How to Use your Channel Partner Portal Software to Target Value Added Resellers
A channel partner portal software is designed to provide a centralized platform to assist vendors in managing, overseeing, and calculating channel activities, as well as help partners, increase productivity and revenue. Partner Portals are used by vendors and their partners as an online hub for all of the vendor’s channel programs.
In our technology-driven world, products and solutions that can readily leverage technology and present a viable yet efficient functionality have a competitive advantage. Therefore, in order to meet their partners’ needs, vendors are constantly trying to outdo competitors by offering the most comprehensive web-based solutions through their partner portal software.
Partner Portals should be used as a “gateway” of collaboration, communication, and resources. Consider your partner portal as the digital intersection between you and your partner’s business, and it’s always undergoing “construction.”
Vendor: A business that produces products or provides services.
Partner: A business that distributes or sells a vendor’s products.
Customer: End-user of a product or service.
A portal that isn’t routinely updated or littered with new valuable content, offers, and solutions, won’t have partners that consistently engage in partner activities—and the snowball effect of disengagement quickly follows. The power and functionality of your partner portal software are especially prevalent when looking to establish new partnerships.
The decision to acquire new channel partners is a meticulous, slow-burning process. It requires the mechanics of your business to be flowing in a cohesive direction. For partners, on the other hand, choosing the right vendor who provides suitable services or products is an overwhelming task.
No matter which side of the equation you belong to, the first step in finding a new channel partner is to make sure your goals and values are aligned.
Partner Portal Features
Establishing a successful relationship with your channel partners is just as important as investing in the best business equipment and facilities for boosting your bottom-line. Here are a few key elements your partner portal software should offer in order to cater your existing partners or attract new value-added resellers (VAR):
- Easy to navigate
- Configurable by partners
- Supports partnerships
- Attracts engagement
- Partner profile management capabilities
- A source of valuable and relevant content
- Capable of integrating with other programs and solutions
- Provides access to your channel marketing and sales play-books
- Provides access to training materials and issues certificates
- Ability to generate alerts for both vendor and their partners
- Furnishes partners with up-to-date information on products
- Provides partner collaboration
- Enables community participation
- A hub for your channel programs
- Automates business processes
Basically, your partner portal software should offer and compliment a cost-effective way for your channel partners to access content, data, tools, and support that normally an account manager would provide.
Since your partner portal software is designed based on the idea of informing and empowering your current and future channel partners, let’s take a look at what partners look for when shopping for a vendor.
A Partner Portal Software for Partners
As much as you would like to think so, you are most likely not your channel partner’s only vendor. Always keep in mind, your current and potential partners work with many vendors, therefore, they need an efficient and comprehensible partner portal.
Your partner portal software should give your channel partners secure yet partitioned access to the information they need to help you run your business. Your portal is not a place to boast about your success or yet used as a platform for advertisement.
Your channel partners should never feel out-of-the-loop because when they do, business goals fall apart, misinterpretation escalates and opportunities become scarce.
Here is a list of the most common values channel partners request their vendors to include in their partner portal software:
- An easy to use interface
- Support for the success of each partner
- Support for servicing clients
- Easy onboarding
- Virtual training (marketing, sales, and technical)
- Secure portal
- Ease of integration
- No need to learn a new programming language
- Provides 24/7 access
- Ability to track orders
- Content and tools to help generate demands
- Ability to access multiple reports
- Provides relevant content
- Provides easily accessible material such as sales guides, industry-specific kits, catalogs, and other marketing tools
- Tools for customizing marketing assets
- Tools to gauge the performance of team members
- Ability to collaborate with vendor’s other partners
- Up-to-date information on vendors’ latest incentive programs
- Receive notifications from the vendor
- The ability to register a deal
A Partner Portal for Vendors
Maintaining a prosperous partner relationship requires more than just direction, but dedication. To keep up with the ever-evolving culture of technology, vendors are frequently looking for the most innovative channel enablement tools to keep their existing channel partners empowered and satisfied as well as attract new partners. A successful vendor also keeps a diligent watch on the needs and wants of their partners to promote growth.
Your partner portal software should furnish your partners with the necessary tools to achieve business growth. These channel enablement tools are to compliment your partner portal for potential partnership and revenue opportunities in the future as well as help everyone in your current channel ecosystem with generating revenue.
As mentioned earlier, it is imperative that you and your channel partners are aligned and striving to reach a unified goal. A partner portal is merely a platform that facilitates the tools to help your channel ecosystem towards your goals and provides the means to hold members accountable for their actions.
So, here is a list of the most common functions vendors look for when looking to acquire a partner portal software:
Top 3 Reasons Vendors Earn Strategic Partner Status:
- Exceptional partner support and service
- In sync with partners’ business goals and objectives
- Post-sales support and service
- Easy to manage
- Adaptable to the partner’s requirements
- Ability to design the portal to represent brand identity
- Accelerates the partner recruitment and onboarding process
- Capability to create a support platform for partners
- Functions to create virtual classrooms
- Offers channel partners a secure access
- Painless partner signup functionality
- Ability to set notifications
- Ability to create targeted incentives
- Furnished with performance management systems
- Capability to assign different access levels to partners and in-house team members
- Means to share documents, news, and upcoming events with partners
- Gives you the ability to grant your channel partner access to the module that you choose
- Potential to set language preferences
- Reporting capabilities for analyzing partners’ engagement and program effectiveness
- Offers more than one channel management solutions such as Co-op/MDF, Deal Registration, channel inventory management, ship and debit, etc..
An Interactive Platform for Building Effective Channels
As the channel evolves to keep up with the ever-changing cloud and subscription-based programs, vendors, partners, and consumers are all looking to employ solutions and services that help them work more efficiently with remote and instantaneous access capabilities.
The gap between vendors that deploy subscription-based programs and data storage ‘virtual’ ecosystems—and those that don’t—is only widening. It’s a common fact that distributors and resellers are more likely to work with vendors that offer more innovative channel management services—viewing manual managerial processes as an archaic, counterintuitive business practice.
If you are researching different partner portal software or looking to improve your current portal, explore specialized subscription-based business systems that will effectively help you administer all of your current channel processes!
The average cost associated with IT infrastructure failure is $5,600 per minute.
Source: Ponemon Institute study
Experience the Power of Automation
Computer Market Research (CMR) helps businesses maximize their relationship with partners and establish transparent, two-way communication that is built around one common goal: success.
Our partner portal software provides companies with a standardized and streamlined way to register basic information, share business practices, create sales and marketing programs, audit and manage distributor claims, and more. A powerful platform for online collaboration, our portal was designed to add efficiency to you and your partners’ business. Your partners can access the latest related data including purchase orders (PO), delivery information and payment statuses at any time, anywhere. The rich, two-way collaboration enables partners to submit invoice requests while accelerating the way you process ship notices, review payments and update your partners’ information.
“CMR’s PartnerPortal has vastly improved our channel visibility, allowing us to continuously monitor and proactively address any immediate needs that arise among our partners.”
— Chris Schultz, Senior Channel Marketing Manager, Plantronics, Inc.
Our cost-effective software streamlines channel activities reduce conflict and enable your channel partners to effectively market and sell your products.
Most importantly, our solutions create real-time performance reports that make it easy to determine the return on your channel investments.