Partner portals are a must to get the right information to the right business partners or partner groups. Partner portal technologies have been around for a long time and many companies fail to realize how much has changed over the years. Yesterday’s solution does not fill the needs of today’s growing and on-the-move partners that enterprises aim to support. Tomorrow’s partner portal will require these 7 features to increase sales and create lasting partner relationships.
1. Provide Exclusive Partner Portal Content
Show the value of the partner portal by providing exclusive content. The best way to show usefulness is by offering helpful and insightful information that cannot be found anywhere else. These exclusives may be promotions, product previews, white papers, or even features and tools that we’ll mention later in this list. And, don’t miss the opportunity to release content here early so that partners have one more reason to frequent the portal.
2. Current Price Listings
A common frustration during the sale process for partners is obtaining the latest product price list. If finding product pricing requires searching through multiple emails, you’re introducing unnecessary obstacles to your partners and complicating the sales process. When there are other brands for your partner to choose from, being the least convenient adds unnecessary risk. Use this opportunity to add and keep current all the pricing your partners need.
3. Multi-Channel Support
A typical partner portal will have at least one method of accessing pre-sales support. It might be as simple as an email link, a click-to-dial hotline, or even live chat. More robust portal platforms tend to have these solutions already built-in. It’s important to provide partners with multiple channels of pre-sales support to build trust in your brand. Prove communication to be a market differentiator by gifting your partners with choice on their terms.
4. Quick Quote Requests
Partners routinely submit questions and custom quote requests during their day to day operations. If the partner cannot rely on an OEM for a quick turnaround on a quote, they’ll equate the delay with lost opportunity. Portals often integrate simple feedback forms that route to inside sales for quote requests. This tends to be the quickest option, however, if it is beyond the capability of the portal’s administrator, pre-filled email forms will generally suffice.
We recommend impressing your partners with an avenue that provides the quickest possible delivery to sales and back. They’ll be pleasantly surprised and more likely to select your brand over competitors.
5. Automated Product Information
Partners regularly require access to all types of product information, including inspiring and empowering success stories. It is expected that all content be well organized and easily searchable but these things alone aren’t good enough.
Usually, it is the job of a marketing coordinator to dedicate time to keeping product information and specifications current and to the appropriate partners. Optionally, there are software platforms such as Influents that automate the job, feeding content from existing sources to the appropriate partners in real-time.
6. Mobile or Mobile Ready
Your partners are on the move so it’s no surprise that over 90% of partners carry a smartphone or tablet. And of those, over 60% prefer reaching for their mobile devices as the primary source of information and tools to manage their business. Enterprises have no option than to adopt mobile solutions.
At minimum, all partner portals should render well on phones and tablets and provide downloadable content. The ideal native mobile solution avoids the complications of responsive portal design. Portals offered by App Data Room and ChannelEyes touch on the objective with responsive portals while dedicated solutions like Influents provide a fully mobile approach to gain competitive advantage.
7. Update Notifications
With all the product resources available to partners, enterprises still struggle to convert portal efforts into increased revenue. If the partner portal has all of the above items we listed and doesn’t net a return on the investment it’s likely because the solution doesn’t actually increase mind-share. The portal needs to actively communicate to keep your brand top of mind.
If your organization is looking for a solution to alleviate partner communication pain points, grow mind-share and increase sales, we invite you to try Influents — an all inclusive mobile partner engagement solution.