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The New Model for Partner Business Growth Planning and Commitment Development

New Business Growth Tool

Forecasting sales and managing performance are some of a resellers least favorite activities. They are time-consuming, difficult to estimate, and almost always wrong. But there is a way to convert these difficult tasks into an easy-to-manage process where resellers and channel account managers (CAMs) collaboratively build a forecast, P&L, and ROI for their organization in 10-20 minutes. The new model is based on channel best practices for implementing a comprehensive channel performance management process for your organization.

The best use of your CAM’s time is to deliver advice and consult with their resellers about growth planning. They should not be spending their time using poorly designed Excel spreadsheets filled with missing or inaccurate data and broken formulas. Web applications can facilitate a highly productive planning and commitment development process for your resellers and turn this historically frustrating activity into a very satisfactory experience. Providing your channel account managers with a web-based tool to help their resellers build a 1-3 year customized growth plan will build the confidence and competence of your CAM team.

A Ten Step Process for Channel Account Managers to help build a Customized Reseller Business Plan:

Reseller Buisness Plan

A channel account manager who sits down with a reseller executive to plan the following year’s growth strategy and forecast should be able to help the partner figure out how much money they can make by selling their brand. These ten steps serve as a guided business growth consulting process between the CAM and the reseller executive. The CAM and the partner can make all the required business decisions for product focus, goals, strategies, pricing and deal size, along with labor and marketing expenses.

1) Register: (Register and match with partner account in SFDC) Individual partner contacts register and select the partner organization from Salesforce

2) Choose Products: (Partner selects the products within your portfolio they wish to sell) Partners can select different combinations of your brand product lines to sell to help them model their growth and profitability

3) Choose Growth Plan: (Partner selects from predefined growth plans or creates a custom plan) Partners can select from one of three growth options – modest / average / aggressive, or can create their own custom 3 year monthly unit forecast for P&L modelling purposes

4) Set Goals: (Partners can select business goals from a set of predefined options or create their own) This allows for efficient and more effective goal definition complete with metrics and timing to create a set of hard-working goals in minutes

5) Set Strategies: (Partners can select from recommended strategies or create their own) This allows for an efficient and more effective strategy definition process with marketing programs that are known to drive more revenue

6) Review Pricing and Margin: (Partners view pricing for license, services and maintenance, along with margin percentages they can earn at different revenue levels) Partners do not set margins but are able to see how the solutions are priced and how they can improve their margin by increasing sales levels

7) Confirm Labor Costs and Hours Assumptions: (Partner reviews average labor and hours and can modify to match their local conditions) Partners can utilize average labor costs and hours assumptions or they can create their own customized assumptions to input into the P&L

8) Select Other Expenses: (Partner can review and modify marketing and other expenses) Partners are presented three options for marketing spending – modest / average / aggressive or they can create their own model

9) Review P&L and Refine: (Partners view a custom P&L by product, month and year, and can instantly make modelling modifications) This P&L and planning tool provides a wide range of options for modelling in seconds

a. Full year P&L by product
b. 12 month / month-by-month P&L by product and by year
c. Three year P&L
d. Detailed plan performance summary tables
e. Detailed goals and strategies summaries
f. Ability with one-click to add and remove products to P&L and sales plan
g. Ability to make modifications to virtually any assumption within 2-3 clicks

The output of this step-by-step business planning and growth simulation process is a detailed profit and loss (P&L) statement and business planning summary. It includes gross and net profitability by product, month, and year. It also includes summaries for overall business performance, key performance statistics, a detailed staffing plan, and goals and strategies. The best part is that this detailed plan can be created in as little as 15-30 minutes.

Summary P&L by Product: These 9 steps are usually completed in 10-20 minutes by the reseller executive. The application immediately generates a detailed business plan by product, month, and year. The summary below allows resellers to review all their assumptions for gross revenues, staffing levels and other direct expenses, and calculate a gross margin for this forecast. This P&L automatically calculates a net profit forecast based on the planned marketing and other expenses.

Detailed Business Plan

Month-by-Month P&L and Forecast: This same consolidated forecast is available in great detail in a monthly forecast by-product. This screenshot below is a small portion of the detailed financial budget that is automatically generated following the 10-20 minute questionnaire completed by the reseller.

Detailed Revenue Forecast

In addition to a detailed monthly P&L, the application also provides resellers with summary tables to help them view the key performance statistics.

Summary Performance Tables: These summary tables are refreshed with the latest business performance statistics each time resellers update their forecast. These include total units forecasted, average deal size, total revenues, program performance levels achieved, and software margins. ROI data is calculated at both gross and net levels.

Business Performance Summary

In addition to estimating a specific revenue and unit forecast, this system helps resellers select, quantify and customize a set of goals and strategies that support achieving these numbers.

Hardworking Goals for Partners: Partners don’t always know what the best goals for their business should be or how to measure success. This feature provides the opportunity for them to pick and choose from a range of best practice goals and select the quantity and achievement date. They can also create customized goals. The key point is that it can be done quickly and effectively.

Business Goal Summary

Proven Successful Strategies for Driving Revenue: Most partners will admit that they are far from being sophisticated marketing experts. They are looking for specific recommendations of approved marketing programs that are known to generate leads and new sales opportunities. This feature allows partners to pick and choose from a range of proven marketing tactics in minutes.

Business Strategy Summary

This 15-30 minute planning, forecasting and profitability analysis is just the first step in a streamlined ongoing partner performance management process. Once the plan is finalized, the forecast is immediately transmitted to where the data is also tracked and reported. When actual sales are recorded in, the data is automatically brought back into this application to show performance-to-plan results. This allows channel account managers to conduct QBR’s (Quarterly Business Reviews) with their partners almost instantly, and focus their time on performance-to-plan discussions and revisions to the forecast.

Partner Planning & Performance Management Lifecycle

One of the most precious resources in your organization is your channel account management team. There are simply not enough of them to go around to effectively support all of your resellers. This growth simulation tool dramatically reduces the time and effort needed to manage reseller planning, forecasting, commitment development and performance management. This allows your CAM’s to more effectively manage their existing partners and dramatically expand their coverage model to get more revenue growth commitments from your broader channel network.

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