Channel Mechanics

5 Best Practices Tips and Tricks for Measuring MDF Program Success

Channel Mechanics

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

Peter Drucker


We talk a lot about proof of performance (POP) metrics and measuring return on investment (ROI). More specifically, the importance of measuring the success of partner MDF activities and performance. But how do you measure MDF program success? What are the specific metrics you should track and report? This was just one of the topics up for discussion during the Channel Mechanics webinar Forget Surviving, How to Ensure your MDF Program Thrives in 2023″. The webinar provided a unique perspective from esteemed channel leaders Janelle Mertens, Global Director of Channel Operations at Informatica, Dave Jordan, Global Partner Programs and Strategy at Thales, and our CEO, Kenneth Fox. During the webinar, the panel shared some tips they have learned from running MDF programs.


Measuring MDF Program Success: 5 Best Practice Tips and Tricks


1. Don’t rely on text fields

One piece of advice is from Thales Global Partner Programs and Strategy Director Dave Jordan “Detailed proof of performance is invaluable, but not something you can measure or make comparisons against’. Therefore, everything has to be a number. Anything that is text-based should come out and anything that is number based should be in.


2. It’s a numbers game

Every vendor wants their partners to market their offering these days. The focus is to drive demand gen. However, it’s important to track the effectiveness of those campaigns. And numbers are the only way to measure ROI. These might include the number of leads, attendees, email opens, social media interactions, impressions, etc. When applying for Marketing Development Funds, partners should be required to estimate the numbers they expect and confirm the final proof of performance (POP) numbers when the activity has been completed. With the adoption of a corresponding deal registration program, you can see how many active deals partners are pursuing, the average deal size and the average close ratio.


3. Build into your Program

Give clarity to your ecosystem partners on the documentation required in both the submission and the proof of performance phase. Standard documentation includes:

  • Expected ROI document to measure against actual performance
  • Proof of performance (POP) to assess initiatives’ success rates
  • Return-on-Investment proof of performance (ROI POP)


4. Dashboards for Tracking

Partner Performance Dashboards are no longer a “nice to have“, but a “must-have“. With a single dashboard, Partners can see revenue, certifications, marketing spend, marketing activities, and performance. This gives clear visibility for helping them move from one partner level to the next. By tracking partner performance you can ensure partners are executing effective marketing campaigns that actually produce results.


5. Learn and share what’s working

Once you can see your MDF program performance and have all of the relevant information in one place, you can begin to see important trends and key learnings that will help you improve program effectiveness in two key ways:

Firstly, look at the data. “Partner participation and the number of activities will allow you to see who’s doing what, what’s successful and what’s not’, Kenneth Fox.

– Secondly, there are many ways partners can spend MDF that will result in strong ROI. Detailed numbers will help both you and your partner ecosystem learn from each other. High ROI initiatives will be easily visible with the correct reporting in place. This, in turn will allow your team to dig into the “why’s” and “how’s”, which will arm you with examples of best spend activities so you can coach partners along the way and help them maximize their efforts and results.


View the full webinar recording to ensure your MDF program not only survives, but thrives in 2023


Looking to automate your MDP program to maximize MDF spend?

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