It’s time to revamp your MDF program

Updated October 10, 2023
Published in Channel Marketing Strategy, Channel Success

An effective MDF program enhances the bottom lines of your company and your partners (what is MDF?). The best programs are used by the right partners—the right partners might not be your biggest partners—for the best activities. The days of accrual-based MDF programs are over. Companies are shifting spend to focus on the activities that drive revenue and the highest ROI.

When creating or revamping your MDF program start by thinking about the types of activities partners request. Then segment those activity types into 3 categories: Good, Better, Best, with the Best category reserved for the activities that are the most effective at driving ROI. You can then start building an efficient MDF program that will drive results.

Here are 4 things to consider when creating an effective MDF program:

  • Get creative –Your partners might not know what activities will be the most successful and may only be familiar with old school ways of using MDF resources. Take ownership of your program by outlining the activities that your partners will benefit from most. Break them out of their routine and share details of activities that have been shown to work with other partners or your direct sales team. Outline how to execute the activities to better ensure a better MDF program
  • Spell it out – Having a clear and concise MDF program guide will start your partners off in the right direction. Your MDF guide should outline the rules of engagement for the program along with the list of suggested “best” activities. As with other partner content, keep these details in your Partner Portal for easy reference. Creating clear rules upfront for your partners will align them with your goals and provide them MDF ideas that will generate leads and revenue.
  • Forget segmentation – For many programs, MDF is offered as a benefit at only the top partner tiers. Moving to a request based MDF program allowing more vendors the ability to select the activities that are the best use of the spend. Smaller non-traditional partners may have better opportunities to drive effective revenue-generating activities.
  • Automate for ROI – Automation is key to a successful MDF program because it will provide you with the ability to easily manage and approve requests, track proof of performance and manage claims. A PRM with integrated MDF management, such as Channeltivity, provides an easy way to setup and manage your program. Lead Distribution functionality coupled with MDF enables you to track the leads generated from your MDF spend and measure ROI. In addition, requiring partners to provide lead information as part of their proof of performance will give you the ability to track their leads through the sales funnel. Distributing the leads back through your PRM while tracking those leads against a campaign in your CRM will provide you ROI on your spend.

Today’s successful MDF programs are changing so they can continue to drive growth in an evolving tech industry. Take a step back and figure out what activities will drive revenue, coach your partners on those activities, and track them through the sales process with automation.


3 Strategies to Find the Right Channel Partners


Are You Ready for a Channel Program? Channel Reboot?