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Partner Scorecard Systems that Motivate and Improve Partner Commitment Levels

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Every channel organization is looking to find ways to motivate their partners to build competencies and measure their progress to higher performance.   Partners also want growth for your brand’s sales, as long as it aligns with their goals.   A way to get a disproportionate percentage of your partners’ time and win their heads and hearts is by appealing to the things they value the most.

What you have to do to get more time and attention from your partners:

What Motivates Your Partners How to Motivate Them
Profits Convince your partners they’ll make more money by focusing their time and resources on growing your brand Create a customized partner profitability forecast
When They Feel Supported Provide tools, resources, and direct support to help them grow your business Provide tools to assess their strengths & improvement areas provide training and direct support to build their competencies
Provide a Blueprint for Their Success Detail a customized roadmap of how partners can grow their business Based on a scorecard assessment, map out key priorities for achieving accelerated growth
A Path to Surpass Their Peers Appeal to their competitive nature by highlighting where they’re performing better vs. their peers and where they need to improve Use scorecarding “gamification” to build a competitive incentive and reward system

Creating a partner scorecard (i.e., set of success metrics) is an excellent way to build a growth strategy with your partners.  The design of your partner scorecard should start with the competencies and capabilities that you as a vendor value the most.  But the way this scorecard is designed should also address the partner factors listed above.  The scorecard must be designed to deliver value to partners.

Recommended channel scorecard categories linked accelerated growth:

Key Partner Scorecard Categories Scorecard Definitions
Partner Sales Readiness This scorecard metric is designed to measure a partner’s ability to staff, develop, and close sales deals
Partner Marketing Readiness This scorecard metric evaluates a partner’s preparedness to build ROI-based demand generation and awareness building marketing programs that will generate market presence, strong sales leads, and measurable sales pipeline
Market Coverage Profile This scorecard metric profiles a partner’s market coverage and overall strength in their local market
Partner Pre-Sales Readiness This scorecard metric is designed to measure all support capabilities for enabling an efficient and effective pre-sales process
Partner Vertical & Sales-Play Alignment This scorecard metric assesses partners’ alignment with your brand’s priority vertical markets and functional sales plays
Partner Planning & Perf. Mgmt. This scorecard metric tracks the level of thoughtful partner business planning, profitability forecasting, marketing planning and performance measurement systems

The challenge with most channel / partner assessments and scorecard processes is that the value goes only one way – to the vendor.   This is because the scorecarding / assessment process is not designed with the partner in mind.  It does not have to be this way.   A partner assessment and scorecarding process can be motivating, help partners feel like they are supported, provide a blueprint for their success, and help activate partners to exceed their peer partner’s performance.   This can be achieved by better design of your partner scorecarding and performance management processes.

A Best Practice Partner Scorecarding System:   This partner scorecarding and performance management system is designed to motivate partners while also giving vendors what they are looking for.   The first step is designing a way for partners to assess themselves quickly.

Step 1:  Partner Scorecard Questionnaire Designed to be Completed in 2-3 Minutes:

  • Efficient Engagement: This questionnaire format provides a highly efficient partner engagement for assessing their scorecard metrics.
  • Service Model: This questionnaire can be administered on a “service” basis where a channel manager asks partner questions and verifies responses as they complete the questionnaire, or on a partner self-service basis where partners self-reports their scorecard-related activities.
  • Question Types: This scorecarding application allows for different question types to be implemented anywhere in the scorecarding system:
    • Multiple choice not scored: Select all that apply
    • Graduated not scored: Select level that applies
    • Open ended / not scored: Open ended partner response
    • Multiple choice scored: Select all that apply – 1-100 score (Recommended)
    • Graduated scored: Select level that applies – 1-100 score (Recommended)

Assessment Question

Step 2:  Partner Reviews an Assessment Report Following the 2-3 Minute Questionnaire:

  • Topic Scores: Each “topic” area setup via the admin system is scored on a 1-100 basis
  • Category Scores: Topic scores assigned to each “category” are rolled together and averages to come up with a 1-100 category score
  • Comparison to Peer Partners: Additionally, a partner’s score is compared to an average of all of its peer partners – all those that have taken this assessment

Assessment Report

Step 3:  Partner Sets Quarterly Goals for Each Scorecard Topic and Category: 

The next step allows partners to set goals for improving their scorecard metric.   This allows partners to choose an improvement value and a date they plan on achieving this goal.

Goal Review

Step 4:  A Partner Reviews a Quarterly Scorecard Performance Report:

This final step is where partners can review all of the following:

  • Current topic and category scores vs. best practices (1-100)
  • Compare scores vs. peer partners
  • Compare scores to goals (% goal achievement)
  • Compare changes since previous goals
  • Review previous six historical goals and % achievement for each

Performance Report

Administration of Your Partner Scorecarding System:  The admin area allows for complete management of a vendor’s channel scorecarding system.   Categories, topics, questions and metrics can be managed or modified at any time with this system.  This system is designed to make it easy to make changes and provide a scorecard system that partners will be motivated to use.

Categories and Topics

In addition to providing an administration system, this scorecarding system offers channel executives reporting tools for monitoring and managing overall channel network performance.   Channel executives can view reports of partners ranked by overall scorecard performance and partners ranked by category and topic scores.

CAM Dashboard Overall Report Image 10-13-15

Scorecarding is an excellent way to activate and motivate your partners to build their capabilities for generating accelerated growth.  A system like this is designed to help partners build their own customized roadmap for success while aligning with their goals and motivations.  This win-win approach will help you achieve your goals of more productive partners that believe you are working hard to support their success.   It also helps turn your Channel Account Managers into value added consultants for their partners by arming them with a tool to help their partner’s grow.


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