This is the fifth article in a series I've been writing about perfecting your Partnering Reference Architecture (aka The Partnerverse).
If you haven't been keeping up, check out the first four articles here:
- Introducing the Partnering Reference Architecture
- Your CRM Is The Center Of Your Partnering Systems
- The Partnering Reference Architecture: Managing Your CRM
- Connecting your CRM to The Partnerverse
Now, let's dive into how to do partnership reporting.
Start your reports from first principles
This topic also extends to creating very specific reports, such as Partner Business Reviews (PBRs) and/or Corporate Business Reviews (CBRs).
I use a simple, one-sentence question to evaluate the quality of a CRM implementation: How do you do your reporting?
- Good Answer: We use the “out of the box” CRM reporting tools.
- Bad Answer: Excel.
If you spend a few hours preparing Excel documents for your PBRs or maybe a day or two preparing for a board meeting while assembling Powerpoint slides, you should pay attention to this topic.
Here are a few example reports you should be able to easily generate without using excel:
What do these answers tell us?
If you can use standard reporting relationships to create all the reports you need for PBRs and CBRs (e.g. Board Meeting Reviews of the partnership program), then you have a well-defined data model, and your partnership program is designed correctly.
If you have to assemble data from multiple systems or build multiple spreadsheets of data to cobble together a view of partnership business - then your data model isn’t correct.
And you likely have a lot of manual effort going into creating partner activity (as well as a lot of manual activity to create the reports).
Remember, if your objective is to scale a partnership model to manage rapid growth, then manual work and inefficient operations will not achieve that objective.
The solution to bad data reporting is to ensure your partner operations are optimized so that reporting for PBRs and CBRs are automated right out of the CRM - and use standard CRM reporting for your data requirements.
It will save you time - and ensure you can scale when the partnership engine starts cranking.
If you haven't mastered quality partnership reporting from your CRM, stay tuned for future articles where I'll dive into the specifics of quality reporting.