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Digging into More Ingredients for Successful Partner Portals

Go at the partners’ pace. Make your partner portal rewarding. Keep it compelling.

Relayware Partner Relationship Management

Digging into the Ingredients for Partner Portal Success

Part 4

By Simon Taylor, Relayware Director of Pre-Sales

In the previous post in this series, I went over the first 3 out of 6 key aspects of successful partner portals, and now, I’m going to cover the last 3:

  • Personalize the Portal.
  • Respect your channel partners’ time.
  • Know where they are in their journey.
  • Go at the partners’ pace.
  • Make your partner portal rewarding.
  • Keep it compelling.

Go at the partners’ pace.

It’s important for portals to reflect the level of knowledge and experience of the user. If you are launching a new program, or welcoming new portal users, provide guides such as, “New Partners Click Here” to find out more, or when an experienced, long serving partner logs in offer content that is appropriate for where they are in their journey with you.

Take partners on a journey by offering training material, learning paths and certification that are right for where they are. That is to say, don’t overwhelm partners with all your content and collateral on day one.

Make your partner portal rewarding.

Ensure there’s a tangible benefit for them in completing any task that demands his/her time.

Most partner portals become valuable because they enable a vendor and the channel partner to collaborate on leads and opportunities. Its not about just registering a deal but making sure that partner and vendor can each see the status and collaborate to close the deal. Each can leave comments on a record, follow a news feed or use notifications and alerts when certain things happen. It’s agile and enables real-time response to opportunities.

Partner Recognition

Partners want to know where they stand amongst their peers. They also want to see their progress and have something to show for it. Use partner tiers, leader boards and achievement notifications to demonstrate that their engagement is rewarded and recognized. Make sure to also display what criteria needs to be met to make them the next level.

Keep it compelling with Great content.

Invest time into developing great content that will engage your channel partners. Portals are only as good as the content they provide. So, regardless of how well you serve up the content through a good portal design, if the content isn't valuable to the visitors, you still fail. Think about the value of the content for partner and avoid using visually uninteresting , not “sticky” and hard to navigate wordy pages.

I also think it's important to make it easier for authors and editors to publish content themselves. That said, I recommend building a content management solution (CMS) into your portal design. A good CMS system puts the power of the content publishing into the hands of the actual authors and editors.