Ask the Experts

The Channel Marketplace has some of the best experts in the channel today. Everyone has questions about what’s happening in the channel, best practices, and how to avoid mistakes. Through the Channel Marketplace, you can ask questions and get answers from our experts confidentially. Just submit your question, and we’ll reply with one or more answers from our team.


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  • Analytics

How should we track our partner engagement?

Our recommendation is that you begin with a baseline of metrics in content usage; how much collaboration there is between partner account managers and individuals within the partner organization; how many individuals within the partner are using your portal for both content and transactions; the frequency of portal usage by individuals within the partner organization.

Hopefully you can capture all of this engagement information within your partner portal which would make it easier to track on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Armed with this data fed into a BI tool of your choice, you will start to see patterns which will help you take action to increase engagement.

We invite you to contact our Concierge who can arrange a follow-up roundtable discussion with some of our members who are experts in how to take the next step in increasing engagement.

  • Performance Management

How do we begin joint business planning with our partners?

It is best to first understand your partners’ business and business potential with you before embarking on a business planning initiative. For instance, it would be beneficial to segment your partners based on their business strategies, customer portfolio and investment in different solution areas. It is also useful for you to know both your current level of business with each of the partner segments and where that is likely to go in the future.

For those partners with strategies and investments well aligned with yours, a high tech/high touch business planning process with your partner account managers might be in order. For those with minimal alignment, you may wish to invest in a more automated solution combined with digital engagement strategy through your partner portal.

We would welcome the opportunity to have our partner business planning expert connect with you to discuss in much more detail and to create an action plan for you in business planning.

  • Partner Experience

How do we improve our partners’ experience in working with our company?

Because the partner experience is comprised of several different elements - people, systems, program, etc. - it’s important to understand where you stand on each one from your partners’ perspective. We would steer you towards embarking on a partner experience assessment that both captures that information, as well as benchmarking you against some of your competitors.

Would it be possible to follow-up with you to discuss further? Make sure you provide us with your contact information.

  • Partner Marketing

What’s the best way to support our partners with their demand generation campaigns?

There are a number of ways we have found that work to effectively improve ROI of partner marketing campaigns. For small to mid-sized partner organizations a service-led approach might work best. The human touch helps to guide these partners through the effective utilization of their through partner channel marketing tools that vendors provide. For more mature partner organizations having next generation marketing automation tools can be especially effective, especially those that provide for a good mix of personalization of the content (especially video content) that is targeting differing stages of the buyer’s journey.

We would welcome the opportunity to delve deeper with you on your particular partner marketing scenario. Make sure you provide us with your contact details so we can get in touch.

  • Channel Strategy
  • Performance Management

How can I monitor my partner performance in our specific target market segments?

It’s important to understand each of your partners’ capabilities in the context of your specific target markets using quantitative and qualitative data. Then if you map the key success criteria and buyers’ needs in each of these segments against those capabilities you will have a fairly good scorecard by which you can address your partners’ performance. It will also provide you with a roadmap of the specific areas of need where you should focus to build up partner capabilities.

Your question is very important in this time of next normal business practices. We would welcome the opportunity to work with you further on a specific score-carding methodology suited to your needs. Please provide your contact details so we can connect.

  • Channel Strategy

We are just formalizing our partner program and strategy. Where should I start?

We always think the best place to begin is with a thorough understanding of the partners you wish to recruit, the capabilities you believe they should have, and then how you should enable and reward them for specific behaviors. There are many different structures for partner programs today - the traditional tiered approach, an a la carte design, where partners with different capabilities select what works best for them, and something in between. It is also imperative to understand how your partners wish to do business with you as well as to gain their perspective on what’s working in some of the other partner programs they are part of.

This is a great topic for a deeper dive into what you are trying to achieve. Can we contact you for further conversation? Please provide your contact information so we can set something up.

  • Partner Experience

How do we drive partner engagement with our business?

There are a number of tools at your fingertips. Important is to have a partner portal that makes it easy for you to communicate and collaborate with your partners on topics that can be personalized for them. Equally important is that your portal makes it super easy for your partners to get exactly what they need to be successful with what they are trying to do. This means the portal must be configurable at the speed of the business, it must automate the delivery of a highly personalized experience, and it needs drive easy self-service for partners to register deals, make MDF claims, access on-demand learning and much more. Also, it is important that your incentive programs are geared towards partner engagement throughout the sales process, not just at the point of closed-won deals.

We would like to discuss partner engagement with you in more detail. Could you provide your contact information so we can contact you?