Phoenix Rising Blog – Channel Development

Posted Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 06:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Measuring Channel Ecosystem Health?  And Why do I Care?

 I recall the first time I spoke about a “partner ecosystem” in 1999 to my boss, a long time direct sales manager.  He looked at me like I was a tree hugger. Today, we frequently talk about our partners collectively as an ecosystem; yet there are many ways to interpret what this means. To some it means a defined set of partners who comprise a specific solution, such as solution stack for cloud computing or the Internet of Things.  Others refer to the larger community of partners and partner types that provide value to your end customers.  This may include services provided by manged services providers (MSPs) or consulting and integration services (SIs), technology innovation (ISVs) or transactional logistics through Distys and VARs.

 Each ecosystem will be as unique in terms of ‘health’ as they are unique in terms of what value they bring to your customer value proposition. That is where you start to define what is meant by health: how effective is the partner ecosystem in delivering value to your customer aligned with your strategic objectives for the ecosystem i.e. the reason you invested in partnering to begin with.

Partner strategy and program design should reflect the company objectives. Metrics should be actionable and reflect whether you are achieving the objectives set out by the strategy as well as the performance of each individual partner. Health of the ecosystem is more than a rollup of individual partner scorecards, although there is definitely a relationship between how your program enables individual partners and the cumulative outcome. And of course there should be a feedback loop.  Metrics should inform you how to make meaningful changes to your program and strategy to achieve your goals.

A best practice metrics model is the balanced score card and it can easily be applied to your partner program. 

Metrics are layed out in several quadrants each looking at a different aspect of success. At the top you have performance outcomes.  The Strategic quadrant reflects the objectives that your partner ecosystem is chartered to achieve.  The Financial objectives are the yardstick of traditional business successes.  These are lagging indictors.  They represent the results of decisions and activities that happened weeks or months ago.  If all you measure is revenue, as many organizations do, then you are trying to steer by looking in the rearview mirror.

Across the bottom quadrants are the leading indicators. The leading indicators are the clues to future success.   The Operation metrics can tell you if you are on the path to achieving your strategic and financial objectives.   The Relationship metrics are often overlooked but really drive all the rest.  If partners are not engaged and do not have a strong relationship with you, they won’t be making the investments with you that will drive your success. 

 If you can chart your success with tangible metrics in all quadrants, then Congratulations!   If you are looking for a better way to measure the long term sustainability and profitability of your partner ecosystem, especially as you drive transformational change, then please give us a call. 

We will review a proven and time tested methodology based on the balance score card to help you understand the health of your ecosystem and critical leading indicators which will help you optimize and manage your partnering success.

 


Phoenix Consulting Group and Highland Team have assembled thought pieces from our research, our library, and our associates to bring you a series of twelve bi-weekly missives on the future of the channel and what savvy channel chiefs are already implementing to not only survive the future but to thrive.

Need an ear to listen to YOUR concerns…we are offering one hour, complementary assessments of your channel challenges. To schedule a call, please send us a note by clicking here:   Channel Assessment 

Stay Tuned as We Bring the Future to You. 

Norma and Deborah

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Tags: Partner ecosystem; ecosystem health, partner scorecards, partner metrics


Posted Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 12:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Understanding if you have the right number of channel partners can be a tricky question and one related to having the right partners.  You may have thousands of partners but they may not be productive for you or they may not have the right skills.  But assuming they...

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Posted Monday, September 5, 2016 at 12:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

You’ve recruited partners and now you need to get them ready to sell your products and solutions. Systematic and deliberate onboarding can have long term impact on partner loyalty and productivity. By one company's experience, 50% greater first year revenue was realized by those partners...

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Tags: onboarding, partner experience, channel management,


Posted Friday, August 12, 2016 at 06:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

“Well, they get a good margin” was the response to the question “What is the partner value proposition?” at one large manufacturer. Margin as defined between the difference between buy price and sell price is probably not the right answer. “Do I offer my partner a...

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Posted Thursday, August 4, 2016 at 06:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Do you Have the Right Channel for your Future?The Buyer's journey has changed in the past few years.  Has your channel strategy kept up?  Have your partners?  How are you transforming your channel to address how buyers buy? How is your channel changing to keep up?Here are some facts about...

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Tags: channel strategy, digital transformation, buyer's journey, transforming the channel, channel of the future


Posted Friday, July 22, 2016 at 06:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

What Savvy Channel Chiefs Already KnowHow does a channel chief address the seismic shifts happening in the world of digital transformation?  How can you enable the channel to make the crossing to new opportunities promised by the digital transformation?  Phoenix Consulting Group and Highland...

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Posted Friday, May 13, 2016 at 03:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

TALKIN' SMAC AND DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION Author: Hobart Swan | Published by: CCI Global Channel Management, January 2016 Feature Let’s start off with a definition. The Altimeter Group defines digital transformation as “the realignment of, or new investment in, technology and...

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Posted Friday, April 22, 2016 at 05:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Is IOT Ready for the Channel?We’ve been hearing IOT is coming; IOT is coming for some time.  The fact of the matter is IOT is here.  GE announced that they saw $6B inrevenue in industrial IOT this past year, 2015. Others Amazon, Google, IBM, even the US government have also announced...

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Posted Monday, May 25, 2015 at 01:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Partnering Strategies to Accelerate Growth in the Internet of ThingsFor some time we’ve been hearing that Internet of Things is coming.   Well it’s here!There are many examples that we probably don’t think much about.  Beyond our personal devices: smart phones, watches...

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Tags: By one estimate IOT will represent $14T of new value creation by 2020 with 50-75 billion devices connected.


Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 05:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Business model transformation is one of the most disruptive changes a business can face and it isn’t pretty.   As often is the case in disruption, those companies with the most invested in the old model have the most to lose since making the shift will cannibalize their existing business...

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Tags: Cloud computing, business model transformation, disruptive change, SaaS


Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 02:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Because more and more, channels are becoming the preferred route to market for alliances.As a recent CRN article on the VCE alliance illustrates, when alliance managers choose channels they need to understand how they work, what motivates channel partners, what are the economics, and how to deal with...

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Tags: channels, SaaS, Strategic Alliances, Routes to Market, Go to Market


Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 02:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Collaboration between technology providers and their channel partners has never been more important. Creating a sustainable partnership begins with the customer value proposition. Without customer value, there is no reason to partner! This requires you to get inside the head of the ultimate...

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Tags: Business Impact, Solution Value, Relationship, Partner Value


Posted Friday, February 14, 2014 at 11:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Channels are under pressure as never before. They have been subject to compressing product margins over the years; first on hardware, then software and now - pressure from  a business model  perspective in adjusting from transactional payment to recurring revenue driven by the SaaS (software...

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Posted Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 08:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Providing training to your partners is a major component of partner enablement. However one size does not fit all.  Training must be relevant to your partners’ needs, delivered when they need it and in a format they find consumable.  The challenge becomes exponential when you consider...

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Posted Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 10:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Most channel programs see the 80/20 rule in effect around partner engagement. Meaning, only 20% of your partners are actively selling and promoting your products and services. So how do you increase active selling? Recruit more partners? Or find a way to capture more interest with the partners...

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Posted Friday, August 17, 2012 at 10:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

We often focus on how to measure the performance of individual partners, but it is equally important to understand how your partner community is performing. Insight into what drives performance across your community informs you on how to better manage your partner program to enable more success.There...

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Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 04:26 AM by Leslie Sutherland

In our previous blog, 5 Ways to Capture a Lead, we delved into best practices for lead generation in your target markets. Now that you have the leads, what do you do with them? Lead qualification is a good place to start.The goal of lead qualification is to sort through and prioritize leads so...

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Tags: channel management, lead management, channel revenue, partner relationship management, PRM


Posted Monday, May 7, 2012 at 07:40 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

Following our last Deal Registration blog post, many readers have been wanting to know more about how to incent partners to register a deal and examples of how "best in class" incentive programs work. Simply put, the purpose of incentives is to influence the behavior you want from your partners through...

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Tags: channel management, lead management, channel revenue, partner relationship management, PRM, channel incentives, channel rewards, partner incentives


Posted Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 09:00 AM by Norma Watenpaugh

Deal registration is a common element of most channel programs. However, without a solid PRM system behind it, the process can be cumbersome and ultimately fail. The purpose of deal registration is to reduce channel conflict by protecting partner deals. It prevents partners from stealing deals and competing...

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Posted Monday, February 27, 2012 at 05:00 PM by Norma Watenpaugh

We are pleased to announce our partnership with Requisite Software, an industry-leading Channel Management, B2B eCommerce and Master Data Management solutions. Together we plan to provide a series of postings highlighting issues and soutions for the partner management community.  This is the...

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