Over the years, the partner/manager role seems to be morphing. Are you noticing this shift in your network? Here’s a snapshot of what’s happening.
KPIs For Partner Co-Selling
What’s the best way to measure, optimize & support partner co-selling? If you’re a fan of measurement, you know the answer; “What gets measured gets done”
What’s the best way to measure, optimize, and support partner co-selling? If you’re a fan of measurement, you know the answer. “What gets measured gets done.”
Measurement is the single most important thing to do when you want to benefit from KPIs (key performance indicators.)
Let me be clear. I normally like to steer clear of acronyms because they can become conversation killers…but in this case, it’s just shorthand for measuring success.
So, if you’ll excuse the acronym, I’m going to use it quite a bit in this post.
Here at Co-Sell, we live by KPIs. But it wasn’t always that way.
The Truth About Measuring
I didn’t always really appreciate the value of measuring. Not everyone values measurement—until they realize its power.
Case in point. I just got off the phone with David* who now runs his sales team by measurement. It wasn’t always that way. I’ve watched this transformation in how David works and lives. I’ll let him describe his turn-around.
“I used to hate measurement. It showed up at work – I was constantly running after clients instead of figuring out what really worked. And, it really showed up at home.”
David had a nasty habit of ‘toss out the measurement’ mechanism.
Today, he has applied this love of measurement to engage his sales team to be radically successful.
He’s fallen in love with the power of measurement.
He lives by these words:
“What gets measured gets managed” - Peter Drucker
I’ve been polling top sales VPs for their input. Here are the 9 KPIs that are on the ‘must-have list’ for successful co-selling partnerships.
I think you’ll agree. These are key factors that can determine your success. Not only can. By measuring, strengthening, and supporting your team in using these KPIs, you will surely boost success.
Now, let’s get going.
Let’s Look at History
No doubt, you’ve been keeping records. You know which partners you’ve worked within the past that you’re looking forward to continuing to work with. You’ll know what practices have done well, produced warm introductions, and resulted in high customer satisfaction ratings. This is a natural place to identify your KPIs.
The good news about this, you have real data. History shows you what has performed. It’s not pie-in-the-sky or fiction. It is cold, hard facts. This is good news because you can learn from what’s worked and do more of it.
The bad news about this is that it is historical. You are looking backward to what has worked so far. This doesn’t necessarily prepare you to focus on, identify, and track the best indicators for the present or the future. The definitive nature of past performance can prevent you from seeing other things that you need to measure.
Most people hate it when they realize this! It’s kind of like throwing lighter fluid on a burning fire. Who doesn’t secretly wish to just do more of what we’ve already done?
It is very helpful to learn from history. Yet it’s not the whole story.
Some of the KPIs you are likely to find from historical data include:
01. Number of Qualified Partners
What’s your ideal co-sell partner? Think in terms of your ‘ideal’ partner to identify specific qualities, characteristics, and volume. Identify the people you’d most like to work with to achieve success.
In different industries, this emerges as a different set of criteria for co-sell partners. It may include some of these elements:
- Complementary software
- Access to a specific niche
02. Number of Partner Qualified Leads
What’s your desired outcome for leads? This may be general, as in ‘more’ qualified leads. Or, it may be specific, as in ‘20+ qualified leads this week.’ Either way, to track your progress, you need to track the numbers of qualified leads. Makes sense, don’t you think?
03. Number of Sales Actions
You may be able to assign a measurement to actions that are relevant to your co-selling activities. These could be along the lines of:
- # of warm introduction emails sent and received
- # of meetings with partner sales teams to share sales insights
- Pipeline influenced or sourced from partners
- Closed revenue influenced or sourced from partners
By looking at history, you can identify KPIs for your best-working co-selling partnerships. This will help you validate the merit of spending your energy and time in strengthening existing partnerships. It will also help you see the value of building new partnerships.
You’ll have a personal set of KPIs that work for your unique situation—and know how to continue doing what has already proven valuable.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Now Let’s Look Forward
You might have current data for these key indicators. Or, you may need to get started with measuring these elements, to create more collaborative opportunities.
04. Measuring Co-ordination From Sales Leaders
No one is working in isolation. Co-selling is likely to succeed when the sales leadership actively supports the activity. This may be visible through such measurable activities as:
- Co-Sell meetings
- Compensation for co-selling activities
- Quota credit
- Internal support for prospecting and qualifying
05. Measuring Relevant Education & Training Options
In some sales organizations, co-selling is a new concept. It requires a broader vision and collaborative thinking. This doesn’t happen by magic, or overnight. More often, co-selling thinking is improved with specific education in webinars, materials, and pieces of training.
You may be able to support this kind of learning through:
- A training kit
- Co-Selling guide
- PowerPoint slides of financial benefit
- Call scripts
- Email templates
- Meeting agendas
- These materials initially take some time to conceive and develop. However, the upfront effort pays off when you consider how you’ll be able to support active co-selling.
Even in the process of developing these materials, you can measure progress:
- Research most frequently asked questions
- Create prototype materials
- Field-test early versions
- Adapt, change, delete to match
- Track feedback from co-selling partners
Once you have developed your set of materials, track your activities in numbers of materials shared, satisfaction, and linkage to performance.
06. Tracking Co-Selling Opportunities
Track and measure how you can support co-selling with your partners. Get up close and connected to make sure you’re truly collaborating.
Look at what might have gotten lost, abandoned, or overlooked in past sales efforts. Look for opportunities to expand wins, cross-sell to existing customers, or leverage an active relationship.
This is a great place to get a broader team involved. People on your team and your partner’s team will have deep insights from day-to-day interactions.
07. Tracking Co-Selling CAC and Profitability
We are all looking at the numbers, after all. It’s only natural that we give more attention to the most profitable activities. What are your most profitable areas for products, services, and solutions? It’s easier to get buy-in when there is a bigger reward.
08. Measuring Co-Selling Lead Sources
Where do your most profitable leads come from? This may be a matter of looking at your leads from different angles. It may be territory, niche, or persona. By identifying the most profitable sources, you will know where to concentrate your efforts.
09. Measuring Talking About Priorities
Prioritizing KPIs for Co-Selling varies across industries, firms, and buyer-personalities. To build the best strategies, start with a conversation. The smartest ideas are often born out of talking directly with your partners and high performers on your team.
These days, as you use more virtual tools, continue the dialogue. Make a point to keep having direct conversations. Use Zoom. Send a text. Pick up the phone. By keeping real-time communication open, you’ll stay in touch with partner insights.
Look for ways to adapt activity-driven KPIs to your circumstances:
- How can we reward Co-Selling?
- How can we educate our sales reps with tools, graphics, and software?
- How can we support our Partners with tools, graphics, software, and training?
- How can we popularize and create incentives for using best practices?
- How can we publicize wins with Co-Selling Partners?
- How will we stay agile with our partners?
As you discuss ideas with your partners, you’ll get organized for success. You can apply KPIs to measure your conversations such as:
- How many conversations about Co-Selling do you have each week, month, quarter?
- How often do you get together to plan co-selling strategies?
- How often do you ask your partners for input?
- How often do you share wins with internal and partner teams?
Identifying Your Most Productive Actions
KPIs are a great way to identify what is working best. As you work with your co-selling partners, you’ll get more and more familiar with productive actions. Once you identify successful activities, you can work to use the best practices—and continue refining.
This is when you’ll fall in love with measurement.
Like my friend David discovered in his personal path to sales success and weight loss, the measurement will help you succeed. David is now an advocate of measurement—he is living proof of the value.
Using KPIs for Partner Co-Selling is the key to staying productive. You’ll track what works best. Along the way, you’ll also discover what isn’t working so well. This enables you to make small adjustments and rapid course corrections. You can stop a trickle before it becomes a river. You can multiply the best practice quickly, to get a tremendous benefit.
In short, you’ll know the best way to use your energy, resources, and time.
With KPIs for your Co-Selling partners, you can support key indicators, boost team performance, and realize significant revenue potential. Using KPIs helps you identify, focus, and prioritize your activities with Co-Selling partners.
Partnership Co-Selling is what makes it easy to create value for customers with collaborative partnerships.
Using a platform like CoSell.io is the simplest way to get your sales team on board. CoSell is a robust platform that makes it easy and fast to automate and scale collaborative co-selling across sales teams.
If you’d like to explore how partnership co-selling can help you and your team boost sales and win major clients fast - check out our selection of free eBooks.
*Names changed to respect privacy.