The partner portal is quickly emerging as the primary means through which organizations interact with their channel partners. But that transition is uneven at best. Most partner portals today are still little more than static websites. Often failing to provide the level of interactive engagement required to succeed.
Rather than merely being a means through which channel partners hopefully discover relevant channel content, a partner portal needs to be the lens through which channel partners are managing their relationship with the vendor. The portal should be a place the partner wishes to visit, not considered as a website the partner occasionally needs to visit.
Preferably, the portal is a dashboard through which the partner should be able to manage every aspect of their relationship. Self-service capabilities should span everything from seeing, at a glance, how much of their sales quotas has been retired, to providing alerts to new incentive opportunities that are specifically tailored to leverage the specific expertise of the partner.
The foundational element of any modern partner portal today is a channel automation platform that provides channel managers with the level of granular control over partner relationships needed to create a truly interactive partner portal experience. A channel automation platform not only tracks key performance indicators (KPIs) across the channel ecosystem, it should enable channel managers to create incentives on the fly, that can be targeted at specific partners, whenever they log into the portal.
Partners only ever log into a portal when they know there is compelling and relevant offers for them to consume. Ideally, every time a partner turns on their PC, there should be a dashboard automatically loading the portal. However, most partners work with multiple vendors. So it may not be feasible for them to maintain that level of intimacy with every vendor. But amongst the vendors that generate the lion’s share of their profits, most channel partners will be very keen to know exactly where the status of the relationship is, at the beginning and end, of every day.
Unfortunately, far too many vendors see portals loaded with stale and static content. Based on designs from a previous era, their partner portals are little more than websites updated once a quarter. They are a very long way from providing an engaging partner experience. An experience designed to capture the hearts and minds of channel partners in a way that keeps them coming back.
A compelling portal experience requires a level of personalization that can only be achieved when a channel automation platform is in place. Channel automation platforms are now core to any digital business process that vendors are increasingly starting to expose via their partner portals.
We invite you to check out a demo of our channel automation platform that can be found here. We’re confident you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover just how many capabilities of a modern partner portal experience are a simple application programming interface (API) call away using a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. Discover what’s truly possible to Automate, Connect, Track and Sell.
Need a little refresher when it comes to Channel Acronyms? Why not check out our Infographic on some of the most commonly used acronyms in the channel today? Or for a more detailed refresher on the most common channel acronyms, check out our A-Z of Channel Acronyms.