The Top 6 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Channel Partner Management


In today’s business environment, it is critical for businesses to have a robust network of partners in order to grow and scale. These partners include value-added resellers (VARs), solutions providers, system integrators, and distributors.

In fact, here at 5000fish, we’re in the midst of building a robust partnership program as we work to scale and grow our customer base for DashboardFox and Yurbi. With our current partnerships, we’ve seen how each relationship is a win-win because we’re able to help meet our partners’ customers’ BI needs and they help us increase the number of users using our software.

When you build a partnership program, you must understand how to measure its success by defining leading and post key performance indicators (KPIs). It’s easy to look at post-KPIs for a partnership program, such as deals closed. However, it’s extremely important to monitor leading KPIs (which are often behaviors) in order to gauge the success and gaps within your program before the post-KPIs come into play.

In this article, we’ll look at the top six leading KPIs that you can manage within your channel partner program.

6 Key Performance Indicators for Channel Partner Management

  1. The number of proof of concepts. If trials and proof of concepts are key to your sales process, a great leading KPI for your partner program is the number of trials or proof of concepts in which partners are engaged.
  2. Participation in sales technology and marketing training. As you enable your partners via webinars, sales training, and marketing training, your partners’ amount of participation in this training is a leading indicator of how engaged and knowledgeable they are with your product, which ultimately enables them to sell more.
  3. Deal registration. If your partners are actively registering deals in your pipeline, you are better able to predict the number of sales you will have based on the percentage of registered deals that are likely to close.
  4. Partner portal engagement. If your primary form of partner communication is via your partner portal, the number of logins and the level of engagement within the portal is a leading indicator of their commitment to your product.
  5. Joint-business planning. Many studies have shown that the partners with whom they develop a joint-business plan each year and quarter do better than partners who do not have a joint-business plan. Monitoring the number of partners with whom you have joint-business plans is a leading indicator of your partnership program success.
  6. Partner attendance at your events. Similar to portal engagement, partner attendance at your events is another leading indicator of partnership success because it indicates that you’re reaching partners with your message, which they can then share with their customers.

The Bottom Line

The above leading KPIs are great gauges of your partnership program success, but it’s important to test and verify them. You will need to set your thresholds for each leading indicator that determines whether a partner is performing in a specific category.

Once you identify each threshold, you must leverage the above leading KPIs as your partner scorecard so you can identify which partners you should invest your time and money into. These leading indicators will enable you to segment your partners into the fast-growers and top performers, middle-of-the-pack performers, and poor performers. When you use the above KPIs as your scorecard, you may find that the most vocal partners who ask for more funding and support are not the top performers.

After you have identified your top-performing partners you can establish channel partner incentives, such as marketing development funds or joint marketing and events, and grow the most profitable partnerships with better incentives. By defining your thresholds and using the above KPIs to shape your channel partnership program, you will be able to grow and strengthen your program over time.

How Does DashboardFox Help

DashboardFox allows you to implement software in an affordable way to start to communicate your KPIs to your internal team and external stakeholders.

First, you can save money up-front by having a one-time fee for BI software and not getting tied into annual subscriptions.

Secondly, you can save money on the cost of deployment and operations and maintenance by having a self-service BI platform that requires less technical expertise to set up and operate.  Business users are able to generate KPIs without having to write SQL code or understand database syntax.

Check out this video in our Getting Started Guide on how to create KPI based reports in DashboardFox.

Lastly, DashboardFox allows you to break free from sharing MS Excel-based spreadsheets for calculating and communicating Channel Partner Metrics.  All users can log in to an interactive dashboard, where they can apply data segmentation to spot trends.  Users can schedule reports via the Shared Documents Library, and you are able to share direct links or embed dashboards and reports inside your common web applications.

Want to learn more?  Schedule a live demo of DashboardFox or contact us to discuss your requirements.  Interested in partnering with 5000fish?  Let’s start our combined win/win relationship!


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