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Ecosystem Leaders

Episode 110

September 26, 2020

#110 Meg Brennan: How Sharing Data Drives Partner Success

Meg Brennan as Senior Director of Global Channel Operations at Riverbed Technology, joins Ecosystem Aces, joins Chip Rodgers on this Ecosystem Aces episode.

How do your partners measure up?

Whether you’re measuring everyone or just your largest… The more data you can share with your partners, the more successful they will be.

It’s something Meg Brennan learned as Senior Director of Global Channel Operations at Riverbed Technology, where the dashboards she and her team built and shared has driven successful behavior for partners.

We were excited to talk to Meg in this episode because Meg is in a critical role at Riverbed that we haven’t had many opportunities to speak with – Channel Operations.  Channel operations teams are the lifeblood of keeping the trains moving on time and making sure all partner managers and partners have the systems, process, and information to run at peak performance.  Our conversation with Meg did not disappoint – Meg is a rockstar and we learned a ton that we’re excited to share!

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How sharing the right data with partners can accelerate desired behavior
  • How to streamline deal approval process to close more business with partners
  • How to keep track of what’s happening with partners and improve partner experience

Data Drives Behavior

   Riverbed is a tech solutions company out of San Francisco, helping companies with their transition to cloud computing. Riverbed goes deeper to learn how to accelerate network performance and how to help its clients have better visibility into their network. With the COVID-19 pandemic, this transition to the cloud is now a necessity for many companies.

   To accomplish this at scale, Meg works to automate and streamline as much as possible for Riverbed’s partner teams and partners. As a data-driven person, she is looking at what partners are doing right now. Not only is it important to identify metrics, such as time on page, but also understanding what they mean. If a partner spends too long on a page that should be a quick transaction, that’s a red flag. Additionally, looking at the transactional data is key to see what partners are doing well, where they are doing well, and what the average size of the transaction is.

Tracking What’s Happening with Partners, Their Leaders, and Their Managers

   It’s important to go beyond monitoring data, however. Meg and her team regularly attend partner QBRs and ask Riverbed partners for input from these meetings and how they can improve their partner experience. Brennan recommends evaluating the partner experience holistically - from contract to deal execution, all while thinking of the needs of the customer (and how the customer engages with the partner). With over 2,500 Riverbed partners, this can be complicated to achieve. While she doesn’t measure every partner through QBRs, Brennan focuses on those that are achieving high levels of growth while maintaining customer satisfaction.

   Tracking this kind of data is imperative internally as well as for sharing with partners. Meg has also worked on analytics for MDF programs. After creating dashboards illustrating the programs’ ROI, they shared them out to partners. Meg showcased the ROI compared to the global average as well as their regional average, which led to direct behavior once it was clear how the competition fared.

Streamlining the Approval Process for Partners

   Limited team bandwidth shouldn’t slow you down, and Meg believed there had to be a way to accelerate the partner lead-to-booking process. Riverbed took a look at all deals requiring approval, and realized that they could automate the approval of low-risk deals so partners could get started on an opportunity much more quickly.

   Meg realized they could close 10% of deals instantly without requiring manual approval at Riverbed. Automation, combined with a more centralized way to streamline the higher-risk opportunities, led to an approval process that averaged only one day. This led to far fewer deals not getting approved and closed because they’d fallen through the cracks. That’s a huge win!

To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by: