Channel Call

Channel Metrics Most Microsoft Partners Ignore

Traditionally, businesses monitor things like revenue, leads and phone calls made. All are important items to measure...but they only tell part of the story.

Measuring anything is becoming increasingly important these days. As companies redefine themselves and implement systems and processes that focus on efficiency and productivity, they must make sure they're achieving the desired results. The only way to do this is by measurement. Because of the leverage that channels provide, companies are placing a greater emphasis on their channels -- necessitating the need to better monitor and manage these initiatives. Let's start by discussing the importance of accurately measuring your channel.

At Channel Consulting Corp., we've developed a comprehensive practice around channel Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). In fact, we have more than 75 channel-specific KPIs that companies should monitor. Over the next few months, we'll examine the categories of measurement, some examples of KPIs within each category, and the reasons why you should monitor these KPIs. I'll focus on the more unique KPIs that are often overlooked.

By measuring a KPI, you can monitor the progress of your channel. Traditionally, businesses monitor things like revenue, leads and phone calls made. All are important items to measure, but they only tell part of the story. There's more information to be gleaned by breaking out KPIs into categories. The categories include sales, marketing, systems, recruitment, productivity, enablement, market intelligence, efficiency and company. Each one of these categories has several KPIs in it and each KPI then produces a piece of intelligence that contributes to the overall health of your channel.

Let's look at two of the categories now, and further categories in subsequent columns -- starting with sales and marketing.

Measurement of sales has been and always will be the key indicator of success. That's easy to figure out. However, here are a few unique KPIs that lend further insight into the sales area that you may or may not have been aware of:

  1. Cross-Sell/Up-Sell Percentage on Transactions. This KPI determines how well you're doing with increasing the per-deal value by cross-selling and up-selling.

  2. New Customer Productivity. This KPI determines if your salesperson, or partner, tends to sell more to existing accounts or to "net new" accounts. This is important to understand if you're trying to change the behavior of your sales team -- think cloud!

  3. Number of Pitches Made by Salesperson or Partner. This KPI determines how well you're doing with the number and type of pitches -- and the value of each -- as it relates to your pipeline.

For marketing, take a look at the some of the following unique KPIs that will illuminate this area of your business:

  1. Month-over-Month Growth Rate of Your Pipeline. This determines the ideal growth rate of your pipeline as it relates to achieving your desired revenue numbers. This is different than simply tracking pipeline value! Growth rate determines the amount of effort on a monthly basis that needs to go into maintaining the proper amount of pipeline.

  2. Performing Products Related to Marketing Campaigns. Not so much a unique KPI, but important because this shows the correlation between where you're spending your marketing money and where you're receiving your revenue. These two areas should always be in alignment.

  3. Top Underperforming Products. This sounds like an easy KPI, and it is; however, the importance of this particular metric is that you may have some great new products or services, but they're just not making it out there. This could be a function of underinvestment or a marketing message that isn't quite right.

Tracking the typical KPIs is vital, but hopefully the KPIs listed here give you a sense of other important metrics you can use to make your channel or portfolio of offerings work better. Stay tuned for the next series of articles, where we'll examine other categories of KPIs.

Next Time: More Key Performance Indicators

About the Author

Keith Lubner is Chief Business Strategist at Sales Gravy, the sales acceleration company, and managing partner of C3 Channel, a global consulting organization focused on channel strategy, design, enablement, outsourcing and training for growing companies. For more information about Keith, visit www.c3channel.com, www.channeleq.co or www.salesgravy.com.

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