How Partner Performance will help you identify strong partners – and what that means for your business.
Glad to have you here for our second in a three-part series on Building your Channel Intelligence program. We’re discussing how to apply the three pillars of Channel Intelligence to your channel program. This will help you increase end-user demand, uncover scalable, predictable revenue growth, and strengthen your partnerships.
If you haven’t read part 1: Boost demand gen through campaign collaboration yet, head over there now!
In this article, we’ll be zooming in on Partner Performance. Because Channel Intelligence revolves around partners. How to activate them, how to really listen to them, keep them happy, and ultimately, close the engagement gap.
We see our customers come to us with different requests about partners. In the case of Microsoft Surface, it’s about activating as many unmanaged partners as possible in order to spread the word. Other customers may want more insights into how their partners are performing, who is the most active, and who are true brand ambassadors. In any case, you want to spend your channel marketing dollars boosting your top performers. The great thing about Channel Intelligence is that you can use it to track and measure each of these things. Here’s how.
Inform your next decision based on connection scores
Managed vs. unmanaged partners
In traditional channel marketing, you have your managed and your unmanaged partners. Managed partners get the biggest budgets, regular attention, and are first to know when there is a new product launch or feature update. You probably have a few handfuls of managed partners. You trust that they make use of the marketing materials you provide for them through your partner portal. But consider how you are measuring that outside of orders.
Unmanaged partners are where things get a little more complicated. There can be thousands of partners selling your products, which is why they are often accounted for by distributors. Keeping these partners active and interested is a full-time job for account managers. And even then, there is no way to reach them all individually.
Understand how connected your partners really are
This is where the Connection Score comes in. Based on an easy-to-understand traffic light system, the Channel Intelligence platform offers you a complete overview of all partners and how connected they are.
What makes up the connection score? Most importantly, connected socials. Because automated social selling doesn’t work without the social. Our customers typically run lead-gen campaigns, so end-users need somewhere to land after they click social links. Installing a widget activates a co-branded landing page on a partner website. Making the widget the second most important part of the score. Bonus points can be earned to reach a perfect 100.
Forget vanity metrics
Why do we show these scores? Because we believe you can go beyond basing data on vanity metrics such as portal logins, asset downloads, and certificates. Connection scores give you the tools to make informed decisions about who gets your attention – and you don’t need to be a data analyst to understand them.
Now it’s important to think about what actions to take. Do you want to give partners that are not fully onboarded an extra nudge, or would you rather make room for a new, more enthusiastic party? And what to do with partners that score 100? Is there a rewards system in place? Do they get exclusive campaigns? How is their loyalty rewarded?
Self-improvement based on NPS feedback
What exactly is an NPS Score?
You’ve no doubt heard of the Net Promoter Score (NPS), maybe you’ve even filled in an NPS survey or two yourself. But have you ever considered asking your partners? This mighty metric is based on a simple question: “How likely are you to recommend this business to a friend or colleague?” This question measures customer satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10. Based on their response, partners are classified as a promoter, passive, or detractor.
How is the NPS calculated?
As you can see in the image, the NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. A positive score is anything above 0. So, say that 70% of your partners are promoters (scoring you with a 9 or 10) and 11% are detractors (scoring anywhere from a 1 to a 6), your NPS is 70 – 11 = 59 (positive). But if we turn that around with 11% promoters – 70% detractors = -59 (negative).
We’ll go deeper into what makes a good NPS and when you need improvement another time!
How will NPS-scoring help you?
Each month your channel partners are invited to take part in an NPS survey about your brand. We even give them the option to do this anonymously. Remember those bonus points to reach a perfect 100 connection score? Each survey counts towards it!
Based on your monthly NPS review from your partners you can reach out to get more feedback from detractors, to see how to turn them into promoters. It’s important to keep your partners happy, so involve them in the process.
Find your true promoters thanks to activity scores
Actions speak louder than words
If the connection score focuses on how your partners are connected, the activity scores focus on what they do with those connections. In short, who are your true ambassadors? We base the activity scores on how much partners are interacting with your campaigns. Do they regularly login to the Channel Intelligence platform, do they give feedback, edit social posts, participate in campaigns? All these and more are calculated to create an activity score.
Who will take the poll position?
There’s nothing like a little rivalry to really boost participation. That’s why we’ve built some gamification into our platform. The higher the score, the higher your partners are placed on the leaderboard, with the most-active partner shown, because who doesn’t want to shine like Max Verstappen?
Identify your strongest players
Ok, but what does this show you? The combination of connection score and activity score is a great way to identify which partners are doing well, and which partners need a little more attention. Consider giving your best-performing partners extra opportunities such as LinkedIn advertising. It’s a sure-fire way to increase your brand preference. And for your partners who aren’t doing so well? It’s a great basis to start the conversation. Why are they not connected, are the campaigns not resonating with them, do they simply need some help getting set up?
Are partners connected and active? What a great proposition to engage new partners!
Our third part of this series will discuss Market Insights and how they will help you get industry benchmarks, social network insights, and access to end-user insights.