How to Define Success for your Partner Marketing Program
You’ve gone through the trials and tribulations of getting a partner marketing program approved internally and maybe you’ve even launched with your first roster of partners. Congratulations, that’s no easy feat!
How do you ensure your program is successful though and how will you know? What factors impact the success of your program the most?
The short answer is that the specifics are different for everyone and each organization and industry will attract various types of partners and bring a diverse range of products to market through their partner channels. It’s very difficult to provide a benchmark for unilateral success when it comes to partner marketing.
With that said, it is also very clear what factors organizations should be paying most attention to as well as the types of success indicators for each.
In this post we’ll cover the three most important components of a partner marketing program - people, strategy and support, so you can decide for yourself how to measure and define success for your partner marketing program.
If you're new to partner marketing, or just in the building stages, take a peak at our post 5 Steps to Preparing for Your First Partner Marketing Program. The types of partners you attract and the relationships you have with those partners is critical to the success of your program. Creating clear KPIs and success metrics related to the people involved in your program is one way to define its success.
A few things to think about related to the people involved in your partner marketing channel:
- Will your partners start out as clients only, or employees and known brand advocates too?
- What level of partner experience and previous industry focus are you aiming to attract to your program?
- Is there a clear criteria for partner selection (competence, location, size) and how are you tracking?
- For more junior partners, what types of mentoring resources will you provide to help them ramp up?
- How are you building rapport with your partners that is based on honesty and trust?
- Are you empowering your partners to take ownership over their channel?
Partners perform best when there are specific goals and benefits they can expect and plan for. Think about the types of outcomes you want from your partners and the value your organization can provide to help promote that behaviour.
When thinking about your partner marketing strategy, there are a few things to consider:
- Are you making your partners feel like a priority and a remote worker for your organization?
- Is there clear accountability set up with your partners that includes a mapping of activities required for them to be successful?
- Have you created a win/win environment for both your partners and organization? You want your partners to be able to get more visibility and business growth through your program.
Partner programs are excellent at creating new channels to augment sales teams, broaden reach and generate extra revenue sources. In order to successfully take advantage of this opportunity though, you need to allocate the appropriate resources.
A few things to consider when tracking the level and type of support offered in your partner marketing program:
- Have you created a schedule for partner feedback and reviews? What does your scorecard look like?
- Are you making the most of your assets folder for knowledge sharing? How are existing sales collateral and training materials performing?
- How are you facilitating proactive communication (both internally and partner-to-partner)?
- Have you and your partners created a co-marketing plan?
Businesses that do not fully embrace the people, strategy and support of their partner program will be limited in their potential for success. It’s important to consider all three when defining the success of your partner marketing program.