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Just Another Partner Portal vs. A Successful Partner Portal

In this blog series on successful partner portals, I will explore the key elements and strategies between just another partner portal, and a successful portal.

Relayware Partner Relationship Management

Just Another Partner Portal vs. A Successful Partner Portal

Part 1

By Simon Taylor, Relayware Director of Pre-Sales

I get asked the same questions about portals almost every week:

  1. Why isn’t my portal successful?
  2. What are the 5 or 10 things I should include to make my portal successful?
  3. Are portals still relevant in the mobile age?
  4. How often should I be updating my portal?
  5. How do I keep my channel partners interested through partner relationship management and keep them engaged?

In this blog series on successful partner portals, I am going to answer these questions and more.

Portal Strategy

First, let’s consider the key elements and strategies between just another partner portal, and a successful portal?

When channel partner portals are designed around a smart content strategy, they provide channel partners with the information they need, when they need it, and without you having to deploy an unsustainable level of resources to manage the portal.

When you achieve this, your partners sell more effectively and are more loyal to your business and products.

This sounds simple, doesn’t it?!

To get to this point, it is important to remember that the main user of the portal is the partner. While this may sound obvious, too often we see partner portals that are designed only to cater to the vendor’s needs. Make it easy for your channel partners to do business with you by creating a portal that takes into account their needs.

Partner Portal Design Best Practices

Thinking about your users, you should apply best practices to your portal architecture and design. Below are some key best practices:

  • Personalize the Portal. Portal content should be tailored to an individual’s usage, engagement, and activity level.
  • Respect your channel partners’ time. Minimize the clicks required to get to the content they really need.
  • Know where they are in their journey. For example, for new users and / or new partners - display welcome content and a short tutorial on “How to work with us.”
  • Go at the partners’ pace. Introduce next steps at a pace that’s suitable to the partner’s level of need and interest. Make it easy to navigate.
  • Make your partner portal rewarding. Ensure there’s a tangible benefit for them in completing any task that demands his/her time.
  • Keep it compelling. Make your portal snappy with not too much text and visually catching. An attractive portal is sticky and keeps partners coming back.

Many partner portals aim to offer a one-stop-shop experience for partners – a place where they can access channel enablement tools and resources to help them grow revenues, build marketing programs, educate their teams on how to support and sell their products and earn growing revenues.

Partner Relationship Management

To successfully manage this entire process for all partners at all stages, partner relationship management (PRM) systems are critical. PRM solutions manage the full reseller lifecycle from new partners in the on-boarding stage to helping mature partners who are your top performers.

The best partner portals go even further to build deeper partner commitment sustain profitable channel marketing programs and help resellers close more sales deals.

In my next post, I’ll look into the importance of mobile partner portals.