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The Ultimate Partner Performance Dashboard

Ultimate PPD

Consolidated Channel Dashboards are as Rare as Some of the Greatest World Treasures:

Channel executives have been searching for solutions to provide comprehensive dashboards for their partners and channel managers for many years unsuccessfully. The promise of a single place to monitor, manage and measure all elements of a channel program has been simply unattainable. Therefore the discovery of a new dashboarding system from Successful Channels that brings all key program and performance metrics together in one place ranks with some of the greatest finds in Channel modern times.

The Greatest Explorers of All Time Have Not Worked as Hard as Channel Executives:

The greatest explorers of all time from Ante Christum Natum (BC) to Anno Domini (AD) have searched almost as hard as today’s channel executives to find their prize. These include the search for the Ark of the Covenant in 500 BC, Cortez searching for Montezuma’s treasure in the 1500s and the search for Blackbeard’s treasure in the early 1700s. None of these treasures were ever recovered despite countless attempts from hundreds of exploration efforts.

Channel Executives have found the prize that is available to all:

Channel Executives have searched in vain for turn-key performance management dashboard solutions to set goals, assess capabilities, and measure performance for years. To date they have attempted to make-do with a range of tools that are not designed specifically for partner planning and performance management. The announcement of this new tiered dashboarding system that “snaps” into existing channel infrastructures will transform how Channel Managers work to motivate and measure their partnerships.

The search for the ultimate partner performance dashboard is finally over. Channel Executives have found a system that serves as a single place to display a partner performance summary that can be used as an “instant QBR” and is also designed to build partner commitments and measure goal achievement. A Channel Manager’s treasure is a comprehensive, real-time, business planning and performance management dashboard for effective partnership management. This illusive prize is as valuable to the indirect channel industry as any of the undiscovered treasures sought by unsuccessful explorers for centuries.

Why Have Good Channel Partnerships Dashboards Been Such a Chimerical Treasure?

  1. Data is Everywhere: Because of the nature of indirect channel partnerships, data is tracked in several systems within and outside of the enterprise. This makes it particularly difficult to have a single consolidated view of channel performance on all key program metrics
  2. Systems are Not Integrated: To make matters worse, these systems are not integrating making a consolidated view of channel partner performance management virtually impossible to construct
  3. Business Operations are Fragmented: Additionally, there is a fragmentation of operational channel business processes making it even more difficult to pull dashboards together. Examples of separate operations include reporting processes for sales, pipeline, incentives, MDF, discounts, planning, scorecarding, and QBRs
  4. A Bias Toward Using Spreadsheets Vs. Integrated Systems: The dominant “system of record” for channel partner business planning, scorecarding, and quarterly business reviews is Excel spreadsheets. Even today, in 2019, the majority of partner business planning, scorecarding and QBR management is done with the use of Excel
  5. Lack of an overall Channel Performance Management Vision: Building and implementing an end-to-end partner performance dashboarding system requires a vision of what to expect from channel partners of all types. This includes a vision for outcome metrics (e.g., Sales-to-plan, pipeline-to-plan, # and quality of leads and opportunities) and direct metrics (e.g., # of deals, certifications, accreditations, products sold, market coverage, etc.). Pulling this together in a unified dashboard system requires thoughtful design and planning.

The Long Sought After Treasure Has Been Found

Finally, after generations of channel executives unrequited search for the ultimate partner dashboard, a solution has arrived.  A new partner performance dashboard and build-your-own widget-based partner homepage system is now available to provide channel managers the ultimate treasure for managing, motivating, and measuring their partners. This new revelation for the channel industry enables channel executives to motivate more partners in less time with a more professional process than ever envisioned possible.

A Three-Tier Partner Performance Dashboarding System

Channel performance management has several levels for optimizing growth and building a powerful network of representatives in the market for your brand.  Perhaps the biggest issue for partner management is time.  There simply is not enough time to pull together all the critical elements of a goal setting and Quarterly Business Review (QBR) process. The ultimate dashboarding system consists of 3 tiers of performance dashboards.

Tier 1: Homepage Performance Dashboard: This is a customizable planning and performance management homepage that can integrate into your existing channels systems. It allows you to select and customize a range of display and navigation “widgets” to build the optimal user experience by partner type

Tier 2: Partner Program Performance Dashboard: This is a one-page performance dashboard and QBR system all in one. This dashboard serves as a customized program performance summary for a partner to allow for 24/7 updates to all key goals and metrics and is exportable to PowerPoint

Tier 3: Partner Capabilities Scorecard: This dashboard helps pinpoint where a partner’s strengths and improvement opportunities areas are in a helpful stoplight view and is exportable to PowerPoint. It is also part of a partner life-stage management process for quarterly assessments and action plans

Tier 1 Review: The Successful Channels Widget-Based Partner Planning & Performance Management Homepage:

Finally, channel executives can make the process of partner planning and performance management easier than ever. A new Successful Channels custom homepage feature can be built using simple drag-and-drop tools to serve the most relevant metrics, status and task summaries for a partner on one unified home page.

Success Homepage

This new feature allows channel executives to select the appropriate “display” widgets to highlight performance-to-plan on the most critical program metrics. Additionally, individual “navigation” widgets can be added to help partners access all planning, scorecarding and performance management applications from one central home page. The best part is this homepage can be delivered or inserted wherever your partners currently go to get information for your brand. This system can be plugged into your current PRM / Portal, CRM or website easily and effectively. This is possible because of a set of well-developed integration tools that are easily configurable for virtually any deployment option.

  1. Single Sign On (SSO): With the use of either SAML 2.0 or similar SSO methods, users can be logged on by whatever system is currently implemented and gain seamless access to the planning dashboards
  2. User Experience Integration: A simple integration method allows for this planning and performance management dashboard to be displayed seamlessly within the current PRM, partner portal, or CRM system
  3. Data Integration: This is automated integration with all key data sources (e.g., CRM, ERP, LMS, etc.) including account contacts, account, sales pipeline, leads and other data to power your ultimate partner performance dashboard options

Tier 2 Review: The Successful Channels Partner Performance Dashboard (PPD):

The most productive channel programs work with their partners to define joint goals for success. When working on joint plans, both partners and suppliers look to define goals in-terms of sales, pipeline, certifications, accreditations, jointly developed solutions, or other collaborative metrics. The dashboard below provides an instantly updated view of all quantitative / tracked metrics. This can serve as an efficient quarterly business review that can either be viewed online and / or downloaded to PowerPoint instantly.

Partner Performance Dashboard

The goals for these metrics can be set in minutes using three alternative methods.

  1. (Top Down) % of Prior Year: Channel Sales Executives can set an across-the-board, regional or local automatic forecast by applying a % of the current year’s actual sales to generate a goal for one or more years
  2. (Top Down) Recommended Forecast: This same goal setting method can be used for setting custom targets (e.g. 100, 1,000, or 10,000) by partner across-the-board, by region, or locally
  3. (Bottom Up) Simple Quarterly Forecast: Individual partner-level joint targets can be set in minutes and tracked in this dashboard

The biggest challenges with effective implementation of joint planning targets is getting it done. It is difficult to access the data, do the calculations, and provide a transparent process that partners will earnestly commit to participate in.  This planning enabled dashboarding system (PPD) allows for efficient partner performance management and tracking.

Tier 3 Review: The Successful Channels Partner Capabilities Scorecard:

This third dashboard is for assessing and reporting on improvements to other non-tracked attributes of partnerships. This third leg of the stool for effective channel performance management is designed to help partners build better capabilities to be a more effective representative of your brand.

Capability Scorecard Overview

Just like the other two performance dashboards, this provides partners with a quick assessment of where they are and what they need to do to become strong and productive partners. It also provides an action planning and goal setting process to help partners become more effective.

These dashboards are highly valued by partners, but they are even more valuable to Channel Managers.  These dashboards enable Channel Managers to measure and motivate their partners in a fraction of time. Plus, they can do meaningful partner planning, scorecarding, and QBRs with many more partners then they have been able to do before. They improve the productivity of your channel manager team while at the same time allowing them to build more committed and revenue-contributing partnerships.

A Channel Account Manager’s (CAMs) Roadmap to Partner Success:

Partnership performance management breaks down into six different components for CAMs.  Each task occurs with a different frequency ranging from one-time per year to one-time per week for channel managers and partners.

With the support of these three tier dashboards, CAMs can manage more partners in less time, and doing it more effectively.  This also allows channel executives the ability to setup a more systematic, measurable and trackable cadence plan for managing partners. The illustration below lays out a structure of channel / partner management that can be managed in less time and will build more committed and revenue-producing partnerships.

Annual Partner Management Cadance

Managing partnerships is a complex and time-consuming task. Historically it has been up to the CAM to “invent” a process on their own to manage and enable their assigned partners for growth. These new dashboarding tools provide a replicable structure for building annual commitment plans and managing progress and performance to these plans on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. New and experienced CAMs alike will appreciate how these dashboards will free them from administrative tasks and allow them to work on the more rewarding partner consultative roles of their job. They will be able to become full-time partner commitment development, capabilities development and opportunity development consultants now that they are freed from having to produce these reports and tools on their own.

The completion of these annual, monthly, quarterly and weekly tasks is also integrated with an automated gamification / tracking system to monitor task completion. This means that partners can monitor their completion of these tasks with their CAM in a single gamification dashboard. And CAMs can view the completion of these tasks across all their assigned partners so they can more effectively manage their territory and assigned tasks.

Improve the Productivity of your Channel’s Most Valuable Asset:

The CAM team is the most valuable and highest leverage asset for any channel organization. They can change the angle of your channel’s growth curve by building deeper revenue-producing partnerships for your brand. But this growth potential can only be realized if your CAMs are freed up from their administrative tasks to deliver this critical partner consultative role for building joint commitments and support partner achievement along the way.  These ultimate partner dashboard tools give CAMs the ability to provide personalized consultative support to many more partners in less time. Partners, CAMs, and channel executives equally appreciate the power these dashboards represent for a more efficient and growth-producing indirect channel program.

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