Idea in Brief: marketing and integration software partnerships are often hard to quantify. Tracking and measuring revenue influenced is a viable solution.
As software firms grow, partnerships become more and more important (see posts Categorized as Inorganic Growth for other perspectives). But as CEOs and boards invest in alliances, partnership marketing, leveraged sales and more, the question is often: how do we measure success?
In my experience, both as a former alliances/business development functional leader, as well as across a myriad of advisory and investor positions, influenced revenue can be the magic metric.
So what is influenced revenue? Simply put, it's revenue that was initiated and/or accelerated by partnership efforts. Examples include:
* A friendly account executive calls with a tip on a prospect.
* A services lead endorses a partner solution within an account.
* A product manager highlights an integration in a roadmap session.
* A solutions consultant coaches a partner sales person on how to navigate a tricky account.
In all cases, one can see how decisive, thoughtful action, accompanied by a sharing of the activity adds value. Generally, business development managers should be tasked with provoking, soliciting, tracking and positively rewarding influence behaviors.
And for enterprise software, pursuing ~25% of deals via partner influence has been about the right level. Note that influence requires significant communication, positive experience, product education and trust on both sides of the equation. But the steps to build to it are well worth it, especially in large deals with complex selling environments.