Survival of the Fittest or Natural Selection. Both phrases aptly portray the evolutionary cycle of the business world. To survive, you must not only have the desire to constantly improve, but also the drive to act on that desire. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, failure to consistently and continuously develop your business and offer customers a unique experience will eventually compromise the health of your company. One easy way to keep your affiliate network alive, kicking, and operating at its optimal level is to implement the use of Quarterly Performance Reviews (QPRs). QPRs provide two benefits. They allow you to periodically assess your current marketing plan while simultaneously reviewing affiliate performance.
Why quarterly? Why not monthly or yearly? Monthly performance reviews would be too cumbersome. If you run a large affiliate network, all of your time would be spent preparing reviews. And, monthly reviews don’t allow struggling affiliates enough time to turn things around. On the other hand, annual performance reviews aren’t enough. Too much can slip by you in a year. Quarterly performance reviews are just right. You can head off any problems that might crop up, make changes quickly, and give beleaguered affiliates an appropriate amount of time to mend their ways.
If you aren’t sure where to start, check out some of the performance review templates available online. These templates were designed to help merchants analyze both company and affiliate performance. Additionally, data analyzation software can help you determine sales productivity for all of your affiliates. These programs can sort and analyze data in a vast number of ways across various periods of time. Such documentation is beneficial when you present your review to each affiliate. When developing a performance review, keep in mind that you can’t review every single thing. You have to focus on a range of metrics (the recommended average is 5 to 10). Developing this list will take some time as you think about the components that you believe are key to propelling your business forward.
>When you are ready to give your affiliates their reviews, formally schedule them. Write them on your desk calendar (if you are old school), tell Siri, type it into whatever scheduling app you use. And keep the appointment. If you don’t take the steps to set reviews in stone, you won’t take them seriously, and neither will your affiliates. During the review, make sure to point out areas of strength first. Congratulate your affiliates on a job well done. Be open and honest about areas in need of improvement, and create and implement an action plan to help those affiliates get back on track. Likewise, the time set aside for a QPR provides affiliates with an opportunity to ask questions and share their ideas and concerns. It’s also an opportunity for you to trim your lowest performing affiliates and make room for partners that could generate more revenue.
Developing and presenting QPRs will take some time and possibly a little bit of money. But if the process will rev up your profits, isn’t it time and money well spent? When it comes to Survival of the Fittest, which side do you want to be on?
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