When it comes to increasing your visibility in your organization, it all boils down to setting and meeting realistic expectations. We’re not talking about the HPs of the world, the top 100 channel chiefs who manage huge, well-established channels. We’re looking at best practices for up-and-coming channel leaders who are in the trenches for a mid-market company building a successful channel.
First, Be Very Clear About the Channel’s Impact on Revenue Targets
Moving the needle in a smaller company requires a thorough understanding of how your activities impact results in the channel. Everyone on your team needs to be aligned and:
- Focused on the revenue target
- Tying activities and the results of those activities to the target
That also means communicating to executives what you’re doing and what you think it will produce. Set the expectation and then come back to it post-activity, after measuring it to show that your plan is working. Make sure leaders understand that there are precursors to results, that there will be milestones to the goal that you’ll be tracking.
For example, a partner recruiting campaign isn’t going to produce sales, but it will produce partners that will eventually make sales. Establish and communicate a forecast that X number of partners of a specific profile, recruited within a set time frame should produce X sales volume by X date. Make sure you include your assumptions about planned marketing and enablement activities.
Build Your Plan and Make It Defensible
As you track against your plan, you may not be able to immediately show revenue, but you’ll be able to show progress against a plan that will produce revenue over time.
Channel managers sometimes make the mistake of only presenting all the activities they’ve done, without explaining them in the context of a cohesive plan. They may understand what the revenue needs to be and that it will come, but fail to measure activities and track them against targets in a way that will make it easy for the executive team to see.
One of those activities might be partner recruitment. Let’s say that one month you miss the mark. You need to be able to answer the question, “Why?” for the organization but also to build more accurate future plans. And not only that – you build credibility by showing that you anticipated this may happen, that recruitment could drop off one month if previous months of hitting targets created more partners that needed managing.
Sometimes one of the biggest challenges to presenting your plan and milestones that measure it to the executive team is the shear time and effort that it can take to build the right presentations and reports. It’s critical, but can often feel like a burden. A Partner Relationship Management solution like Channeltivity can help you more easily build your plan, manage your activities, and measure your results in a way that makes building your reports much more efficient.
Key to being visible and relevant is having a very clear plan as to how your programs and its activities translate into results, and communicating it well to the organization. Identify how your activities tie in to revenue targets and make sure that the revenue trajectory is realistic.
The next key is setting an expectation for what’s a feasible time frame. Stay tuned for an upcoming post, where we’ll talk about how to do that.