How to Choose a Partner Portal to Accelerate Your Channel Program
May 2, 2018

Put simply, the right partner portal can make it easier for channel partners to sell more, and that means your organization is selling more and hitting larger company goals. And when your organization is selling more and hitting overall company goals, everyone wins.

But selecting and implementing a partner portal isn’t easy. What features do you look for? How do you determine which portal is the best fit for your channel? Finding the right portal can be a lengthy process, so it’s vital that you know what to look for during your search.

In our free checklist, we cover how to identify your ideal partner portal to make your channel program a success.

Introduction

Selecting and implementing a partner portal isn’t the easiest thing to do. However, it’s an important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The partner portal first emerged in the business computing days of yore, alongside install CDs and various iterations of the floppy disk (remember those days?).

These pieces of rudimentary communication software kept vendors in touch with their partners. They made sure that the product was moving. In other words, they did their job—but not much else. This simple technology often required manual work outside the portal, such as swapping information through iteration after iteration of spreadsheets. With software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, this is a recipe for disaster. There’s simply too much going on in a single partner relationship—let alone an entire partner program with tens or hundreds of partners—for anyone to manually keep track of things. 

These days, the channel is more nuanced. And these traditional, outdated portals are not nearly enough to get the job done. Approaching modern channel demands with old tools is like trying to work on a dial-up modem. It may theoretically be possible, but you’re limiting your partners from the onset (and creating unnecessary headaches in the process). To best support your partners, you need to think beyond the traditional partner portal.

 Between achieving channel key performance indicators (KPIs) and company revenue growth, the right partner portal can help move the needle. Think about it. When your organization’s channel team is hitting its KPIs, this contributes to an overarching organizational goal of increasing channel sales and boosting company revenue. What’s more, the best partner portals facilitate marketing automation; real-time communication and collaboration; and accelerated performance through training, data, and reports.

There’s no shortage of vendors. This surplus of options has made selection tough. In fact, evaluating partner portals can be downright difficult. So, what do you look for? And how do you determine which portal is the best fit for your channel? One size does not fit all when it comes to implementing the right channel sales tools. This is especially true when businesses are implementing SaaS tools and opening up recurring revenue streams. The bigger you scale a channel program, the more partners it involves. 

While price is obviously a key factor, it should not carry all the weight in your decision. The wrong portal with subpar features is a waste of an investment. Getting things right the first time will save time and money in the long run—so it’s important to pick a partner portal that will give you the analytics and collaboration capabilities you need to accelerate your channel.

This checklist covers how to evaluate your channel’s needs. It reviews the features you should look for in a solution and discusses integration, onboarding, and training requirements. In other words, this list will help you and your organization ask the right questions and discover and determine the ideal technology solution for your partner program.

 

 

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