How to Use Your PRM to Drive Partner Engagement
We all know that, in the game of partnerships, motivation, and engagement aren't a one-way street.
And as partners progress through the levels of your channel program, it's pivotal to continue offering them new and exciting opportunities to stay engaged.
But this is often a challenge for most businesses.
Personalized partner marketing strategies are great ideas, but did you know that you can use your chosen Partner Relationship Management (PRM) platform—which makes it easy to automate and track partner activities—to increase engagement too? And you can use it to reactivate partners.
When used effectively, well-implemented PRM tools can help businesses access an array of high-impact solutions that eliminate the need for manual operations to engage partners, making it an invaluable way to maximize efficiency while saving time and resources.
But how do you do it?
In this article, we'll delve into some excellent ways you can use your PRM to automate partner engagement.
Why is Partner Engagement Such a Challenge?
As the business world, digital technology, and partner economy become increasingly competitive, it can be daunting to ensure that partners remain invested and engaged in your partner program and brand.
With each partner having their own businesses or ventures to manage, as well as working in global markets with different time zones, cultures, and diverse expectations, maintaining partnerships and increasing engagement requires extensive investments of time and effort.
Other reasons for engagement difficulties include:
- Partners may lack adequate resources to invest in the engagement process, which can lead to delays and under-deliveries on projects.
- Partner engagement can be a challenge due to the complexity of managing multiple relationships with different partners.
- Every partner has their own unique needs and
- expectations, so it can be difficult to manage all their requests and deliver on their expectations.
- And lastly, inconsistent communication or a lack of understanding of a partner’s requirements can lead to frustration or even conflict.
Therefore, maintaining partnerships and increasing engagement will require significant investments of time and effort that go beyond exchanging pleasantries. It will demand finding ways to make your program attractive in order to motivate partners to stay engaged, build strong relationships, and bring in increased sales.
This is where PRMs come in.
PRM solutions, equipped with the right tools, can help maximize these efforts, resulting in increased engagement and success in your partner ecosystem.
How to Leverage the PRM to Increase Partner Engagement
We all know the popular saying, "Work smarter, not harder."
In today's world of automation, ease of use, and transformation, it is easy to overlook how this simple principle can help streamline our success.
Rather than taking the harder route to growth and success, why not explore the opportunities that come with a smarter approach?
For instance, imagine the convenience of having everything you need for your partners—sales enablement materials, deal registration, and more—in a single platform! Wouldn't it be much easier to access them instantly with just a click rather than sending countless emails or documents?
That is why you can get the most out of your partner portal and do wonders to help you drive engagement with your partners.
Here are a few ways it can help:
- Strengthen relationships: A PRM helps you build better relationships with customers, prospects, and partners by providing them with personalized attention and support.
- Increase visibility: A PRM allows you to easily increase the visibility of your brand, products, and services through various channels, such as partner websites or email campaigns.
- Track progress: A PRM allows partners to track deals, compare offers, and analyze previous campaigns.
- Alignment: A PRM helps you to align your partners' business plans and goals by utilizing insights from comprehensive performance analysis, to develop customized solutions that meet their needs and assist them in achieving their intended goals.
- Automation: A PRM can help you increase partner engagement through the use of workflow automation tools. These tools will allow organizations to streamline processes, such as onboarding and program management, while also providing a seamless experience to partners.
But the question is: how can you use this powerful tool to drive channel partner engagement?
Keep it Simple & Intuitive
Well, first things first: simplicity is key.
PRMs don't have to be difficult, and ensuring partners have an experience they can boast about is simpler than you might think.
To keep partners engaged, the PRM must be simple and user-friendly. This necessitates a thorough understanding of the workflow, each step, and current best practices, ensuring key processes are as simple as possible.
- Partner onboarding should be simple and easy to understand. Automated partner onboarding guarantees that partners quickly understand how to use the system.
- Assets, such as training materials and demo videos, should be easily accessible to increase channel partner engagement by providing quick access to crucial information for partner-related things like marketing campaigns.
- Creating a lead or deal management should be a simple process that captures all the necessary information without making it difficult for users.
Lastly, but significantly, making processes easy to follow should also give your partners convenient and easy access to their performance metrics so they can make more informed decisions about which activities will bring about the best results for both parties.
Customize & Organize Everything
Say it with us: "A messy and cluttered PRM keeps partners away."
Believe us when we say that customizing and organizing the portal experience for partners is critical for driving engagement.
To achieve this, partnership managers must make sure the portal is customized to meet the unique needs of each partner and contains pertinent information that speaks to their requirements and expectations.
This may consist of:
Design and layout
The portal's design and layout should be altered to ensure that all necessary elements, such as chat boxes, pop-up windows, and customized data tracking tools, are arranged in a sensible order.
But before you do that, it is essential to comprehend your partner's needs and preferences in order to adjust the PRM system to their requirements.
Questions to consider include:
- What objectives do they need it for?
- What actions must be completed within the system to achieve their goals?
With this information, you can develop a specific and comprehensive channel partner engagement strategy that meets your partner's needs and enables them to be successful.
Secondly, the dashboard should be free of clutter, ensuring that organizations and partners can quickly find what they need rather than feeling overwhelmed or lost on a page full of irrelevant information.
Enable Self-Service Accessibility
Last but not least, strive to provide partners with as much self-service accessibility as possible.
This increases the ease of navigation and access within the portal and keeps them updated on the most recent resources available for their use.
These may include:
- The ability to search for specific topics or documents through intuitive filters.
- Tabs or pages to show steps in marketing activities.
- Customized notifications notify partners when new updates or resources relevant to their specific needs become available.
- A quick way to reach out directly to the company.
With customization, organization, and attention to detail, you can create a partner experience that keeps them coming back for more.
Communication is Key
Communication is the oil in the engine of any successful partnership and can help drive partner action from Day 1.
Successfully navigating and nurturing relationships requires consistent dialogue and engagement, and an effective PRM should be able to offer businesses the tools they need to ensure smooth communication with their partners and partner managers.
Here are some key ways you can use a PRM system to increase communication and improve channel management:
- Utilize Workflow Emails: Automated emails sent in response to set criteria will boost productivity and enhance the efficiency of task completion.
- Track Engagement with Notes & Comments: Notes can be used to schedule future projects, share updates, and remind partners when messages sent or topics discussed have not yet received a response.
- Improve Customer Service Quality: Having an organized portal feature that allows for the categorization of conversations or tasks according to particular keywords will save time during problem-solving procedures and help elevate partner satisfaction scores across accounts.
Using these strategies together will ensure consistent communication with partners throughout their entire journey, increasing their feeling of value and engagement with the business's team resulting in stronger partnerships.
Build Transparency & Trust
Transparency and trust are invaluable for a successful channel partner program, which is why it's crucial to incentivize partners by affording them visibility into their progress, objectives, and benefits.
And with a PRM platform, you can give them exactly that: clarity into every aspect of their performance—ranging from how close they are to fulfilling goals to the commission rate they're earning.
With this insight, you can establish a secure sense of trust between your company and its partners while also keeping them engaged along the way.
A PRM can also help you build transparency and trust in the following ways:
- The ability to openly share goals and expectations with partners both before and during the partnership.
- The ability to provide regular feedback, making sure that partners are aware of how they are performing and what needs to be done to ensure success in channel sales.
- The ability to keep partners informed of recent changes and initiatives.
Remember that everyone is ultimately trying to succeed, so it is crucial to make sure that the PRM you choose is built with key features that will prevent partners from feeling left behind or unaware of the partnership's progress.
Connect the Community
The synergy of a partnership network can give your partner engagement plan a real boost if you understand one of the most crucial things: connection.
That is why it has been said multiple times that the power of community and togetherness will not only help accelerate your business but can also help your partners and teams feel connected to each other and inspired by the success of others.
To do this, make sure you share news and wins from within your channel partnership ecosystem directly onto the portal; doing so will give partners a sense of belonging, showcase their successes, and even allow them to learn from other partners for the long term.
Ways to use a PRM to connect the community:
- Maintain open communication with the community and allow partners to collaborate on topics of interest or reach out with questions and concerns.
- Include gamification elements such as leaderboards, scorecards, and rewards to increase partner engagement.
- Announce events on the PRM, such as webinars or live chats, where partners can come together and share their experiences.
- Create engaging and relevant content tailored to partner feedback.
Lastly, remember that the possibilities don’t stop there. There are endless opportunities for you to build deeper and more connected partner and customer relationships, from providing personalized customer support to offering one-on-one meetings.
Every small effort will make a difference in the overall success of your SaaS partnership program.
As mentioned above, increased visibility leads to greater engagement, and this visibility comes with a whole lot of tracking.
Remember that data is key!
To get the most out of your PRM, you must track everything—from customer contacts to sales activities to performance metrics.
This data should be easily accessible for you and your partners so that it can create better experiences, leading to a strategic partnership that will drive revenue.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Create and share a detailed data and partner engagement strategy with your partners.
- Develop strategies for improvement based on the data gathered to pinpoint areas that need work.
- Give your partners access to the data so they can analyze it and make the necessary adjustments to their performance.
- Reward top performers for their efforts by recognizing and celebrating victories.
You can better understand where to focus your efforts if you have the right insights from tracking partner performance.
Furthermore, recognizing their accomplishments will win a partner's hearts and minds and propel your partnerships to new heights!
As you can see, using a PRM is vital for any business looking to maximize partner engagement and take their relationships to the next level.
The bottom line?
Taking full advantage of your PRM will provide huge returns in terms of improved partner relationships, higher profitability, and overall enhanced success for your business.
At Kiflo, we understand the importance of partner engagement in driving success and growth for your business.
With powerful automation tools and comprehensive reporting capabilities, our PRM can help you easily track performance across all your partners, increase communication, and collaborate.
We believe that with the right insights and tools, driving partner engagement becomes effortless, and your business will see the results.