This case study highlights how a global energy provider transformed a channel partner assessment to extract meaningful data and better enable their partners.
A global energy provider needed to better gauge channel partner satisfaction
The sales and marketing teams at a global energy company undertook an initiative to better engage with channel partners. Previously the company viewed channel partners in a competitive light as the partners directly interacted with customers. But the executive team believed they could work together with the partners to bring in more business. They launched a Channel Partner Assessment program on the 9Lenses platform that aimed to strengthen relationships with the partners, offering them better service and support.
As they launched the initiative, the executive team realized that they required detailed data around what the partners needed and specific areas where they could improve.
Previous methods of gauging satisfaction were insufficient
The company relied on one-to-one conversations to gauge channel partner satisfaction. But the data from conversations was neither detailed nor uniform enough to support a strategy for improving channel partner relations. The only other means they had of gauging satisfaction was through an annual customer satisfaction survey. This survey was both laborious and inadequate in identifying specific areas for improvement of channel partner services.
Attracted by the speed and quality of insights from the 9Lenses platform, the executive team decided to use the 9Lenses software platform in order to better understand how they could build channel partner relationships.
The company created a Channel Partner Assessment on the 9Lenses platform to better understand the needs of their channel partners
The company used the 9Lenses platform to interview the channel partners. They focused on three primary areas:overall level of service, quality of products and services offered, and response time around pricing. They interviewed 90 partners over a period of two weeks and collected over 7000 data points with over 300 detailed comments. The 9Lenses data revealed that overall channel partner satisfaction was high, and partners viewed the company as a key supplier. While the partners were eager to do more business, however, they also wanted greater flexibility and faster response to pricing requests.
“9Lenses was instrumental in quickly giving us the level of detailed insight we needed to move forward confidently in our initiative to improve channel partner relations.”
~ VP Marketing, global energy provider
Additionally, the data showed that different partners had different needs. The executive team had presumed that all the partners’ service needs were more or less the same. But the data revealed that the partners fell into three major groups. Each group had unique things they needed to help them best serve customers and bring in more business. This realization was key for the company in helping build the partner relationships. It allowed them to offer more customized services towards specific solutions.
9Lenses Channel Partner Assessment enabled the company to improve channel partner satisfaction
The insights gathered from the 9Lenses data provided the information needed to start improving partner relations. The company arranged for a one-to-one relationship between each channel partner and a member of the sales team. By doing so, they ensured that every channel partner had an account plan and a single point of contact.
In order to track the success of the initiative, the company used 9Lenses to measure satisfaction again six months later. The new data revealed a noticeable increase in satisfaction.
Bolstered by 9Lenses insights, focus on improving channel partnerships met with great success
The initiative to improve channel partner relations provided measurable results, and channel partners closed more business. Because the insights from the Channel Partner Assessment on the 9Lenses platform revealed that speed of turnaround on pricing was a major issue, the marketing team created a tool new to the industry that would turn around pricing for any size deal within one day.
The new understanding of the value of maintaining channel partner relationships was key for the company. Leaders realized that the company could be an instrument to help brokers do a better job and close more business. By empowering the channel partners to build successful customer relationships, the company could better serve customers together with the channel partners. At the same time, they increased stickiness and loyalty with the partners themselves.