Brooke Cunningham is Splunk’s AVP of Global Partner Programs, and she’s also an innovator. During a keynote address at the 2017 Women of the Channel West Conference, she highlighted the importance of seeing opportunities and speaking on behalf of the partner.
"No one ever gave me the job to go do partner loyalty; I just saw the opportunity in multiple companies. Then, I created a discipline around it," she said.
But, why is partner loyalty so important? It's simple. According to Cunningham, it's about getting ahead of the curve in the evolving technology industry, and really helping partners address change.
"With customer experience and digitization, the world is changing for our partners," said Cunningham. "My job is to figure out how we can address these changes in a concise and productive way."
She says that partner loyalty and listening activities, which she has implemented at Splunk, give a lens to get feedback and "get ahead of the curve." Best practices around acting on the voice of the partner include focusing on disciplines that really drive the business.
"It's about integrating them into a global view where you take the broad set of data, like partner surveys and measuring your partner Net Promoter score, and then taking that to understand the trends you see from those macro-surveys and bringing it down to the very local level."
Cunningham says that on the local level, partner advisory councils are key, and companies should also be carrying out various types of spot surveys to gather crucial data.
"At Splunk, we recently did a partner profitability study to really understand what is driving business."
When asking partners for feedback, she mentioned the significance of understanding not only how they rate you, but how important it is.
"Over the years of studying partner loyalty and correlating the data, oftentimes, something very small can be the biggest detractor from your partner Net Promoter score."
All in all, Cunningham said that focusing on these key things in the feedback process will have a huge impact on your company’s bottom line.