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What your Channel Marketing Performance Dashboard Should Look Like

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Meet Mary Fischer – Channel VP for Acme Technologies Inc.  The first thing this channel executive looks at in the morning is a daily report that provides a detailed accounting of the return generated on her channel marketing investment.  As she scans down she notices 350 stage C BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, & Time-frame) qualified leads with a revenue pipeline value of $21.0M.   Below that are 150 stage D progressed opportunities at the proposal evaluation stage worth $8.5M and new closed revenue (stage F) in the last 30 days of $2.3M.   Just next to each of these pipeline figures is a calculation of channel marketing’s contribution to revenue at $13.0M in Stage C with 50:1marketing ROI, $4.1 at Stage D with 18:1 marketing ROI, and $1.3M stage F with 12:1 marketing ROI.   Any of these numbers are clickable to view the detailed opportunities behind each of these three stages and the detailed calculation behind the ROI.  Is this what your channel marketing performance dashboard looks like?

It would be terrific if it did look like this but all channel executives know that selling through an indirect channel with a combination of distributors, resellers and agents is far from optimal for reporting purposes.   The typical channel executive looks at incomplete data from disconnected systems and, at best, can extrapolate the revenue pipeline and forecast at some of the sales stages.  Data is stored in multiple internal and external systems that are very difficult to integrate and use as a real time management tool.   But that does not mean it can’t be done.  Anything can be accomplished with “sneaker-ware” in the short term and architected into an integrated system in the medium / longer term.   The best place to start is the end.  Design your ideal channel marketing dashboard statistics independent of any of today’s technical limitations.  Specify the metrics you’d like to see with what frequency and how you’d like comparisons to be prepared.  Then identify the data that needs to be collected and figure out what processes and incentives are necessary to get access to this data.  Once this step is completed, a competent analyst can prepare the report using the collected data.  As a channel executive you’ll at least have a tool prepared using manual collection, analysis and help using some creative incentives to help manage your business.  It does not have to be pretty, but if it allows you to manage your channel and drive more revenue it is worth the effort.

Hopefully this initiative will help build a case internally to integrate your systems to provide this reporting on an automated and streamlined basis in the future.  Your technical team can take this report format and data collection process to help design an efficient technology-enabled solution to provide data to help build a growth channel business.

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