Why are only 20% of partners driving 80% of your channel revenue?

Most businesses that work with channel partners enter the relationship to grow revenue. The desire is that each partner will generate leads and deals from their current clients and connections. The hope is that partners will actively market to grow the number of deals beyond their current connections. In reality, not every partner is able to achieve these expectations. In fact, only 20% of partners generate 80% of channel revenue. 

There’s a reason for this — The Pareto Principle. It says 80% of results come from 20% of the effort. This rule applies to partnerships, too. 

Most companies will sit back and accept this as their reality. In our experience, we see underlying problems that keep partnerships from breaking through this barrier.

  • Most partners lack a clear sales process to be able to sell your product or service. 
  • Your product or service needs to fit into the partner’s marketing capabilities.
  • You have limited bandwidth to support partners equally.

What makes a successful partnership

Partnerships are successful when they align with both companies’ goals. In most businesses, success is measured by revenue. When you’re looking to create successful partnerships, consider these factors:

  • Trust levels: First, you must trust the business with which you’re partnering to do the right thing for you and themselves. 
  • Willingness to communicate: Partnerships require easy, consistent communication to keep teams apprised of the latest company developments and direction. Treating partners as an extension of your team is a great way to think about the level of communication needed.
  • Follow-through: Any company can say they’ll do what you need. Look for those who can demonstrate their effectiveness at coming through for their partners. Partners will focus on the companies that are giving them mind share. 

That seems easy. Why can’t more than 20% of partners contribute more revenue again?

If you follow the success factors from the previous section, then every partnership can be successful. If your company is small with a handful of partners, then you can easily manage. If you have hundreds or thousands of partners, on the other hand, execution is really hard. 

  • As mentioned earlier, companies with partner or channel marketing and sales teams have more requests from partners than they can ideally manage. You end up focusing on the top-performing partners and making sure they have a clear understanding of sales and market development processes.  
  • Partners do not sell your product or service exclusively. They tend to focus on what is easiest to sell. If they don’t get the right information or collateral at the right time, they will move on to the next company.
  • Partners need to know how to sell to their current customers, and they also need help to fill their pipeline. The companies that can fill their pipeline become invaluable because it helps them grow. This can be challenging. 

How do we overcome this and engage all our partners?

To overcome the Pareto Principle and engage more than 20% of your partners the right way, you need to make sales enablement and marketing programs scalable across all partners. Here are a few things to keep in mind while you develop or revamp your partner program:

  • Make life simple for partners. Use a PRM to communicate and share information. Ideally, choose one that uses automation to co-brand marketing collateral and make things easy for them to share.
  • Fill your partner’s pipeline. Provide complete lead generation marketing programs they can implement easily. Provide funding to support their marketing programs. 
  • Help them close. Share leads so they feel you have a vested interest in their success and enable their sales team to close deals and sales efforts. Measure everything: Data will give you insights on which partners need more help. It also shows you which marketing collateral and campaigns are working and which need addressing. Get attribution to make sure you reward partners correctly for generating leads and deals.
  • Make it easy for yourself. Use a platform to scale these items for each partner. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with the 80/20 rule. 

xAmplify replaces friction with automation to help partnerships scale marketing automation and sales enablement across all your partners — not just 20% of the most active. To see how xAmplify can improve and amplify all your partner relationships, request a demo.

Partnership University: PRMs and Why You Should Have One

In the world of partnerships, challenges show up frequently for those looking to expand their programs and keep up with the changing ecosystem. Partner relationship management (PRM) systems help you do that in a way that boosts sales while streamlining the processes that make your channels work. The key is understanding which platform meets both the current and future needs of your organization and helps maintain sales growth throughout the process.

What is a PRM?

At its core, partner relationship management is software that facilitates the management of partnerships. It also helps with streamlining marketing and selling products across partnerships. These systems give channel sales managers and marketers the tools they need to connect and automate their current processes. A PRM combines all the essential strategies, methodologies, and steps for your partnership in one location, and helps all interested parties build, oversee and manage the relationship more effectively. PRM systems range from simple options that assist with the management of partnerships to those that automate essential tasks and provide clear data on the overall business relationship.

It is important to understand that a PRM differs from a customer relationship management (CRM) system. While they both help you grow your partnership, they do so in different ways and are not interchangeable. 

Differences between CRM and PRM

Both CRM and PRM are relationship management tools, but they work in unique ways. A CRM collects and shares data in the direct-selling environment. It manages the sales sequence from lead generation through the purchase and afterward for increased visibility into the sales process.

A PRM manages the internal processes of partner organizations and their channel relationships. These tools combine the layers of a partnership for process alignment, improved workflow across channels, and clear goal-oriented strategies. PRMs incorporate communication, learning management, performance, and real-time progress into a single tool that facilitates reseller and manufacturer relationships.

Typical features in a PRM

PRM tools vary based on the size and needs of the organization, and the specific options they offer. However, most systems include basic functionality, such as

  • Automated partner recruiting and onboarding processes
  • Centralized online management portals
  • Simplified lead and deal registrations
  • Shared sales and educational resources
  • Quick commission payments
  • Forecasted channel sales and partner effectiveness
  • Assigned leads that prevent channel conflicts

 Additional options and add-ons help partnerships tailor each tool to their specific needs.

When choosing a partner relationship management tool, companies bombard you with all the features that make them better than other options. However, there are important automation options that drastically alter the usability of a PRM – and how long each step takes for setup.

What PRM companies won’t tell you

There are several aspects of PRM implementation and streamlining that take considerable time and effort. When handling these tasks on your own, the processes often require days of emails, meetings, and approvals that take time away from more important aspects of running your business. The following are just some ways that xAmplify makes the entire partnership management process easier.

Automatic Co-branding

Co-branding across partnerships requires all parties to agree on specific details. With built-in logo merging, all it takes is the click of a button to use side-by-side branding that reflects both organizations. You can even create locked templates that prevent changes so your identity remains intact across content.

Seamless Integration

Integration between Salesforce and other tech stacks takes time, and they aren’t simple processes. xAmplify provides an automated Salesforce integration process that lets you focus more on strengthening and developing your channel relationships.

Partner Focused

Onboarding requires an understanding of the individual partners and how they align with the overall goals of the company. With proper alignment and incentivization, onboarding partners becomes quicker and easier. Streamlining this process helps new partners redistribute your message, drive sales, and increase your reach faster. xAmplify’s platform is built for the onboarding process and makes it simple for partners to redistribute marketing campaigns.

xAmplify Goes Beyond the Typical PRM

xAmplify provides PRM solutions that help you grow your partnerships. With a truly automated system that prioritizes channel partners, we help your distribution channels achieve better results and higher sales. We simplify omnichannel, multi-touch campaigns and provide sales enablement for multiple partners, all with a single tool that automates processes for faster results. We help you save your time and resources so you and your partners focus on closing deals and seeing more revenue growth. 

If you’re ready to choose a PRM that includes the power of through-channel marketing automation, schedule an xAmplify demo today to learn more.

The difference between PRM and Partner Revenue Enablement (Through-Channel Partner Marketing)

If your company uses a partner program, chances are you’ve also instituted some sort of partner relationship management (PRM) system to keep track of partnerships. You probably are also looking for ways to leverage those partnerships for increased revenue, which is where partner revenue enablement comes into play. 

Partner Relationship Management v. Enabling Partners

Partner relationship management is exactly what it sounds like — it’s the management of the mutual arrangement you have with partner companies. It’s a method for tracking the goals and standards you’ve set with your partners. Training and workflow are often pieces of the relationship management framework as well.

Partnership revenue enablement, on the other hand, is all about empowering your partners with the information, tools, and training they need to sell your product and increase your revenue. It’s an engagement approach that extends past just giving resources to your partners and expecting them to follow through. It invites their sales teams to join in your brand’s vision and gives them a playbook that shows them where they fit into your strategic plan so they can generate and close the right deals on your behalf.

Both concepts are integral to the success of your company’s through-channel marketing strategy. Technology makes them easier to execute, so long as you choose the right software for each.

PRM Software is not the Same as Partner Revenue Enablement Software

Most of the popular PRM software options out there provide tracking of the partner relationship. They let you share processes, training, sessions and other resources with your partners. The top PRM solutions are suitably robust and allow you to manage partnerships across the board.

Unfortunately, that robustness can work against your bottom line without the proper engagement and enablement to represent your brand as completely as your own teams do. When partners don’t have a playbook that’s easy to follow or a process to sell your product for you, they’re more likely to ignore your offering and find one that’s easier for them to sell. Those partners end up leaning toward other partnerships or miss key opportunities to impact your revenue because they don’t know the right information to make the connection on your behalf.

In contrast, partner revenue enablement software specifically addresses this issue and simplifies the sales process for partners. The best of breed for this type of software solution is full of time-saving features that make conversions easier for your partners. This includes giving your partners access to co-branded, multichannel campaigns and landing pages to full-tilt, scalable marketing across emerging and social media platforms. The top options also plan around compliance requirements and offer tracking and performance metrics so you can see how partnerships lead to revenue for your company.

The right partner revenue enablement software should be a scalable solution so you have increased capacity for more partnerships. Features like automated campaign tracking and  partner engagement metrics, free up your staff to develop more relationships and further your company’s revenue potential.

When revenue from partner relationships matters, partner revenue enablement is crucial. Offer your trusted partners the right software to manage campaigns and produce leads for you.