At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders scrambled to find solutions to operate in a new normal. As a result, it seems, the entire world sheltered in place and started working from home. Companies with solid partner management systems in place adapted a bit better while those with traditional business models struggled.
Earlier this year, companies were left to navigate the ins and outs of optimizing communications with teleconferencing. Funny clips of people forgetting to hit the mute button when scolding their kids went viral. Fast-forward a few months, and now the buzz is on how to design and showcase your new Zoom wall. The bottom line: No matter where your company is in implementing a partner management system, there will be wins and losses, and even the most structured digital transformation takes time.
In this blog post, we will highlight the main factors to consider when building or updating your partner management system to optimize operations long after the pandemic.
Customers Come First
The ultimate benefactor of your partner management system should be the end-user or your customer. Your goal is to keep your customers seamlessly engaged with your products and/or services. If anything, your digital transformation should increase the efficiency of your company’s interaction with the customer, which will translate into increased sales and profitability.
Evaluate, then Train & Educate
Implementing a partner management system must be done right if it’s going to be effective; it takes more than just making everything digital. First, analyze the current workflow of your operations to determine where there are inefficiencies. Then, determine which aspects are critical to your business and develop a new strategy. You may also want to solicit feedback from your partners during this stage. Then once a plan is developed, proper education and training are essential to get the full benefit of the digital implementation.
Plan & Be Patient
Don’t just spring a digital transformation on your partners. Change management is in order for the cultural and operation shift you need to undergo for your partner management system to be successful. After all, if no one wants to use it, it won’t be effective.
Appoint change champions from each partner segment so you get top-to-bottom buy-in. And make sure to get feedback from your partners to improve the process and increase efficiencies.
Most importantly, be patient. Your partner management system will evolve and you shouldn’t expect to get it right the first time.
Digitize Your Communication
Now is an optimal time to take advantage of digital tools to optimize data, and keep you connected to your partners and customers in real-time in a seamless and safe way. PartnerPortal, an automated and customizable platform, provides a centralized hub to house all data, documents, and trainings in one convenient place. The functionality allows partners and vendors to give permissions to access certain information, marketing materials, sales and pricing instructions, support, and technical information.
With PartnerPortal, you can efficiently manage partner sign-up, marketing funds, deal registration, rebates, and more. And because it’s a web-based application, you can keep all your information secure in the cloud.