Channel chiefs face many challenges as their corporation grows, especially when it comes to driving revenue and new product initiatives through channel management. Often companies focus on a single metric (revenue) as a measurement of success. However, as companies grow, revenue is only one of many variables that contribute to short term and long term success.
In order to navigate around the complexities of a growing organization, it’s essential that channel chiefs create a strategic process that maps channel execution to strategic initiatives and goals. Following these 4 key steps will help ensure that partners can help you meet your revenue goals:
- Develop a channel revenue plan
- Implement channel capacity and capabilities model
- Drive partner business planning to manage partners execution and focus
- Track and ensure execution through balance score card
By developing an end-to-end process to land corporate initiatives into the channel, partners will be able to contribute directly to the company’s goals and execution targets.
Develop a channel revenue plan
There are two plans that have to be identified to have an efficient and effective channel operation. First, identify corporate global revenue goals. This will be the basis for development of an effective partner planning process. As a channel chief, it is your objective to land corporate revenue plan in your channels.
Second, you have to start looking at how you will achieve your goals through global and geographic specific initiatives. Understanding exactly how you plan to engage partners in your revenue efforts is key to ensuring they’re properly enabled to execute in their region.
As part of this process, it is essential to set targets that can then be used as part of partner business planning and to set quotas. This is not left solely to the financial team. Planning how to deploy revenue is partially based on partners’ skills and capabilities, and the volume of partners in your various geographies.
Implement channel coverage and capacity model
You need to develop tools that allow you to align your execution strategies to your territory’s. This is typically a combination of partner capacity tools and partner profiling for capabilities and commitment.
Partner capacity tools that focus on reach (number of partners), frequency (how often they transact) and yield (size of the transactions) allow you to develop the correct balance between partner practice development or recruitment, joint MDF marketing and advance cross-sell and upsell enablement to ensure retirement of the revenue through the appropriate partners with the appropriate skills and capabilities.
By aligning the output of decisions made in the capacity phase of territory planning to the profile of your partners you can develop the list of partner that are managed and align your coverage model for a targeted partner business planning exercise.
Drive joint partner business planning
After defining corporate revenue goals and assessing partners’ coverage and capabilities, it’s key to utilize the joint partner business planning process to align with each partner to ensure they’re able to drive sales accordingly.
When planning with partners, there are 3 main areas that have to be addressed:
- Partner revenue. Allocate the revenue to each of your partners you’re planning to do business with. Basically, you’re going to retire your quota through your partners and you need to know ahead of time which partners you’re going to market with to decide how much revenue or growth you’re asking them to drive.
- It is up to you to ensure your partners are capable of selling and maintaining a product or service they have revenue goals against. Providing enablement training improves and supports partner selling capabilities. Enablement plan should focus on the key initiatives you’re trying to drive.
- Partner marketing. The development of a joint marketing plan led by MDF that drives leads and opportunity development in alignment to the overall strategic plan.
By driving agreement with partners through joint partner business planning on revenue goals you will now have line of site on how to retire your revenue commitment through a global channel.
Track progress through a balance scorecard
To ensure execution alignment to revenue targets and key corporate initiatives it’s essential to develop a scorecard approach that ensures not only tracks the revenue aspects of your plans but also go to market initiatives that drive the long-term strategic growth of the company. The score card should be based on the commitments landed during business planning with partners and rolled up geographically with half-yearly or yearly targets. Targets should focus on revenue and execution metrics. Execution metrics should include enablement, opportunity development goals and other key sales and marketing activities that will drive core and future growth products.
Additionally, a business review process should be put in place to review quarterly progress and address areas for improvement. Assessing best practices geographically can help you identify trends that can then be deployed globally.
By connecting the strategic business planning to your partner channel you will be able to begin to track the efficacy of your channel strategies and begin validating the channel contribution to executive staff.
Learn more about cascading corporate initiatives and revenue plans through your channel by chatting with one of our channel experts.