According to this year’s YouGov(https://www.mensfitness.com/weight-loss/burn-fat-fast/25-surprising-benefits-weight-loss) survey on New Year’s resolutions, the number one response was to lose weight and the second was to exercise more. We all know why we make these annual commitments. We want to look better, live longer and be healthier.
Losing weight and exercising are on most people’s minds throughout the year but changing personal behavior and taking action is elusive. The same is true for channel executives as they assess where they are at the end of the year and prioritize what is needed to a meet their sales goals for the next year. Channel executives know that they need to build commitments with their partners to invest and grow sales for your brand and measure partner achievement of these goals. But saying it versus doing it is a lot like the challenge of losing weight and exercising. It is an excellent idea until it is time to walk away from that delicious bowl of potato chips or take that first step onto the treadmill. Taking the time and making the effort to profile and scorecard your partners, build joint sales targets and action plans and preparing quarterly business reviews (QBRs) across your partner network is infrequently done and typically only with a small percentage of partners. Why? Because it is hard work, inefficient, and hard to measure. The questions that channel executives ask themselves are:
- Is it worth doing?
- What is the value for the partner and/or channel managers?
- Do I have time to create plans and measure performance-to-plan?
- Can I get access to the data I need to complete this task?
- Can I get the rollup reporting to measure channel performance at all levels?
Channel executives, just like most people making New Year’s resolutions, need to be convinced by the “business case” for making the investment and effort in the new behavior.
The “Business Case” for Top New Year’s Resolutions:
- Lose Weight: (Men’s Fitness) The Top 10 Benefits of Losing Weight
- Better sleep
- Better hormonal balance
- Improved sex drive
- Better mood
- Less joint pain
- Clearer / brighter skin
- Stress relief
- More money
- More friends
- Fewer colds
- Exercise More: (Healthline) Top 10 Benefits of More Exercise
- Feel happier
- Help lose weigh
- Stronger muscles and bones
- Increase energy levels
- Reduce risk of chronic disease
- Improve skin health
- Improve brain health and memory
- Improve sleep
- Reduce pain
- Better sex
Most people conclude that these benefits are very attractive and motivating and are worth striving for. Similarly, partner business planning and performance management have an equally attractive set of “business case” benefits for channel executives.
The Business Case for Partner Business Planning: (Successful Channels) Successful Channels is a provider of channel / partner business planning and performance management tools and the results below are based on the outcomes from a range of their clients implementing these planning tools.
- Partner Scorecards: (15-30%+ Capabilities Improvement) Channel teams that define best practice scorecards, assess partner’s performance, and create improvement action plans increase partner capabilities between 15-30%+ on key metrics within the first 12 months of deployment.
- Partner Business Plans & QBRs: (10-25%+ Growth Vs PY) Channel teams that complete 12 to 36-month business plans, profit forecasts, and conduct QBRs (Including perf-to-plan, pipeline-to-target) every quarter achieve these growth levels.
- Partner Account Planning: (10-25% increase in deal registrations) A process of meeting with partner sales executives to identify customers and prospects that represent good cross-sell opportunities for your brand. Channel Managers that regularly conduct “Account Planning” work-sessions with each key partner sales executive achieve this outcome.
If the business case is this strong for doing partner business planning and performance management activities, then why don’t more channel teams do them? Much like losing weight and doing more exercise, you must do the hard work to realize the benefits.
Doing Partner Scorecards, Business Plans and QBRs just got easier!
Historically, partner business planning, scorecarding (profiling), and performance measurement is completed with the help of Excel spreadsheets in a disconnected, non-scalable format with no unified rollup reporting. It is very labor intensive, difficult to manage and not very effective for either channel managers or partners. New cloud-based tools developed by Successful Channels dramatically simplify and streamline these CAM / Partner business processes that can now be completed in minutes vs. hours. Because of deep CRM integration, these tools are automatically fed by actual sales, pipeline and certification data to create up-to-date performance-to-plan reporting instantly for CAMs and partners.
The “progress bar” navigation above will guide a CAM and partner through how to create a scorecard, business plan, action plan and QBR in minutes. Each step is designed to take a CAM or partner by the hand and walk them step-by-step through the process of creating their scorecards and plans. This guided process makes it easy to create a joint plan for achieving partner / vendor goals in minutes. Within each step sample values are provided to the user, much like a multiple-choice question instead of an open-ended question, where it is easier to pick from options for every planning decision that is needed to be made. These tools will turn an average CAM into a high-performance expert channel manager that can spend most of their time providing expert consultative advice to their partners versus the old way where most of their time is allocated to data research and admin tasks to prepare for these partner meetings.
Here are few examples of screenshots from these guided partner business planning and QBR processes below.
Partner Performance Scorecard: This is a section of an instant / real-time partner performance summary for partner performance-to-plan and pipeline-to-target along with other metrics for quick business review.
Partner Capabilities Scorecard: This is a screenshot from a comprehensive partner assessment, scorecard, goal and action planning setting workflow tool to build partner capabilities.
Five Minute Quarterly Business Review PowerPoint Builder: A series of screenshots for how a CAM can build a customized and comprehensive QBR and annotate with their comments in minutes
All the historical reasons for not doing partner scorecards, business plans and QBRs are no longer valid. They are no longer too much work, too hard to gather the data, and based only in disconnected Excel workbooks. With the assistance of cloud apps, partner planning and performance management can be completed in a fraction of the time, as virtually all partners and deliver meaningful value to both partners and CAMs. And all partners are able to deliver 10-25%+ growth vs. prior year and improve their capabilities and pipeline at the same time. There still may be some valid reasons not to lose weight or go to the gym, but there is no longer any valid excuse for not doing scorecards, business plans and QBRs for all your partners.