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Stacking Up

How Do Your Partner Programs Stack Up Against The Competition?

February 4, 2015

In this highly competitive world, technology manufacturers are looking to their channel partners to gain a market advantage. To do this, they are using channel data, or smart data, as leverage.

To learn more about how high-tech manufactures use channel data to manage their partner programs, we asked 85 technology manufacturers about their experiences. The survey, jointly sponsored with Baptie & Company, was taken in September 2013, and the results are now documented in our latest white paper. You can download a complimentary copy here: Using Channel Data to Manage Partner Programs.

Following are a few highlights from the survey:

What uses for channel data are most important? 

Respondents ranked visibility into channel performance highest, followed by the ability to measure channel program ROI. Calculating sales commissions and partner incentive rebates also ranked highly. However, many respondents expressed low satisfaction with their ability to calculate channel program ROI and sales commissions. They reported only moderate satisfaction with their ability to accurately calculate incentive rebates, and somewhat higher satisfaction with visibility into channel performance.

Respondents ranked their biggest challenges with channel data management as follows:

  1. Cleansing submitted channel data
  2. Analyzing channel data
  3. Getting partners to submit point of sale (POS) data

How do respondents process channel data?

More than half do it internally, either manually or using a homegrown automated system. Fewer than half used a third party Channel Data Management (CDM) company.

Regarding their use of partner incentive programs, MDF (Marketing Development Funds) and Co-op programs topped the list. Others included Special Pricing, Product-based, and Sales Goal Attainment programs.

The turnaround time for processing partner incentive claims ranged widely. While about 40% of respondents paid claims within two weeks, nearly a third took more than a month to pay their partners.

About one-third of respondents estimated that the error factor in processing claims ranged from 5-10 percent.

To learn more about how other manufacturers are using Channel Data to Manage Partner Programs download the white paper that summarizes all the survey results. Read it and let us know how you stack up in your efforts to effectively use channel data to manage your partner programs.


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