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New role-based partner segmentation clarifies partner program needs

A large software company knew partners had evolved new business models and no longer fit into the categories & structure of their existing partner program.

Every channel management investment you make should be for the explicit purpose of driving partner behavior.

You should measure the success of each investment based on its ability to drive desired behavior in an economical manner. Relevant behavior can be categorized into four buckets:

  • Focus. Are partners concentrating on the customers and solutions you want?

  • Performance. Are partners driving the business results you require?

  • Activity. Are partners meeting your requirements and receiving sufficient rewards to stay satisfied?

  • Retention. Are you securing your best partners with benefits that keep them, and their customers, loyal?

The Spur Group was engaged to help create and implement a next-generation partner segmentation model with a goal to increase strategic partner capabilities.

The Challenge

A leading software manufacturer achieved excellent breadth of scale in their partner programs. However, they were not mining their partner databases to identify and better engage their top partners. The client needed to identify meaningful partner categories and significantly increase their strategic partner recruitment by:

  • Categorizing common channel needs across similar partners
  • Targeting specific growth and high-value markets
  • Prioritizing the right actions and partner incentives for a given market that would provide the highest ROI

The Solution

  • Assembled a team and worked to analyze partner program data from multiple sources throughout the company.
  • Once we’d spoken to a diverse group of stakeholders, our team performed a competitive assessment to help prioritize channel program priorities and requirements.
  • Defined personas as a basis of the partner segmentation model.
  • These elements combined to create a communications framework that we used to align internal stakeholders on the new partner segmentation model.

The Result

Effectively implemented a cross-functional approach for addressing channel partners, and we were able to institute an easy-to-understand channel segmentation framework that could be leveraged across the company.

  • Classified partners into distinct, statistically relevant and actionable groupings
  • Added specializations to existing partner channel programs addressing critical channel segments
  • Provided a reusable framework, making it easier to adapt to future market changes
  • Elevated organizational alignment around partner segmentation and needs
  • Increased insight into what individual partner types value and expect from a channel program
“The Spur Group delivered a fresh approach to partner segmentation that proved both accurate and actionable. We saw satisfaction and performance improvements within critical partner segments, partners got more value from clients, and customers got better results.”