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Partner Performance Matrix:

The effectiveness of the distribution channel is one of the most critical issues facing sales and marketing management.  Sales and channel managers are constantly evaluating performance of each partner and each program, tuning them to produce better results. 

Today, a "one size fits all" approach to channel management and development will not produce results effectively.  Money will be wasted on programs or partners that will not produce the required ROI. 

New tools are required to help organization measure the performance of each partner, assuring partners are producing results aligned with their potential.

The Partner Performance Matrix is a tool to help executives better understand the performance, strengths and weaknesses of channel partners.  It provides the basis for making decisions and taking action on improving channel performance and ROI from each channel partner.

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The Partner Performance Matrix evaluates partner performance against potential.  In implementing the Partner Performance Matrix, we have found it useful to develop it at several levels:

  • Individual sales professional:  We assess the potential/performance of each sales professional with each partner, identifying strengths/weaknesses, ranking them within their firm and within the channel.

  • Partner performance:  Assess the potential/performance of each partner, identifying strengths/weaknesses, ranking them within the channel.

  • Performance/potential dimensions:  There are many dimensions to the assessment of potential and performance.  In performing an assessment, elements can include actual sales performance, market/customer penetration and share, product sales performance, new customer acquisition, sales skills, market understanding/composition, sales skills, and many other elements.  A complete snapshot of the skills, potential, and performance of each sales professional and each firm can be obtained.

Driving Partner Performance And Results:

The Partner Performance Matrix provides the starting point in making decisions and taking action on improving performance in the channel.  It helps address issues like:

  • Partner business planning:  Using a fact and data based approach, partner managers create real value add in developing business and performance plans to improve the partner's business and performance.  Business planning can be focused on specific strengths, weaknesses, partner needs and business strategies.  Both the manufacturer and partner no longer waste time on areas that are meaningless, but now focus on those areas that produce the best results.

  • Improved partner resource utilization:  Rather than "inflicting" new programs on everyone in the partner organization, investments can be focused on those professionals that best fit.  For example, within the partner, some sales people will be stronger in selling certain product lines than others.  New products introductions can be focused on those sales people.  Likewise, specific improvement programs can be offered to those sales people that are weaker.

  • High impact product/program introductions:  "In the old days," training, materials, demos/samples, marketing funds and other items would be allocated to everyone in the channel.  This consumed resources, time and money on the part of the manufacturer and the partner.  Today, no one can afford to invest in everyone--not each partner--not each sales person within the partner.  Programs must be tuned to those partners that will produce the best results for the resources and funds available.

  • Improved partner investment decisions:  Investing company resources, time and funds on partners must create a real return.  Without strong data on the performance and potential of each partner, it is impossible to make decisions on which partners to invest in.  Moving beyond tiered programs, the Partner Performance Matrix helps identify those partners in which further investments should be made, what investments will create the greatest return, and where no investments should be made.  The Partner Performance Matrix enables the manufacturer to understand the ROI produced by each program with each partner.

  • Channel/Partner quality improvements:  Channel partners are an extension of the manufacturer.  They can improve the positioning, image and reputation of the manufacturer, or they can damage it severely.  The Partner Performance Assessment provides data to help identify those partners that may be creating problems, identify specific problem areas, and help in correcting these problems.  It will also help the manufacturer prune the channel, creating stronger more powerful alliances.

Getting Started, Developing The Partner Performance Matrix:

Partners In EXCELLENCE helps manufacturers develop and implement the Partner Performance Matrix.  Programs conducted include:

  • The Partner Performance Workshop:  This workshop introduces the concept and principles in developing the Partner Performance Matrix.  It provides the tools and techniques necessary for a company to measure the performance and potential of each partner, mapping these in the Performance Matrix.  It shows how the results can be used to improve the performance of each partner in the channel.  This workshop is structured as a one day program.

  • Partner Performance Assessment:  Partners In EXCELLENCE conducts an assessment of each partner (and each sales professional within the partner) developing the data on the performance and potential.  Reports and performance assessments are provided for each partner, identifying strengths, weaknesses, strategies for improvement, and other recommendations.  In addition to the Partner Performance Matrix, an overall Partner Management Dashboard is provided to help provide better tools for managing and improving the result produced within the channel.  Each performance assessment is customized to the specific performance and potential criteria important to the manufacturer.

  • Performance Planning And Improvement:  Partners In EXCELLENCE will work with channel manager and partners in developing specific action plans to produce the results expected.  We will work in developing and implementing the action plans suggested by the assessment.

  • Custom Channel Development Program:  The Partner Performance Matrix can be used in designing, developing, and implementing new channel programs, product introduction programs, recruiting new channel partners, and other areas.  Partners In EXCELLENCE can help in developing and implementing these programs.

For more information on developing the Partner Performance Matrix, email PartnerPerformance@excellenc.com.

For more information on Partners In EXCELLENCE channel management and development programs, follow these links:

 

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