We often hear from customers that when it’s not contractually required, it’s challenging to ensure partners submit deals through the portal. When your partners don’t use your portal, they miss out on valuable resources to improve sales, drive channel conflict, and you won’t be able to acknowledge all of their efforts.
If you’re struggling to keep partners engaged in your portal and following established processes for deal registration, these tips can help.
Why is Partner Portal Adoption & Deal Registration Critical?
Your partner portal can be an incredibly valuable resource… when partners use it. It can be frustrating to build out a platform your partners don’t effectively leverage, especially when you know there’s so much you both can gain from it.
When partners don’t leverage your portal, they miss out on all the incredible resources you share with them, like your sales and marketing assets, training and certifications, playbooks, and more. All of these resources make it easier for partners to succeed with you.
Another critical drawback of not using your partner portal — and perhaps the most impactful — is missing out on deal registration. Registering deals is imperative for you to monitor the results of your channel and accurately track where leads come from. Without proper deal registration habits, your partners won’t get credit where it’s due for their efforts and can miss out on significant rewards.
Tips to Increase Partner Portal Adoption & Deal Registration
While you already know how valuable it is to leverage your partner portal and channel resources, your partners need to be reminded. Consider the following tips for ensuring your channel knows why they need to actively leverage your portal.
Highlight the Value for Partners
Your partners may not realize that they don’t need to be in the dark about what’s going on with a deal after handing it off. Highlight what’s in it for them by showcasing the ability for your partners to follow along and see how their lead is progressing. This can be incredibly helpful for partners wanting to understand the sales cycle and track the journey a deal takes, especially if there are commissions on the line!
Consider your partner’s KPIs and how those are tied to portal capabilities. There are many ways you’ll help to support their goals, so in your initial partner portal training, be sure to emphasize the value of deal registration for partners by demonstrating the visibility it provides into the sales cycle, along with other various features. It can help to share an example so they know exactly what to expect after registering a deal.
In addition to deal visibility, you can provide first access to program and product information to partners within the portal. This is a great way to encourage your partners to sign in regularly so they can stay up-to-date on everything happening. You may choose to send out an email notification with a brief teaser, sending users to your portal to find out more information. It can also help to include information about portal assets, along with links to relevant resources in any newsletters, webinars, and other partner touchpoints — the more reminders, the better!
“One thing we’ve been really successful with is putting our quarterly roadmap updates into the Allbound portal for all of our partner types to access,” shared Dan O’Leary of Box on the Partner Channel Podcast. “Our partners know it’s always going to be there, along with updated materials. So, we communicate that they can find it there, and we refine it over time.”
Leverage Personalized Content
Personalized content is a great way to make your partners feel special. Leverage custom welcome messages in your partner dashboard to entice them each time they log in. You can mention special offers or new content you’ve launched to let them know exactly what to engage with.
By only sharing resources that are relevant through segmentation by partner type, region, etc, you will ensure they are not overwhelmed with content and can find resources that are useful to them. When your partners start getting emails that aren’t relevant or useful to their program, they’ll begin ignoring your outreach and engaging less.
Additionally, you can leverage personalized outreach to keep your partner coming back for more. Send automated emails (that look custom) reporting on their recent wins in your partner program. Updates on in-progress deals are another great way to stay in contact with partners and encourage them to sign in to your portal regularly.
Offer MDF Only Through Your Portal
Market development funds (MDF) can be a powerful tool for partners looking to conduct marketing campaigns. With your partner portal, you can streamline MDF requests and approvals, making it easier for your team to review requests and monitor the results of distributed funds.
Only offering MDF through your partner portal can be another effective way to encourage your partners to sign in regularly.
Incentivize Portal Engagement
Consider providing incentives for using the portal. You can offer rewards, such as discounts or exclusive promotions, to partners who regularly submit deals through the portal. Encourage competition by setting goals and recognizing top-performing partners.
Gamification can be an effective way to keep partners engaged. Through gamification, portal users know exactly which tasks they should complete next and are personally motivated by compelling prizes.
“Gamification, I think, definitely works,” explained Aleksi Mattlar, Partner Account Manager at Pigment, on The Partner Channel Podcast. “Ultimately, people need goals and things to work towards. The old adage is, ‘If you’re aiming at nothing, you’re going to hit it.’ So I think it’s critically important that partner managers lay out things like goals, targets, KPIs, and milestones for their partners to hit and, ultimately, tiers for them to advance through.”
With gamification in your partner portal, you can reward certain behaviors, such as signing in, registering a deal, co-branding content, etc, with a set amount of points. Then, your partners can redeem points for prizes like gift cards.
Your partner organizations benefit a ton from leveraging your partner portal. Gamification can be a great way to reward individuals in those organizations.
Gamification, I think, definitely works. Ultimately, people need goals and things to work towards. The old adage is, ‘If you’re aiming at nothing, you’re going to hit it.’ So I think it’s critically important that partner managers lay out things like goals, targets, KPIs, and milestones for their partners to hit and, ultimately, tiers for them to advance through.
Partner Account Manager
Run a Bookmark Contest
Host a bookmarks bar contest to encourage partners to bookmark your portal. You might run a four-week competition where partners are asked to bookmark your partner portal and send you a screenshot to be entered to win a big prize. At the end of the four-week period, draw a winner and announce it to your channel.
Remind your entire channel about other ways to benefit from using the portal (such as your incentives or gamification prizes) to ensure they keep coming back.
Similarly, we’ve seen organizations run a competition where users that have registered or completed a deal (whichever action they want to incentivize) are eligible to win a prize. At the end of a set timeframe, a winner (or multiple winners, depending on the size of your channel) is drawn.
Ban PMs & AEs from Registering Deals on Your Partner’s Behalf
One final strategy to consider is banning your Partner Managers and Account Executives from registering deals on behalf of your partners. This might be controversial at first, but it will force your partners to build a new habit, ensuring all deals are captured properly and attributed to the correct partner while reducing the manual effort required of your internal team.
What Prevents Effective Portal Adoption & Deal Registration?
There are a few reasons your partners might not regularly engage with your partner portal.
- Unclear value — You haven’t established the benefits of using your partner portal. Be sure to frequently highlight the value of signing in regularly when on calls with partners.
- Unsure how to use — Your partner isn’t clear on how to use the portal or where they can access critical information. Provide thorough portal training when onboarding new partners, and leverage your portal dashboard to direct users to important content.
- No incentives — Your partner doesn’t benefit from engaging with your portal. Partners in your channel are likely very busy. Provide enticing incentives to keep partners engaged.
Increase Partner Engagement with Allbound
Your partner portal is a valuable tool for driving partner engagement. When implemented correctly, you can influence sales, drive deal registrations, and keep partners coming back for more. By following the tips above, you can ensure your partners understand the value of your partner portal and are bought in on using it.
Not using Allbound PRM? Schedule a demo and learn how leveraging Allbound can maximize your channel performance.
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