The Value of Simplicity in OKRs & KPIs

The Value of Simplicity in OKRs & KPIs

Aleksi Mattlar discusses the value of OKRs in partnerships for planning, goal setting, and team alignment.

This article is part of our Q1 spotlight on Partner Program Planning, Goal Setting, and Forecasting. Learn more in the series introduction.

Aleksi Mattlar has been working in partnerships for the past few years after transitioning from sales roles. He found out very quickly that prospects in partnerships were way more engaged with the brand, and implementing partnerships ultimately improved everything across the board in his role.

Presently, Aleksi works as a Manager, Partner Success at Vena Solutions, where he manages a portfolio of existing co-sell partners, working to ensure those relationships are fruitful. He joins us today to discuss the value of OKRs in partnerships for planning, goal setting, and team alignment.

Partnerships at Vena Solutions

Aleksi Mattlar

At Vena Solutions, Aleksi shared the partner team is set up uniquely. “Partnerships roles are built into sales, marketing, and customer success. My team reports to sales,” Aleksi explained.

While Aleksi doesn’t set OKRs himself, he relies on those established by Vena Solutions’ leadership team to guide his efforts. “We have very high-level OKRs across the organization, then have OKRs that trickle down into the department. We have a specific strategy function that helps build OKRs; they do goal-setting and plan how we can accomplish those goals.”

In his role, Aleksi and his team review OKRs regularly. He shared, “OKRs help you focus on what your KPIs are tracking towards. If you don’t keep revisiting them, you can lose track of your end goal. Our OKRs don’t change much once they’re set — only if something drastically changes in the business.”

There are a few different methods of reporting Aleksi and his team leverage. He highlighted his favorite, “One interesting template operates like a traffic light system — green light means we’re hitting it, yellow we’re close, and red we’re way off. With OKRs, getting too complicated about your goals and tactics can reduce the efficacy. People generally thrive on staying pretty high level with tracking and reporting,” Aleksi shared.

Driving Alignment for Your Partner Program

With partnerships sitting under sales at Vena Solutions, Aleksi must tailor his partnerships efforts toward revenue generation. He explained, “The challenge with partners is that every software, their partners, and their KPIs vary. You want to design your partner program around driving revenue. That sounds like an obvious thing to say, but when you’re designing the rest of your KPIs, it’s not always obvious.”

Outside of driving revenue, Aleksi highlighted the value of measuring impact, “You want to be able to directly attribute a partner’s impact to revenue and understand how that tracks. When you generate revenue, you justify partnerships’ importance and existence. An organization can quite misunderstand partnerships. So, being able to align your program and base your KPIs in a way that justifies the results is mission-critical.”

Enabling Success at Vena Solutions

In closing, Aleksi reemphasized the value of simplicity, sharing, “KPIs are similar to OKRs in that you want to keep it as simple as possible. It’s helpful to have data to measure, but it’s most important to focus on a handful of actions you want to replicate, so your effort can go there and your team is aligned. Find the most important goals then focus on those.

Learn more about getting started with OKRs at your organization when you download Strategies for Achieving your Partnerships Goals. Additional experienced partnership professionals will join us over the next few weeks to share their planning, goal setting, and forecasting insights. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn to catch all of the interviews as they’re published. 

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