High-tech organizations seek channel partnerships as a strategic alliance, of sorts, to assist operations in a number of ways, such as to promote products or services, increase efficiencies in distribution and store products. However, managing the needs of multiple partners in a supply chain can be complex. High-tech partnerships can vary between sectors and industries, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to a successful partnership. Businesses that lack a sufficient partner relationship management strategy miss the benefits of an organized structure with worthwhile, productive partners. On the flip side, implementing an effective partner management system for multiple channels can bring an increase in sales volume, revenue, and brand awareness.
In this post, we will highlight three areas where organizations experience challenges with partners in a channel management structure. We’ll also explain how to resolve these challenges with a partner relationship management tool, also known as a partner portal.
Too many cooks in the kitchen
Many people don’t realize that channel managers aren’t individual people, but rather organizations that have hierarchical structures. It’s difficult to manage a process with no deliberate strategy in place that outlines a defined workflow. All partners are not created equal and organizations have differing management styles, workflows, and processes. Aligning strategies among your partners is essential to eliminate any possible confusion. Also, with many partners possibly overlapping geographical locations and customers, it’s important to set clear goals and boundaries. And once you set those goals and expectations, clearly communicate them to all partners. Most web-based partner relationship management tool will not only help you organize your structure, they offer the functionality to be customized to meet the individual needs of your organization and partners. You can also utilize the portal to outline boundaries and expectations for each channel to eliminate confusion about who is doing what…and where.
Don’t skimp on the training/education
If you want your product pipeline to run smoothly, you need to be clear on your expectations with your partners. And, varying types of partners have different needs. Properly onboarding channel partners on your products or services and sales or marketing strategies sets the tone for a successful partnership. It’s also imperative to provide partners with training on the various functions of your established partner relationship management software, otherwise, some of your partners may get lost in the sauce. Also, because business is always evolving, it’s a best practice to offer ongoing opportunities for partners to make sure they are up-to-date with the latest and greatest information. You can also house your training and professional development opportunities in your partner portal for your partners to access 24/7.
Communication, or the lack thereof
Speaking of communication – it can make or break your partnership. You want to eliminate any possible channel conflict among your partners due to a lack of communication. A successful partner relationship is a transparent one with open lines of communication between channel partners. Set a monthly or quarterly review to give and receive feedback from your channel partners. A channel partner relationship management tool provides a convenient place for vendors to engage and communicate with their partners.
An all-in-one solution
Many hi-tech organizations rely on partner relationship management tools to “keep their house” in order, so to speak. PartnerPortal is the ultimate solution to managing multiple channel partners. With multiple functions and customizable options, you can organize your channel management structure, provide a training hub to onboard and properly educate your partners on your products/services and sales/marketing strategies, and eliminate any possible channel conflict among your partners due to lack of communication.