We will be sharing the top 10 Channel and Alliances 2014 predictions throughout February. This blog post looks at the sixth of those predictions: that New Alliance Metrics Will Emerge to Address Business Value.
One of the thorniest problems with alliances has and will continue to be how to measure success. Many quantitative measures, like revenue and profit, don't reflect the true business impact because the results can't be directly attributed to a particular alliance. Many strategic alliances not only involve a direct product revenue element but also include influence, co-selling, or other less tangible degrees of involvement in deals. Also these indicators are actually 'lagging' indicators, rather than 'leading' in that revenue happens at the end of a lot of early work setting up alliances.
Today's alliance functions have been doing a sterling job of measuring what they can, and there are some great best practices. However, there is still a need for alliances to continue to redefine what they measure, what success looks like, and in particular find measures that align well to their own business, and the 'currency' that is important.
This year, look for leading vendors to define new KPIs for their key alliances that truly align with the business objectives and outcomes of the relationship and map them to measures that can be used to gauge and manage results. The key here is to find measures that help Alliances to show value in their business and also in their key partners' business too.