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  • Larry Gregory

Partner Mapping Insights

Partner Mapping enables companies to optimize their partner ecosystem including: capacity planning, strategic gap analysis, and solution mapping.  Following are insights on the key factors most important for this kind of partner strategy analysis.

Influenced Revenue

Representing influenced revenue for partners that directly transact revenue on your behalf is straightforward: reseller partners report revenue for customer sales and cloud partners generate trackable subscription or consumption-based revenue.  Indirect partners such as ISVs and non-reselling SIs require influenced revenue estimates in order to represent their relative partner value.  Many companies haven’t achieved this level of sophistication and need help defining influenced revenue as a precursor to the Partner Mapping process.

Influenced Revenue

Partner Program Tiers

The purpose of Capacity Planning is to leverage partners in order to achieve company revenue goals.  The average revenue productivity of existing partners (by partner program tier) is a good indicator of the value of subsequent partners in that tier.  If your partner program doesn’t have tiers, you can still derive value from Partner Mapping, but the focus will be on relative value of different types of partners.  Also, Partner Mapping will help select the most impactful partners per geographic market (using just loyalty and revenue as partner performance indicators if there are no partner program tiers).  Note that some companies prefer to use customer satisfaction as an indicator of partner value instead of loyalty.

Partner Ecosystem Size

Companies that design their products as a platform invest heavily in developing a partner ecosystem and subsequently want to optimize that investment.  The larger the partner community, the more important it is to differentiate and service those partners that will drive the most revenue growth and therefore warrant account management and marketing support.  Companies with few partners (perhaps because their solution doesn’t lend itself to scale through partners) aren’t a good fit for Partner Mapping.

Product Portfolio

Single-product companies enjoy greater simplicity in partner messaging and strategy whereas multi-product companies have to juggle internal partner resources across competing internal product groups.  Partner Mapping is helpful in both scenarios, and particularly helpful in objectively representing partner value where there are multiple product lines to be represented.  Partner Mapping results include preferred partners by product, by geography.  This includes identifying where new partners need to be recruited to achieve product-specific revenue goals as well as defining managed partners per product.

Company Type

Partner Mapping was originally designed for cloud and software companies but I’ve found other kinds of companies take interest in the process as well.  Partner Mapping applies wherever multiple partners influence revenue and there is a company desire to optimize partner-facing resources around those driving the most revenue.

Partner Mapping Results

The end result of Partner Mapping is a view into current partner ecosystem value (by program tier and partner type).  This enables partner leadership to represent existing and future revenue contribution of the partner ecosystem to the senior leadership team.  In addition, Capacity Planning and Solution Mapping help companies define appropriate partner recruiting and alliance management efforts.  Depending on the customer, these results are delivered as a simple report (e.g., for consideration in the strategic planning cycle), or as in-depth facilitated workshops that help mediate cross-group priorities and broker the optimization of partner program and alliance management investments.

Contact us to determine if Partner Mapping is a fit for you.

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