The Top 6 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Channel Partner Management


In today’s business environment, it is critical for businesses to have a robust network of partners in order to grow and scale. These partners include value added resellers (VARs), solutions providers, system integrators, and distributors.

In fact, here at 5000fish, we’re in the midst of building a robust partnership program as we work to scale and grow our customer base for Yurbi. With our current partnerships, we’ve seen how each relationship is a win-win because we’re able to help meet our partners’ customers’ BI needs and they help us increase the number of users using Yurbi.

When you build a partnership program, you must understand how to measure its success by defining leading and post key performance indicators (KPI’s). It’s easy to look at post-KPI’s for a partnership program, such as deals closed. However it’s extremely important to monitor leading KPI’s (which are often behaviors) in order to gauge the success and gaps within your program before the post-KPI’s come into play. In this article we’ll look at the top six leading KPI’s that you can manage within your channel partner program.

  1. The number of proof of concepts. If trials and proof of concepts are key to your sales process, a great leading KPI for your partner program is the number of trials or proof of concepts in which partners are engaged.
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  3. Participation in sales technology and marketing training. As you enable your partners via webinars, sales training, and marketing training, your partners’ amount of participation in this training is a leading indicator of how engaged and knowledgeable they are with your product, which ultimately enables them to sell more.
  4. Deal registration. If your partners are actively registering deals in your pipeline, you are better able to predict the number of sales you will have based off the percentage of registered deals that are likely to close.
  5. Partner portal engagement. If your primary form of partner communication is via your partner portal, the amount of logins and the level of engagement within the portal is a leading indicator of their commitment to your product.
  6. Joint-business planning. Many studies have shown that the partners with whom they develop a joint-business plan each year and quarter do better than partners who do not have a joint-business plan. Monitoring the number of partners with whom you have joint-business plans is a leading indicator of your partnership program success.
  7. Partner attendance at your events. Similar to portal engagement, partner attendance at your events is another leading indicator of partnership success because it indicates that you’re reaching partners with your message, which they can then share with their customers.

The Bottom Line

The above leading KPI’s are great gauges of your partnership program success, but it’s important to test and verify them. You will need to set your thresholds for each leading indicator that determine whether a partner is performing in a specific category.

Once you identify each threshold, you must leverage the above leading KPI’s as your partner scorecard so you can identify which partners you should invest your time and money into. These leading indicators will enable you to segment your partners into the fast-growers and top performers, middle-of-the-pack performers, and poor performers. When you use the above KPI’s as your scorecard, you may find that the most vocal partners who ask for more funding and support are not the top performers.

After you have identified your top performing partners you can establish channel partner incentives, such as marketing development funds or joint marketing and events, and grow the most profitable partnerships with better incentives. By defining your thresholds and using the above KPI’s to shape your channel partnership program, you will be able to grow and strengthen your program over time.

Interested in partnering with Yurbi?  Contact us here and let’s start our combined win/win relationship!

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Business Intelligence For Companies Ready To Grow