A partner portal – whether it’s a PRM or a homegrown system – can be an amazingly effective way to empower your team with the tools and resources it needs. But like any system, it needs regular monitoring and maintenance to make sure everyone’s reaping maximum benefit from it.
Because your portal is partner-focused, there’s no indicator more vital or telling than whether your partners are actually using and benefiting from it. Luckily, a modern and insightful partner portal gives you the power to monitor the clues your channel partners are giving about their engagement. This knowledge will give you confidence when things are going well and the intel to tweak and evolve your portal when they aren’t. What should you be looking out for? Here are some of the KPIs that will help you consistently measure engagement – and thus, the overall effectiveness of your partner portal.
A partner can’t be engaged if they aren’t using your system regularly – or even worse, not logging in at all. That’s why the very first thing you should be tracking is whether your partners are actually logging in to your portal, and how often. If they aren’t logging in, you need to encourage them and that probably means improving your to-partner marketing.
Tip: If you need your partners to log into your portal more, try incentivizing them to check out new content sales enablement playbooks on a weekly basis (or whatever you decide). This way, your partners are more inclined to add logging into your portal to check out company updates on a more regular basis.
Hearing crickets? That’s a bad thing. Typically, an engaged partner will be reaching out to you. A potent, automated onboarding process will naturally eliminate some of that outreach because basic questions will be already covered. However, you can expect that engaged partners will come to your team with more advanced requests like guidance on the right prospects to go after and feedback on how they’re performing. If you’re surrounded by the sound of silence, ask yourself why. Do partners know where to go for help and questions? Is it easy for them to reach out? Are you creating a welcoming, open and collaborative atmosphere?
Tip: If you need to increase the frequency of communication between your partners and you, try creating processes around meeting cadence and check-ins. If there’s a standard meeting on the calendar for a status update, it could open the door for better conversation or eliminate confusing processes your partners may be experiencing.
A thirst for knowledge is a great indicator of engagement. If a partner is fully on board, they’re going to want to continually learn and grow with you. Keep an eye on the learning tracks or training they’re completing in your partner portal. Make sure partners know and understand the learning resources available to them and foster an environment that promotes continuous education and improvement.
Tip: Increase learning tracks and onboarding certification completion through gamification. Who doesn’t like incentives?
You can have a whole library of resources on your partner portal, but if partners aren’t using it, it’s useless. The more content they view, the more they know about your company and the better brand ambassadors they become. Keep an eye on what they’re viewing and using. If content isn’t being used, ask yourself why. Is it a matter of to-partner marketing, or is that your content needs an overhaul?
Tip: Alert partners when new content is uploaded to your portal. This is a good reminder for them to engage with relevant collateral you spend time creating.
The power of co-branded content is strong – it’s the most effective way for partners to solidify their connection to your brand in their prospects’ eyes. Although not all partners should be able to co-brand content, it’s important to keep an eye on those that can. Are they using the full functionality of your co-branding resources? If not, ask yourself if they fully understand its power and if your process is simple enough.
Tip: Give them co-branding ideas and use cases to help increase the volume of content co-branded.
Now that you’ve examined engagement levels at a granular level, take a step back and look at the big picture. The simplest way to track overall channel health is to look at the percentage of your partners that are engaged. If overall partner engagement is dropping, it may be a sign that you need to revamp your strategy. If engagement is on the rise – give yourself a pat on the back, you’re doing it right! Either way, never stop keeping a close eye on engagement. A portal is your partners’ home base. Make sure it’s always giving them what they need to succeed.