Last Updated on April 18, 2022
You’ve rolled out a new ‘Co-sell Partner Program,’ or you are scaling up an already existing one. In either case, with all the walls you’ve climbed and the background work you have done, the ball is rolling. And now, it’s time for the performance!
And, here comes…
The Big Question
We know you are aware that, unlike the partner re-selling program, which works in silos, partner co-selling requires deep and ongoing collaboration. In our Ultimate Co-Sell Guide, we describe this difference in detail. This blog aims to help you understand how to measure, optimize and support your co-sell partner program.
First things first:
It is not a one-way street. Far from a straightforward transaction as in a traditional partner re-selling program, partner co-selling requires a joint effort between you and your partners. Your partners’ contributions may vary at different stages of deals. So can yours. Yet, this is the shared space where you and your partner must stay connected to kick off true collaboration.
Partner co-selling requires constant evaluation. While you have identified the key performance indicators (KPIs) that yielded successful outcomes, it should not blur your vision to rejig any that don’t work. Re-envision the performance indicators if you need to.
That said, the way to measure the ‘Co-sell Partner Program’ is far from conventional. For starters, it can be as basic as tracking the numbers of your co-selling partners, leads, and revenue. Simple, right?
But there’s more.
Based on the contribution level of your co-sell partners at various stages of the sales cycle, performance measurement can become advanced and call for a robust framework.
We know that life could be much simpler by measuring the basics, but we also understand that how ready you are to focus on measuring your co-sell partner program directly impacts how much growth and success you can expect.
So, how exactly would you measure the performance of your Co-sell Partner Program?
The Five-point framework
Most likely, you have different ecosystem partners who have different products, markets, and geographies that you want to seize and co-sell in. It is hard to be prescriptive and dish out a standard template to measure your co-sell partner program. However, after working with so many co-sell customers, we’ve assembled best practices and created a solid framework that has given “partner co-selling measurement” a brand new meaning.
So, what do we have to say? Let’s dive into it!
1. Referrals and Leads
At the very basic, tracking the number of inbound and outbound referrals and their dollar value is a given. It is probably the first number that the team screams out (joyfully, as it builds up) when they discuss the partner ecosystem program. You can’t deny that you love to expand this universe of leads. So go ahead, set a target and track it regularly.
While you want to see this number grow, there is more to aim for, right?
Rise above the traditional concepts of flash reports and sales dashboards, and create a shared pipeline. Go for it! Not the typical one though.
Start by tracking your ecosystem-sourced opportunities that your co-selling partner is nurturing—you’ve not yet accepted them as qualified deals, yet they are your potential leads as well. Track these Pre-funnel metrics.
Then there are those opportunities that you and your co-sell partner sales team are working on—collaboratively! These leads are your Sales funnel metrics – the heart of your partner ecosystem program that can make you radically successful.
By measuring and strengthening your inbound and outbound referral pipeline with pre-funnel and sales metrics, you are well on your way to closing those deals!
3. Closed Revenue
Here comes another interesting aspect—closed revenue. Sourced by you and your co-selling partner, these are won deals and revenue that you must measure. Simply put, it is Closed-deal metrics. There are different ways of tracking it, such as total contract value, monthly or annual recurring and services revenue, etc.
You get the drift. Remember, at a more advanced level, you could be dealing with not one but multiple co-selling partners in a deal; each with a varying contribution level. Measure the influence and contribution of your co-selling partner throughout the stages of your sales cycle. A fully involved partner from inception to sealing the deal deserves full credit. On the other hand, a co-selling partner with involvement limited to specific stages in the deal deserves contribution-based compensation. To be fair, Split Incentives make sense.
Let’s continue. Evaluate which co-sell partner is more productive and profitable for your co-selling partnerships by tracking the wins and losses based on referrals from them. It is the Win-ratio—another key measurement parameter.
Most importantly, knowing the number of deals and deal size the partners are pursuing is necessary, yet it does not quite cut it. No, it is not the quantity v/s quality battle. It is catching the true action through the quality of the deal your co-selling partner brings in. So, while you track the average deal size, ensure to examine and report the quality of the deals.
It is only natural that you pay attention to numbers, regions, goals, and partners that are rewarding and profitable. That’s good! But great partner co-sell programs also address weak or loss-making areas. And this becomes a pivotal reason for the success or failure of a partner co-sell program, in the long run.
In essence, measuring your co-sell performance, consistently, is essential to your ecosystem partner program. Track the performance of your co-sell program by region, solution, industry, and partner type.
Wait, it’s not that complex! Auto-generated reports simplify this tracking, making it easy to capture real-time performance insights; enabling data-driven actions. Once you’ll try it, we promise you’ll love it!
5. Activity-Based Measurement
Your weighing scale shows you the weight loss/gain, and your fitness band tracks your activities like your steps, diet, etc.
You got it! Once you identify the activities that are boosting your success, you would love to capture them into best practices and continue refining them. Activity-based measurement gives you a holistic view of activities going into your co-selling efforts. Your joint marketing activities, planning sessions, field sales engagement, and customer meetings are part of the activity-based measurement. Additionally, measure the percentage of deals covered by your partner in your sales plan. The Attach-rate metric would mean measuring the entire sales organization’s co-sell participation.
The “Five-point Framework” encapsulates variables that may be easy to track or slightly complex to measure; nevertheless, every bit counts!
And, that is all you need to start measuring your partner co-sell program! Over time, you will value the power of measurement as we do.
But for now, get started!
Download our Ultimate Co-Sell Guide to learn more about our Co-Sell Partner Program.