How to Use Your Partner Platform to Reactivate Partners
At a time when partnerships are growing at an exponential rate, it's become increasingly difficult to monitor all your partners' activities.
Companies spend a lot of time and money trying to retain their loyal partners, only to find that they're bored and disengaged.
Now comes the million-dollar question:
How can you identify and activate inactive partners by using your partner platform?
In this article, you'll learn how to use your PRM to track your partners' activity in real time and how to reactivate those who are dormant.
What are Inactive Partners?
An inactive user is generally an account that has not logged into a platform or has stopped interacting with your platform for a prolonged period of time.
Even though the partners are no longer active or using your platform, their information remains in your database. And there are many different reasons why this may be inactive. We explore some of those reasons below.
Why do Partners Become Inactive?
Vendors spend a lot of time and effort setting up portals so they can communicate with their partners. Despite that, they can still remain unused.
Here are some common reasons why this occurs:
Lack of Clarity and Relevance
Partner portals can be burdened by lengthy, complicated documents or, worse, a complete lack of resources. If it has resources, it is important to think about how they are actually organized, identified, and distributed. This is a very important variable. How new content is identified in the partner portal and separated from older, less relevant content is another critical factor.
For example, any content related to the new launch of a particular product or service should be promoted through the partner portal so that it is easy for partners to find it once they log in.
Many Portals to Manage
Consider yourself one of your partners. Most partners sell goods from ten to thirty different vendors. Each vendor expects their partners to use their partner portal to exchange discounts, etc. It can be difficult or inconvenient for partners to remember 20 passwords for 20 different portals.
Lack of Training
Even if you have a fantastic partner portal, it'll be just another unused communication channel if you don’t teach partners how to use it to its fullest potential. Vendors need to conduct regular training sessions with partners and show them what's available in the partner portal, what's new, and what's coming in the future.
They should also make training session recordings easily accessible and summarized in "bite-sized" chunks of no more than five minutes. Without training and how-to videos, partners are essentially on their own to figure out how to use the partner portal.
This may cause them to get lost and lose interest in using the portal altogether.
Using Your Partner Platform to Detect Inactive Partners
A partner who is trained, invested, capable, and motivated to expand your company is ideal. These empowered partners present themselves as dedicated local market sales, implementation, and customer service representatives for your brand.
Here’s how you can use your PRM to identify when a partner is inactive, so you can work to move them toward this ideal level.
Your PRM allows you to track what percentage of your training sessions has each partner taken. This fundamental metric allows you to assess partner commitment and determine whether partners are utilizing the onboarding opportunities you are providing. It can also give you an idea of whether your partners are active or not.
Keep in mind that partner onboarding is only successful if partners use it. If partners aren't taking advantage of onboarding opportunities, try conducting a survey to find out why.
Further, if your partners aren't completing onboarding, this performance indicator can assist in identifying issues with your onboarding. For instance, if activation rates drop off after you add a fresh onboarding module, you might be expecting too much or improperly setting the expectations of brand-new participants.
Alternatively, you might be pursuing the wrong kinds of partners if your onboarding procedures haven't changed but your numbers are still declining.
A PRM usually combines partner training with tracking. It allows you to record participants' initial engagement with the content. It also allows you to divide the materials into logical lessons and then test them to determine if the training was successful.
This is important because if your partners do not know enough about your products, they can not sell them well. An essential indicator of partner success is that you track how many training sessions and product demonstrations they’ve attended and what certifications they have earned. You can do all this and much more with your PRM.
PRM allows you to check your channel partners' deal conversions in addition to their sales. However, you shouldn't just focus on the number of deal conversions because this does not reflect the caliber of the leads or the efficiency with which your partners are closing deals.
Additionally, it's crucial to consider the average deal size, the length of time it takes to close a deal, the number of active deals, and the proportion of open to closed deals.
When communicating with your partners, frequency is just as crucial as consistency. Every touchpoint of your program should carry the key messages of your brand and program, and those touchpoints must be timely, pertinent, succinct, and cohesive—especially early on.
Responsiveness to the communication, such as completion of tasks or clicks on the CTA, are good indicators of partner engagement, especially if your partner portal serves as your primary means of partner communication.
Even if you and your partners share some goals, remember that your channel partners are separate legal entities with their own goals, challenges, and expectations. Fortunately, your PRM allows you to monitor whether your partners are achieving their personal and program-wide goals. These may be increasing sales, maximizing return on investment, closing leads, or even growing the market.
It's worth talking to your partners about how your sales program can support and align with these larger goals as much as possible. After all, partners will not actively participate in the program if they do not directly benefit from it.
Using Your Partner Platform to Reactivate Partners
Your channel partners are an extension of your team. As with your internal sales team, you can use incentives to increase sales with partners.
If partners represent multiple brands, an incentive can make the difference between a sale for your brand and one for a rival.
With the right incentive plans and a long-term perspective, you can gradually increase partner loyalty and encourage mutual business growth.
For example, you can reward partners who consistently exceed plan goals or reach a certain sales volume. Incentives for this can take the form of cash rewards, gift cards, points-based incentives for travel, or any other incentive that you deem suitable.
According to a study by Adobe, the average person receives more than 120 business emails every day, and it's getting harder to get them to pay attention and respond. One of the easiest ways to ensure your message immediately grabs recipients' attention and entices them to open it right away is personalized emails.
Personalizing emails not only encourages readers to open them more often, but also increases the likelihood that they'll read and click through to the content. The same study shows that compared to static, one-time emails, personalized emails have been shown to result in a 139% increase in click-through rates.
Highlight New Features
A smart method to re-engage inactive partners is to let partners know what's new in your portal. Send only the feature highlights that are pertinent to their use case for this to be effective. If they left because of a feature that was lacking but is now available in the portal, they will appreciate your email.
Offer Assistance to Help Them Grow Their Business
Partners seeking assistance may want not just technical assistance but also your knowledge of and counsel on matters pertaining to business. Make sure your partners have the ability to ask questions and be prepared to provide prompt, thorough responses.
Even rational and informative partner portals frequently lack a human touch. Introduce specialists and bring them closer to your partners to humanize your portal by enabling Q&As with experts.
It can be difficult to determine the exact causes of partner inactivity. But if you make a conscious effort to find out why and win them back, it will pay off in the long run. Even though you will not be able to reactivate every inactive partner, the tips given above can still be very useful.
Remember, your PRM can be a particularly powerful tool in activating dormant partners. It can make it easier to determine if they are making the most of your resources. With the up-to-date reports and analytics that PRMs provide, you'll have the critical information you need to make decisions about your channel strategy.