Effective partner marketing is hard work.
Effective demand generation marketing is hard work, and doing it well is difficult for even seasoned marketers. It is no surprise that channel partners struggle to build and execute marketing programs that generate quality leads and growth opportunities using MDF (Market Development Funds).
Partner-led marketing programs that generate measureable sales opportunities and ROI require thoughtful strategies, efficient marketing systems, and a mastery of a range of marketing and technical disciplines.
So where does a channel marketing professional start if it is so hard for partners to generate leads and an attractive ROI? Understanding where your partner capabilities stand today can help channel executives set realistic expectations, build programs that align with their capabilities, and develop enablement programs to improve partner’s ability to generate demand.
A partner marketer has to do a lot of things right if they are going to:
- Generate a number of strong sales leads
- A meaningful sales pipeline
- ROI from their marketing MDF investment
The difference between success and failure of a channel marketing program often comes down to how well multiple activities can be orchestrated, simultaneously, to generate sales-worthy opportunities that have strong 'close' potential. A partner marketing scorecard can help determine a partner’s eligibility for MDF programs and their ability to meet the lead, pipeline, and ROI success metrics.
Partner marketing scorecards are used to measure individual partner capabilities, compare across the entire partner ecosystem, set goals with individual partners, and measure improvements quarterly. Scorecards are great motivation tools to help partners understand what they need to do to succeed, help define focused improvement priorities, and measure progress toward achieving their quarterly goals.
The most important marketing tool for partners is their website, followed by cascading tactics. Channel organizations need to be able to assess their partner’s capabilities for all of these tactics and motivate their partners to fill their competency gaps to execute higher ROI marketing programs. The key to success is completing an accurate and time-efficient assessment that tells the vendor where their partner’s capabilities are while also motivating partners to invest in building their marketing competencies.
It is difficult to implement a scorecard that will achieve all of these goals without using an application designed for this purpose. Scorecarding applications provide channel executives the ability to deliver partner-motivating assessments and ongoing performance management (QBR) reviews for tracking progress and maintaining improvements.
Partner marketing scorecarding systems are very efficient and effective for assessing and building the skills of individual partners, along with managing the capabilities of your entire channel network. Partners will willingly assess themselves with this type of system because they get immediate value. Channel managers are able to assess, plan and improve their partner’s capabilities with minimal administrative and manual efforts, so they can focus their time on helping partners improve. Finally, channel leaders can streamline the measurement and management of their entire channel network with the use of the partner marketing capabilities, dashboard for tracking and reporting partner competency development.
About the Author
Chief Strategy Officer Claudio brings over 20 years of global channel marketing experience to Perks. He is a loyalty marketing expert with broad knowledge in strategy development, market management and channel sales planning, who has developed and executed major go-to-market programs for a variety of vendors, including AMD, Bing, Cisco, Dell, EMC, IBM, Kaspersky, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola, Seagate, Symantec, and VMware among others.Claudio is a management strategist with cross-functional expertise in business, finance, sales and marketing, strategic planning, and customer relationship management; an area he has excelled at by executing complex CRM implementations, customizations, and business process re-engineering for CRM applications. He keeps current with changes in technology and is passionate about the business implications of new technology. Claudio is an avid social media user and early adopter of social CRM.More Content by Claudio Ayub