As more organizations turn their focus to the channel ecosystem, selecting the right platform to elevate your partner program is crucial for success. Many organizations end up choosing a partner portal platform that provides partners with access to sales and marketing resources, training and certification, deal registration, lead management, performance analytics, and communication and collaboration tools. But creating a partner portal is just the beginning.
This article will explore how to elevate your partner program beyond the portal to increase partner engagement, enablement, and efficiency, ultimately driving more revenue through channel partners.
Understanding Partner Portals
Partner Portals, or Partner Relationship Management Platforms (PRMs), are tools used for managing channel relationships and improving collaboration between vendors and partners. These portals provide a centralized location for partners to access resources, training, and communication tools that are critical for their success.
Some features of a partner portal include: access to sales and marketing resources, deal registration, training and certification, lead management, performance analytics, communication and collaboration tools, and partner enablement programs.
By leveraging the features and capabilities of partner portals, vendors can improve the performance of their partner program and drive business success. Still, companies who rely too heavily on a partner portal will encounter a few key challenges.
Challenges of Using Partner Portals
Oftentimes, vendors have difficulty getting partners to use the resources and tools provided. Even with a well-designed and user-friendly partner portal, partners may not engage with the platform, limiting its potential impact on the vendor's business. This problem can lead to missed opportunities, inefficiencies in the partner program, and difficulty managing partner performance.
Despite the performance analytics provided by partner portals, some vendors may still find it challenging to get the level of visibility they need to manage their partner program effectively. Many partner portals fail to provide sufficient visibility into ROI on co-managed spend; this can be particularly true if partners fail to use the platform consistently.
Managing content within a partner portal can be demanding, particularly if vendors have many different types of channel partners. Ensuring content is up-to-date, relevant, and accessible to all partners can be time-consuming and complex.
Providing partners with training and support to use the partner portal effectively can be arduous. Ensuring that partners understand how to use the platform and access the necessary resources can require significant time and effort.
Ensuring that partners adopt and use the platform, managing content, integrating with other systems, providing training and support, and ensuring visibility can all be difficult tasks. However, vendors who successfully address these challenges will reap the benefits of a more effective partner program.
There is more than one way to address these problems. Vendors looking to tackle these obstacles can take a few key actions to alleviate several pain points.
To increase partner engagement and encourage partners to use the resources and tools within the partner portal, vendors can adopt several methods:
Offering ongoing training and support to partners can help them understand how to use the partner portal effectively. Be sure to schedule regular calls with your partners to train them on the proper usage of the portal as well as your product. These meetings are also beneficial for tracking the progress of ongoing campaigns. While time consuming, the more interaction you are able to have with your partners, the more likely they are to generate pipeline.
Offering incentives to partners who use the partner portal and provide regular pipeline updates can be an effective way to encourage adoption and engagement.
Make It Easy To Use:
Ensuring that the partner portal is easy to use and navigate can be critical to encouraging adoption and engagement. Vendors should design the portal with the user experience in mind, making it intuitive and straightforward.
Regular communication with partners can help to keep them engaged and informed about the resources and tools available within the partner portal. Regular check-ins and updates can help businesses stay informed about changes in the partners' sales activities, enabling them to adjust their marketing strategies accordingly.
By adopting these methods, vendors can increase partner engagement and encourage partners to use the resources and tools available within the partner portal effectively. This can lead to a more efficient and effective partner program, increased sales, and better visibility into partner performance.
The truth is, however, many of these steps are time-consuming and can be difficult to execute and stay on top of with limited resources. The good news is that there is technology out there that does most of it for you!
Go Beyond Your Portal with Relevize
Relevize empowers channel marketing teams to take their program beyond the portal by allowing you to automate co-marketing campaigns on behalf of your partners, tracking ROI along the way.
Here’s a look at how channel marketers use Relevize:
Relevize drives partner engagement by allowing you to execute paid marketing campaigns on your partners’ behalf at scale. Relevize enables you to drive leads directly to your partners, ensuring they receive a continuous supply to nurture. This approach increases the likelihood of your product being prioritized by partners and enables them to generate more revenue without relying on them to utilize and execute any materials within the portal.
“Without Relevize, we wouldn't be growing as quickly as we are within our partner program and we certainly wouldn't see the level of engagement from our partners who have been involved with the Relevize campaigns.” - Anthony Kapitanski, Director of Channel Partnerships, Chili Piper
Visibility into Partner Pipeline:
Relevize offers a centralized system of record that provides vendors with a comprehensive view of partner lead activity. This allows vendors to closely monitor partner performance, enabling you to do more with high-performing partners while providing support and training to lower-performing ones. This visibility also serves as a basis for partner engagement, providing you with valuable insights used to develop customized engagement strategies and foster stronger relationships with partners.
Generating Qualified Leads:
Paid targeted social ads offer a number of benefits that can help businesses reach their target audience more effectively. These ads allow you to target specific demographics, interests, behaviors, and locations, ensuring the message is delivered to the right audience. This can result in higher conversion rates, increased website traffic, and greater brand awareness. Overall, paid targeted social ads can be a highly effective way for businesses to reach their desired audience, drive engagement, and achieve their marketing goals.
Training and Support:
Relevize has a team of Digital Strategists working to ensure the success of your campaigns. Our primary goal is to generate leads for your partners and make your partnerships more powerful. This level of support results in increased bandwidth, not only for you and your team, but also for the partner as they work to follow up with the leads provided.
The tendency to rely on partner portals for all partner activities can present technology vendors with several common challenges. Ensuring that partners adopt and use the platform, managing content, integrating with other systems, providing training and support, and ensuring visibility are all difficulties faced, which, through dedicated time, training, and enablement, can be at least partially alleviated. There are, however, technology tools out there to drive immediate engagement, visibility, and lead generation to channel partners.
Curious how Relevize can help your channel team elevate your partner program? Click here to request a demonstration from one of our representatives.