How are we going to incentivize our partner to sell? How are we going to remain top of mind to the partner? It’s all centered around getting the attention of the partner.
Instead, Look at Getting the Attention of the Right Channel Partners
The better place to start is by building a profile of what a really great salesperson looks like. What previous experience do they have? What kind of deals have they sold? You build attributes that support hiring profiles and job descriptions and you need to translate that same thing into partners.
By collecting those attributes and data points about what kind of animal this ideal sales person is, you’re building something that’s replicable. You’re going to attract people that are similar, measure how they perform against each other, and that’s how you begin to establish meaningful metrics.
Tying Attributes to Sales Performance
Those metrics will be meaningful because you’re comparing similar things. If your salesforce were all hired based on the same attributes, for argument’s sake, we can say they’re going to be 80% similar, but that other 20% is where you have some variability, some uniqueness. And what’s critical is that uniqueness will show itself in varying levels of performance. Now you can begin to fine tune which attributes lead to the kind of sales you want.
But if you start out with 16 different-looking animals, and there’s really no foundational base of what’s the same about them, you’re trying to measure performance, but really all you have is randomness. You don’t have something that helps you manage performance.
The dynamic is similar for the partner organizations you choose to work with. In my next post, The Real Secret to Scaling: Meaningful Metrics, Part 2, I’ll talk more about meaningful metrics and how they apply to partner KPIs.