You wouldn’t tackle heaps of dirty laundry with a washing board and wringer anymore. You wouldn’t try to binge watch a TV show on dial-up. Are you still using outdated tools for onboarding and managing your partners? Old, disjointed processes just won’t cut it in today’s increasingly-complex B2B sales cycle. Next-generation, cloud-based PRM solutions can provide an engaging and completely-synchronized experience you need to onboard, educate and empower partners.
In this blog series, we’ll discuss the 5 key components of next-generation partner management. Here, we’re talking about partner enablement and onboarding.
Laying groundwork needs to start early – well before partners begin selling for you. First impressions count, big time. Why should partners work with your company? There are so many other options out there. Make the choice easy by painting them a vibrant picture of the benefits of working with you and the successes you could find together. Once you’ve hooked them with that vision, make sealing the deal streamlined by automating the application process. New partners will be excited to get started. Don’t let paperwork hold them back.
Everyone loves a warm welcome. Once they’ve signed, make an effort to show the partner you are excited about your budding relationship. Think about scheduling an executive kick-off call, where you can share enthusiasm and build momentum, as well as answer any questions. That one-on-one time is invaluable. Another great option is to send a welcome kit, filled with useful and inspiring information. Even better, stock it with some goodies – who doesn’t love swag?
Where to go next? Introduce them to the space and content dedicated to them through your PRM platform. This customized support base demonstrates your commitment to them and makes them feel like part of the family.
Don’t let that warm welcome cool. Continuing that support as the relationship progresses illustrates everything you promised during onboarding wasn’t just lip service. Having a modern partner portal lets your partners know that you’re the real deal. It demonstrates that you care about your partners, their processes, their milestones and the customers they attract.
How can you encourage growth? Goal-setting not only sets out a process path for partners, but can be a great inspiration for them. A sure-fire strategy is to create a document that outlines what partners should try to tackle in the first 30, 60 and 90 days and beyond. It sets priorities in stone and will help motivate and channel energies.
Throughout the cycle, you should empower partners by providing them co-branded content and marketing collateral, plus playbooks on just when and how to use it. You can read more about stand-out channel marketing content in this blog post. By supporting partners through each phase of the sales cycle, you facilitate engagement and loyalty. That’s important, considering they may be selling for multiple vendors. Make your mark by being the easiest and most supportive one they deal with.
Onboarding and continued, proactive support of partners can’t be done with disjointed, outdated methods. Next generation cloud-based tools make these onboarding and enablement processes automated and streamlined without feeling too tech-heavy. You can welcome partners, equip them and empower them to excel – without losing that personalization that’s so important to relationship building.
You want your new partners to succeed. They want to succeed – that’s what they signed up for. Let a PRM platform take away the heavy lifting, making it simple for you to cultivate a healthy and successful crop of partnerships.
Growing a strong, successful partnership requires much more than just planting an initial seed – especially in today’s complicated sales environment. Onboarding partners and just stepping away stunts growth for both of you, causing lost productivity, extra stress and missed revenue opportunities.
Careful and strategic nourishment of partner relationships cultivates mutual success. Do you have the proper materials and tools to do it right? A central portal where partners can access quizzes around your buying process can be helpful when they first sign on with you. Imagine this: instead of meeting with them or sending them emails of presentation decks to get up-to-speed with your company, they could log into one place to access this information. A PRM allows your partners to get access to the most recent content, co-branding, training, and more. Eliminate the emails back and forth, the waiting period within a homegrown system, and empower your partners to sell better and more efficiently.