If you're having partners self-profile, won't they always really stack the deck and exaggerate their capabilities? How would you recommend people address that?
Let's be real. Partners are going to paint a picture that's better than reality, but it’s possible to keep them honest. It's actually the channel account manager (CAM) who will do this by comparing the self-assessments against actual results.
Keeping partners in check is not a challenge for top tier partners because you know them better and general account managers are managing them. CAMs will always have the opportunity to audit the partner, if you will, and make sure that the profile is accurate.
The challenge comes when dealing with unmanaged partners and prospective partners. Let’s first take a look at unmanaged partners. Even though you might not have extensive, first-hand knowledge of these partners you do have performance records, you still know more about their certifications, you know about how they perform, you can do an RFM analysis, which would be a great benchmark to say, "Okay, this is where this partner should be based on their performance." You can also do some web checking. For example, you can go to a partner's website and say, "Okay, do they really have the certifications that they claim to have?" If they do, they would most likely demonstrate that on their website.
When it comes to prospective partners, you don't have revenue performance, obviously, but you can do a number of things. Once they self-profile, you can do an audit check and ask some questions, just to make sure that what they're feeding back to you sounds like it's a real situation. Another effort you might want to make is to do web checking. Go back to the websites and make sure that the information on the website does not contradict the way they've self-profiled, for example, with regard to certifications. You can use your internal staff or your outbound staff to do some of that checking and auditing. I would always recommend doing some verification, audits, and spot checks.
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Perks WW Channel provides services and software to help you engage your B2B and indirect channel partners to improve sales effectiveness. With a listing on the Salesforce AppExchange and a global user base exceeding 9.25 million users, Perks WW Channel takes the guesswork out of channel incentives and loyalty programs. Our solutions empower leading global enterprises with the sales and marketing programs they need to produce a competitive advantage through their indirect sales channels. The available solution set encompasses the three most critical areas to optimize indirect channel performance: marketing enablement, incentive management and global managed services. We provide these services to some of the most influential companies in the world, all backed and supported by years of expertise and our Science of Motivation™ methodology.More Content by Perks WW Channel Experts