Channel Capacity Planning is a key element of the Channel Readiness process to enable your partner channel to achieve its revenue objectives. The key is to start with a clear view of your business goals whether that is an overall profit goal, revenue target(s), or new customer creation. Next you should consider the role you need channel partners to play in achieving your overall business goals. If you have that clear view of revenue, profit, the number of transactions, the number of new customers; then you can build your channel capacity plan accordingly.
It is not sufficient to just look at how many partner firns are needed, you need to consider channel capacity planning from multiple dimensions. Start with what you need the partner to do, such as:
- Create demand
- Pass leads
- Own and Close Sales Transactions
- Provide Implementation Services
- Deliver Post Sales Technical Support
The answer to what role(s) you need the partners to fulfill will shape the channel capacity planning exercise. Let's assume you to need the partner to create customer demand. You should have a view of how much total demand you need the partners to create relative to your overall marketing plan and whether they will need to generate all of their own pipeline. Then you can map back to the number of transactions you need each partner to close, and how many new qualified marketing and sales leads they will need to create. From lead creation per partner, you can start to project what marketing resources you will need for each partner to be successful; that could include comarketing dollars, collateral, markeng support staff, etc..
You can walk through a similar exercise as the marketing capacity planning depending on the role you need the partner to play. Let's look at Implementation Services as another example. If you are leveraging your partner network to provide implementation services to your clients, then you need to ensure they have the training and bandwidth or you will create a backlog in customer implementations and ultimately revenue growth. Again, if you know the average number of transactions you need each partner to close and implement, then you can determine how many trained implementation resources are required per partner. This will enable you to build the right training program.
The bottom line is structured data driven channel capacity planning enables you to build the channel needed to grow your channnel sales and achieve your revenue goals. While the level of complexity needed can vary significantly depending on overall requirements, not taking the time to build out a channel capacity plan will likely result in gaps in your ability to achieve your channel revenue plan.
Pereion Solutions can help with Channel Capacity Planning through a structured Channel Readiness Assessment process.