Going digital is no longer a choice, but rather a necessity to compete in modern business. Technology has enabled efficiencies that ten years ago, organizations could only dream of. That same efficiency is applied to ensure partners, and their sellers have experiences that set you apart from your competition using Partner Portal.
Every organization going to marketing through the channel should be on the lookout for a partner portal that will enable them to collaborate and communicate in a very streamlined manner.
The budget has been approved, requirements gathered, the excitement around beginning to evaluate different PRM vendors is high. The devil is in the details though, and while no Partner Relationship Management system wants to tell why their implementation is going to be tough, being conscious that challenges will occur should be something to note.
Partner Portal Essentials
No matter how big your company, or partner ecosystem is, the partner portal’s goal remains the same. To deliver a personalized and streamlined flow of information so partners can access what they need, when they need it.
Deploying a partner portal is one thing, knowing how to optimize it over time takes practice, guidance, and the data to back up your decisions. Here are some of the key things organizations should consider in their partner portal to help avoid the pain of partner portal regret.
1) Partner Recruitment
The first impression is everything, and getting your partners recruited is half the battle. Recruitment is a step-by-step, and detailed process that should not carry with it the mentality of “if we build it, they will come.” If your partner recruitment process falls outside of your partner portal, chances are you are losing some data through the cracks. Not a good start.
2) Partner Registration
Once the partner is aware of you, now it is time to get them registered and official. In the registration process, partners disclose valuable information such as their total number of customers, pricing strategies, sales motions, and in general align on go-to-market motions at an executive level. The key here is reciprocation, do not expect your partners to put all their cards on the table if you are not willing to do so. Partner registration, when done well, is more like a first date when both parties get to know each other.
3) Partner Agreement
Partner agreements can be potentially complex depending upon the vendor, expectations from partners, the scope of the partnership, policies, and technical difficulty of the products being sold. Setting the legal foundation for what both parties commit to will ensure that there is no gray room for misinterpretation of Service Level Agreements (SLAs), Deal Registration Approval timelines, Extension Requests, Rebates and so much more.
For some partnerships, a simple click-through agreement on your partner portal might make sense. For others, expect a redline process to take place which will move your partner agreement into other tools like DocuSign.
4) Partner Onboarding
A well-drafted and optimized onboarding process is the key to getting your partners up and running quickly. The problem most companies make is that they do not display that roadmap in their partner portal. They either do not communicate the necessary components of onboarding at all or do so in pieces. Let your partners know what is coming up next, and everything involved in doing business with you upfront. Leverage your partner portal, to highlight your partner program details, giving partners full transparency into your onboarding.
5) Partner Training & Enablement
The documents are signed; both the vendor and partner are aligned and excited for the market opportunity their collaboration will bring and now the hard part begins. Training a third party, that potentially already represents hundreds, if not thousands, of other products, to get quickly up to speed on your products.
By leveraging groups, within partner portal software you can tailor the training according to the role of the person taking the training (sales engineer, sales rep, marketer, etc.) to ensure that partner reps are spending their time where it matters most. Get partners up to speed quickly by making sure you do not take a one size fits all approach to your partner training.
6) Partner communication
One of the hardest parts of going to market through a partner is enabling them to communicate to the end customer, in a manner that appropriately represents your brand and value proposition. A straightforward way to stay consistent with your messaging is the ensure that the messages you are delivering via your marketing automation, are consistent with the messages in your partner portal, which are consistent with the messages your sales team is delivering to partner reps.
Request a demo to explore Vartopia’s platform to know more about the partner portal your organization needs.