Partner portals to support your partners’ success
Partners, such as resellers, installers, or service providers, look to the vendors to be the experts in their field, and to provide support for technical sales, customer service and customer queries. As a vendor, if you can provide the technical support your partners need, you can win their loyalty and benefit from profitable channel growth.
A partner portal is a great way to ensure that you deliver the technical support and training materials.
What is a partner portal?
A partner portal is an online platform that gives your partners access to the various resources they need to successfully market, sell and support your products and services. These resources can include marketing assets, pricing and sales information, technical product information and training.
Partner portals may also provide direct access to your systems and processes, such as deal management and customer support tools.
Benefits of a partner portal
A well-structured partner portal can optimise partner productivity, provide you with a rapidly scalable sales and support model, and give a competitive advantage to both you and your partners.
A partner portal that provides technical product information and training, as well as marketing resources and sales information, can deliver several benefits for both the supplier and partner:
- Provide a scalable sales channel for local and international markets
A portal that supports new partner on-boarding and training provides an efficient tool for building the sales channel both locally and internationally.
- Optimise partner productivity
Streamlining processes for partners reduces administrative overheads for both the supplier and partner.
- Drive profitable growth within existing sales channels
Simplifying access to training and technical information supports partner engagement and reduces errors.
- Win partner loyalty
20% of partners derive more than half of their business from their favoured supplier. Partner loyalty is driven by good technical support and short response times.
Success factors for a partner portal
70% of partner portal implementations are predicted to fail because partners don’t engage with the portal. This is usually caused when the partner portal doesn’t provide the information partners require nor fit into the partner’s processes – adding time and effort rather than saving time.
Here are some areas to focus on to ensure your partner portal succeeds:
- Develop easy on-boarding processes
On-boarding is a key part of the partner life-cycle. The initial contact may be driven by an opportunity, but if you can make the on-boarding processes as simple as possible for partners and get them engaged with easy-to-access, valuable content, they are more likely to come back again.
- Provide training material for partners to train their sales and support team
Engaging self-paced training in manageable chunks makes it easy for partners to get up to speed with your products and processes, while giving them control over the best time to learn.
By tracking progress of individuals, you can ensure that they are up to speed with the latest developments, and issue certificates of achievement.
- Provide easy access to high-quality, up-to-date product information
Partners’ sales and support teams need information about your product to do their jobs successfully. Giving easy access to reference material enables partners to quickly look up information to answer customer sales or support questions.
Your product may be one of many your partner manages – if it is easier to deal with you, they will.
- Enable partners to easily share your information with their customers and staff
Make information easily shareable to help answer customers’ queries. Enable content to be integrated with partners’ systems – copying and pasting from your system to theirs is time consuming.
- Deliver a modern easy-to-use system
PDFs just don’t cut it any more. We are all used to using apps and media sites to find and access information. This is what partners are expecting. Content must be easily accessible on mobiles and tablets with search and profile-driven customised content.
- Provide in language of the market
Providing content in the language of the local market simplifies interactions for the partner and their customers.
How 3di can help
Building partner portals into the product development process ensures partners have the high-quality, up-to-date information they need. This enables the success of the partner portal implementation, optimises partner productivity, and supports profitable growth of the channel.
A technical product information strategy information that covers content for partners ensures that partners get the information they need for successful on-boarding, as well as the high-quality product information they need to grow your business. This requires a robust process to create, translate, publish and maintain content. 3di can provide the capabilities and capacity necessary to deliver high-quality content consistently.
3di uses a range of technical communications tools and methodologies, so we can choose the appropriate tool chain to create a partner portal, or integrate with your existing one. By incorporating methodologies such as single-sourcing and automated publishing, 3di can provide a high degree of flexibility while saving time and improving quality.