August 04, 2022

Getting The Most Out of Partner Portals

Learn how to use partner portals to streamline processes, increase engagement, and boost productivity.

partner-portals

If you have a partner program, then you know that maintaining engagement is one of the most essential and most difficult aspects of partnerships. Keeping partners engaged is vital for better working relationships for both you and your partners.

poll-results-partner-engagement
Partnership professionals on LinkedIn agree that partner engagement is no easy feat.

Partnership relationships need to be authentically and consistently nurtured for partners to stay engaged. You want your partners to be excited about being in your program, not just earning rewards. 

Partner portals not only help improve working relationships between both you and your partners, but you can also use them to develop marketing campaigns, train your teams, and give your partners tools to succeed.

What is a Partner Portal? 

A partner portal is a private web hub that allows direct communication and exchange of data or assets with your partners. It can help you keep track and take control of your partner program operations, facilitating joint work and collaboration.

Most partner portals include permissions that limit partners' access to different secure content, making only portions of the portal that are relevant to each partner accessible. All relevant information, such as partnership agreements, business plans, sales data, and other files, are stored securely in the cloud.

What is the Difference Between PRM Software and a Partner Portal Software?

Though these categories are often used interchangeably, the truth is that Partner Portal Software is usually a singular feature of PRM software. PRM software focuses on making partner relationship management organized and scalable. PRM Platforms include features that help vendors manage their various programs, channels, and partners, including things like lead/deal registration, onboarding, reward tracking, and more.

Discover Kiflo, the most affordable PRM on the market, specifically designed to help SMBs build, scale, manage and grow partner revenue.

Book a Call!

Partner portals, on the other hand, are usually just one element of a larger group of functions that comprise PRM software. These partner-facing hubs are designed to align and engage the partner, as well as make their participation in the program more efficient.

PRM Software helps the program function well; partner portal software is much more narrowly focused on a specific area of your partner's interaction with you and your company. Basically, partner portals are the car, while the PRM software is the engine under the hood.

What are the Benefits of a Partner Portal? 

Companies who have implemented a partner portal have found a number of advantages, such as:

Partner Collaboration

A partner portal offers a centralized method for working together on leads and deals. You can shorten the partner sales cycle by communicating on these accounts and avoiding time-wasting email exchanges. Partners can also grow and promote lead generation through co-marketing and co-selling activities.

Personalization

Customization of your partner portal based on the type and tier of partner increases partners' engagement. This is because all of the information they see on their dashboard is tailored and streamlined to their goals and operations.

You can introduce customization to your partners in the partner portal that can adapt content to their usage, activity level, and responsibilities. This will strengthen your relationship with your channel partners and they will be more eager to sell for you.

Tracking and Measuring

With partner portals, you can see more clearly the areas you're successful in and in which you need to improve. This can include data on things like partner performance, engagement, sales cycle length, and much more. Monitoring these indicators will help you improve your partner program and identify areas that need further resources to improve.

The Top 5 "Must Have" Features of Partner Portal Software

There are a lot of options out there for partner portal software, but not all are created equally. The following are some key features that should be included in your partner portal software to ensure partner success:

Easy Navigation

To put it simply: if your partner portal is confusing or complicated, your partners will never use it. The foundation of a successful partner portal is a seamless user experience. Partner portals with a user-friendly layout and intuitive processes will increase partner engagement.

Look for partner portal platforms that require fewer clicks and keep your partner portal organized to make navigation simple.

Collaboration & Clarity

Partner portals that have features that remove doubt in the partner's operations are key to the program's success. For example, the ability to assign tasks, leave notes on certain leads/deals, communicate with both team members and partner managers, or even access the rewards, benefits, and requirements of that particular program. This increases transparency and efficiency, which in turn builds stronger relationships with partners.

Customization 

We mentioned this before, but it's worth mentioning again: customization improves the user experience. The ability to set different permissions and views for partners on their dashboards ensures that the portal is relevant and tailored to their needs. You should be able to personalize the dashboard and select the data you want your partners to see.

Content Sharing

Your partner portal should make it easy for your partners to find the information they need, when they need it. Choosing software that allows you to share content on the partner portal ensures that your partners:

  • Can operate autonomously

  • Will stay aligned on goals and requirements

  • Have every tool needed to succeed

Keep in mind that, though your partner portal might have content-sharing functionalities, it's your responsibility to keep your content up-to-date. If your portal has outdated content that's no longer relevant, sifting through it means more time and effort for you and your partners. It also increases the likelihood that your partners will share outdated information. You should check your content regularly to make sure it's reliable and relevant.

Lead and Deal Registration

This might be a given, but one of the most essential features of any partner portal is lead and deal registration. It guarantees that channel partners will cooperate with opportunities and leads without conflicting with other partners. This also ensures that valuable leads and deals don't slip through the cracks.

Partner Portal Best Practices 

To make the most of the partner portal, we advise that you adhere to the following best practices:

Valuable Content

Sorry to burst your bubble but, if you believe that your partners will use your portal simply because you created it, you’re mistaken. 

You must be able to provide credible resources for them whenever and wherever they require them. 

Your partners may have to put in more effort, take up more time, and do more work if your portal doesn't offer enough information or is filled with out-of-date information. 

So, you must provide a knowledge base that offers partners all the pertinent information, including articles, tutorials, and how-to guides, to prevent this. 

Branding

It can be challenging to maintain consistent branding, especially when working with numerous partners, but partner portals can help with this. 

Not only should partners have access to branding guidelines and assets via the portal so they can accurately represent your company in marketing campaigns, but the portal itself should allow for branding. This will guarantee that you provide consistent messaging to your partners while also increasing brand authority.

Training

Providing training through your partner portal is crucial because it directly impacts how successful your partners will be in the program. Even the most experienced of your partners will require specific information and training on your solutions in order to be successful.

The more educated your partners are, the fewer roadblocks they'll hit. This means they will see more wins, and therefore be more engaged in your program.

A well-designed, well-supported training program will also help you achieve many of your main goals, such as:

  • Quicker onboarding

  • Increased revenue

  • Better communication

  • Improved enablement

Conclusion

How you choose and use your partner portal may give you a competitive edge. However, in order to satisfy the needs of your partners, the portal must offer the appropriate range of features and tools.

Remember, one great way to decipher what your partner portal needs is to ask the partners themselves. They are the ones who will be using it, after all! Collecting feedback from your partners not only gives you insight into your program, but also strengthens your relationships with partners. This kind of exchange shows you care about their input and that you are willing to invest in their success.

Ready to See What a Partner Portal Software Can do For You?

kiflo-partner-portal
Kiflo's customizable partner portals provide an interactive and streamlined experience for your partners.

Kiflo’s partner portal and PRM software create an intuitive and centralized experience for hundreds of partners and programs worldwide. With features like lead/deal registration, customized portals, content sharing, and many more, your channel partners will have every tool they will need to succeed in your program.

Learn how to build your customized partner portal with Kiflo.

Book a demo!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do partner portals benefit partners?

In the current market, using a partner portal is advantageous for the partner because it allows them to benefit from the vendor's knowledge, streamline their operations, and communicate effectively.

Why do you need a partner portal?

A partner portal provides your partners with access to the different tools they require to successfully market, sell, and support your products and services.

What is the difference between a customer portal and a partner portal?

Customer portals manage customer needs, data, and accounts. Partner portals help to manage, organize, and nurture partner relationships and operations.

What is a B2B partner portal?

A B2B partner portal is an online platform created to provide B2B channel partners with unique access to various resources, including lead management tools, product details, sales and marketing information, and training.

How can I get Kiflo's partner portal for my partners?

Request a demo and get a free trial to learn how a partner platform can help you scale partner revenue.

LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

Related readings

July 22, 2022

5 minutes reading

10 Best Software to Use Alongside Your PRM

Start Scaling Partner Revenue Today

Get a personalized demo of our all-in-one partnerships platform.