How to Get the Most from A Partner Portal

The benefits of partner marketing are becoming more clear. What was once thought of as a marketing tactic reserved for large companies with deep pockets is now a common tool for smaller, medium and even small businesses. In fact, some of the most successful companies in the network marketing industry make their bread and butter with partner exchanges.

Setting up a partner portal is the key to a successful partner programme. A partner portal is an online application designed to give B2B channel partners exclusive access to a number of resources, such as lead management tools, product information, and sales and marketing information and training (Ara). Your portal must be designed around the needs of your partners. You need them to be able to access all information and marketing assets as and when required, be notified of any important messages and use the portal in a way that’s going to best allow them to drive revenue. With this in mind, it’s important that you understand your partners’ and their needs before building your portal.

Tailoring your portal’s content so that is is personalised to each of your partners’ channel usage, engagement strategy and activity levels is necessary. Keeping it up to date with information that’s relevant to them will allow them to close deals faster. To do so, a PRM portal should give users access to newsfeeds, real-time collaboration, articles, custom dashboards for analytics, etc (Mager, 2018). Work closely with your web designer to establish an optimised user journey (UX) in which your partners can easily reach all content listed above, in around 3 clicks. Like any online site, the success of a partner portal will be determined by the site’s overall user experience (UX), and how easy it is for them to find what they need.

Building a platform that allows for all interactions with your network to exist on the portal means you can manage leads and opportunities, discuss deals, and share status and updates. You will also be able to better manage your partnerships by keeping everything organised. Through the use of a centralised partner portal, you’ll be able to use KPIs to determine the positive results of your channel partners and the partner relationships itself. Without a well managed portal, establishing the strength of your partner relationships can be difficult. By implementing analytics features, your portal can provide you with data that means you can identify areas of success and areas that need improvement, or further investment.

Having an easy way to collaborate with channel partners will lead to an increase in partner productivity, loyalty, profitability, and consistency. Your portal should encourage collaboration and this means there should be a way to easily communicate with your partners on specific accounts, specific opportunities and specific campaigns. The power of a free exchange is apparent when you consider that it allows you to build a massive subscriber base without spending a penny. So give this back to your partners – they should be able to access valuable information and communicate with you in real time. By moving collaborative discussions regarding specific accounts on to the portal, rather than using email or telephone, communication will be made easier and conversations can be easily tracked.

Automate tasks where you can. A dynamic partner portal will support your business, but it should also support your partners’. By determining the tasks that are most important to your business and theirs, you can ensure that they are automated on the portal. This could be related in analytics reporting, or MDF requests, anything that takes your partners time and effort to complete manually.

Building a successful partnership is not easy. You will often need to invest significant amounts of time and money into a partnership before you see any results. That’s why it’s important to know upfront what your options are before making any type of commitment. Once you know this, you can develop a personalised portal around your partners’ requirements. Know your budget, know the partners that you are most interested in partnering with and most importantly know exactly what you want out of your partnership. You can then develop an amazing platform around these elements.

Joe Allen

Joe has vast experience and knowledge accumulated and honed as a New Business Development Manager and Relationship Manager. Presently the Director at Belu Media.

Responsible for generating new business clients, looking after existing clients, sourcing new ventures and managing the company.

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