Partner Program Strategy
Technology partner
Service partner

What metrics should we be tying partner manager commissions to and why?

4 Answers
Margot Mazur avatar
Margot Mazur
HubSpot Manager, GTM Strategic Partnerships
This really depends on your goals and there's no easy answer here. In the past, I've had my commissions tied to MRR because my goals were MRR focused. That drove me to create partnerships that would specifically encourage customers to sign up for paid plans, or free plans that would then be converted quickly. Make sure you're super aligned on your goals and how partner managers will be trying to hit them. If commissions are tried to sign ups as a whole, for example, but leadership actually wants you driving MRR, then you might be misaligned as your partner managers will create relationships that drive free trials or free sign ups, as it's easier to get a customer in that way, but if the flywheel isn't making it easy for those free sign ups to convert, you won't hit your MRR goal.
Daniel O'Leary avatar
Daniel O'Leary
Box Director of Partnerships
Let's start with the structure: Partner manager commissions I find work well on a split plan of 60-70% base, and 30-40% variables based on the goals of the organization and your customers. I've also setup plans as a straight sales commission and quota plan for more channel managers and partner sales managers and used MBO / bonus programs for tech partner managers, partner solution engineers and partner success managers. For specific metrics, I favor metrics that target LEADING and LAGGING indicators of success. On the leading side, goals like partner sourced and influenced pipeline, and partner sourced and influenced revenue are easy goals to measure and valuable to grow. For lagging indicators, track customer adoption and engagement with your partners and products, and net retention and customer satisfaction.
Josh Greene avatar
Josh Greene
Amazon Senior Manager AWS Marketplace Business
This really depends on what types of partnerships that you will be pursuing. Is the goal to expand the partner ecosystem for sourced business, is influencing or transacting business more relevant. I have experienced many partner aligned resources who have compensation that is not aligned to the maturity of the model and that can lead to more complicated issues. So, if you are tying variable compensation (like commission) to a partner manager roles, there needs to be 1/ high ability to influence 2/ a proven model based on data. Until then, I would recommend using MBOs tied to executing milestones in build the foundational elements of a partner ecosystem 1/ recruit 2/ enable 3/ activate.
Kevin Kriebel avatar
Kevin Kriebel
Drata Vice President of Business Development
Depends on the category of partner they are managing. For resellers, MSSPs, and other solely revenue sourcing partnerships, the partner manager should have a new ACV quota no different that a sales rep as their success is determined based on revenue driven by a partner. For technology alliances, it should be more MBO based as the majority of technology partnerships will be revenue impacting via co-marketing as opposed to true co-selling and revenue generating.