Are you still referring to your sales tool as partner relationship management (PRM)? It’s time for a change. As we've discussed, old-school PRM died years ago. These were originally designed to help channel managers gain control over their partners. And what was once all that and a bag of chips in the 1990s deteriorated into a dumping ground for complicated processes and inefficient tools. PRM eventually began to hinder partners instead of empowering them.
Today, complex B2B sales cycles demand more. Modern buyers use more information sources than ever to make purchases, making it essential for businesses to understand buyer personas, motives, and attitudes.
That’s where partner sales acceleration enters the story. These next-generation PRM tools take the idea of the outdated partner portal and account for the entire sales and marketing ecosystem. Instead of relying on several outdated tools, single software-as-a-service toolsets improve partner adaptation, engagement, and effectiveness.
And they provide real, measurable growth. Sounds pretty great, huh? They are.
With no shortage of vendors, evaluating and choosing partner portals can be downright difficult. What do you look for? How do you determine which portal is the best fit for your channel? One size doesn't fit all when it comes to implementing the right channel sales tools. While price is obviously a factor, it should not carry all the weight. The wrong portal with subpar features is a waste of your time and money.
To get things right the first time, it’s important to pick a portal with robust analytics and collaboration capabilities. Here are some things to consider when shopping around:
Change happens quickly in today’s tech-driven economy (pour one out for PRMs). However, one thing stays constant: Not all channels are created equal. Knowing the realities of your channel helps you figure out your needs:
It’s critical to ask the right questions to orient your thinking and guide the process of evaluating, re-evaluating, and tweaking your channel program.
Maintaining healthy partner relationships is critical to the channel. However, selling subscription-based solutions takes streamlined communication. You and your partners need a portal that motivates clients to stay subscribed—and features that empower them to succeed. Here are some features to check for:
We’re fairly certain your sales and marketing teams already use technology (it is 2017). Rather than replace your existing tools, it’s important to augment your processes with an additional layer. Implementation depends on how well your existing components communicate with each other.
How soon can your channel be up and running with the new partner portal? The best tools empower you and your partners to get down to business in no time.
Onboarding is an important step in building ongoing partner relationships. Tools should create strategic, repeatable processes by combining certifications, quizzes, rewards, and leaderboards. In addition to effective onboarding, portals must include effective training programs that present information in a way that sticks. Next-gen training mirrors job conditions with immersive models that address real-life sales issues.
Your portals should set partners up for success with programs that build loyalty, establish communication parameters, and provide prospects with the right information—from onboarding to training.