Published: May 2nd, 2017

It’s time for members of the channel to stop managing with their gut, and use the predictive analytics that are available to them.

That was the theme of the ChannelEyes webinar on April 20., The Intelligent Channel – How data science is improving partner win rates, hosted by Dave Geoghegan, chief data scientist of ChannelEyes.

Dave Geoghegan, chief data scientist at ChannelEyes

Whether it be data from firmographics, sales data, or industry benchmarks, channel leaders now have access to resources that they can use to improve their business. It comes down to optimizing partners to make sure that every partner is delivering the maximum benefit to your channel, making the most of the opportunities, and the maximizing the potential of your channel structures, tiers, and discounting.

“Generally there is a win rate of about 37 per cent, which seems to be the industry standard,” said Geoghegan. “What does it mean to my channel if I could move that north five points?”

When it comes to optimizing your partners, predictive analytics can analyze the entire partner base’s history to progress sales. Through automation, no one has to completely rely on their gut, or past experiences, in looking for best practices. Analytics can help identify exactly what processes worked best, and what worked best in each situation. It comes down to timing and understanding where your partners are along their journey.

“Not all customer interactions provide the same lift to your partners’ chance of success,” said Geoghegan. “We extract the patterns and trends and apply it to particular opportunities.”

Data about the partners themselves can be extremely useful too. Predictive analytics can help identify partners who have potential to become a successful partner, allowing channel leaders to better accelerate channel growth.

The same idea is applied to finding better opportunities, and using analytics to discover which are the best opportunities to pursue. Analytics can save the time of CAMs and partners by focusing on the opportunities that can actually improve that win rate. For instance, focusing on a deal that has a 95 per cent chance to be successful, or one that has only a five per cent chance, may not be a good use of time. Instead, go after the deals that are identified as toss-ups.

“By driving focus to those opportunities that can really be affected, we increase our productivity and reduce the resources spent where the chance of impact is low,” said Geoghegan. “The key to successfully leveraging this strategy is reliable decision-grade analytics which identify the likelihood of a win.”

When it comes to the channel itself, use that data to find ways to optimize how you run that channel. What incentives really drive revenue? Is there a reason for partners to want to strive for that next tier? Don’t necessarily feel the need to stay confined in the traditional model if you receive information that can drive higher revenue.

“For instance, should you discount one product more [than others]?” said Geoghegan. “It’s understanding what happens if I do change my discounts for particular partners, and use analytics to get the best system for each partner.”

Ultimately, the goal is to maximize the potential out of your channel. Predictive analytics is another tool to do just that.