Your company is now convinced that channel automation is a key to partner success. With careful consideration and a well-defined plan, you will select and implement what you think is the best Partner Relationship Management (PRM) platform available for your business. This is going to take the operational efficiency of partner management up a notch for you. The platform has rich functionality, an intuitive user interface, and is easily configurable in line with your business processes. Not to mention those of your partners/users.
In a recent blog, we listed the key considerations for PRM implementation to help you get to this stage. But, what is the next step? How do you ensure that you are following partner relationship management best practices following the implementation of your PRM solution?
To get every benefit from your investment, it’s crucial to ensure the PRM platform gets adopted and fully leveraged post-go-live. After all, if users do not accept the new system, it will fail despite all its efficiencies. So, how do you drive partner relationship management adoption and utilization? We’ve listed the seven best practices to follow in 2024 and beyond.
Partner Relationship Management Best Practices
What are the key partner relationship management best practices to follow?
- Plan the Content Strategy
- Set the Sales Motion
- Support the Partner’s Lifecycle
- Enable Partners to Self-Serve
- Enable Two-Way Interactions
- Track Utilization
- Train Internal and External Users
1. Plan the Content Strategy
In today’s digital era, ‘content is king,’ and everything begins with a content strategy. Creating and having engaging, relevant, and meaningful content available on the PRM will attract partners to return more. The digital assets library, learning, training, and enablement collateral should be kept up to date with content that addresses the latest industry trends, your product capabilities and meets your partners’ needs for sales success and deployment success. Other ‘attractive’ content includes accurate real-time data, relevant news, and notifications – such as new promotions you plan to offer.
2. Set the Sales Motion
Partners will utilize a PRM system if it sets the sales motion, by providing the sales methodology that guides the sales process from prospecting to closing. The sales methodology should focus on different aspects of a customer’s experience, such as specific pain points. Include sales playbooks that are aligned with your methodology within the PRM to help partners generate leads and provide the necessary support that would progress leads or opportunities until they are successfully closed.
3. Support the Partner’s Lifecycle
Supporting partners’ enablement activities throughout the partner’s lifecycle is another of the key partner relationship management best practices that have an effective way of driving PRM adoption. From the point when partners sign the partner agreement and onboard the PRM system with login access, partners should be empowered by the system to jump-start the partnership and start selling. As the partnership matures and the partner’s needs change, the PRM should continue to be their go-to platform for the support and information they are looking for.
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4. Enable Partners to Self-serve
The explosion of digital technologies and content has led to new behaviors. People no longer passively wait for information or support in order to get things done. To drive PRM adoption and utilization, companies should think about what partners need in every phase of the partner and sales lifecycle. Thereby enabling partners to self-serve to their requirements. By doing so, you’ll make your company best-in-class for ease of doing business with.
5. Enable Two-Way Interactions
Besides enabling partners to self-serve to the content and tools they need, a PRM platform should enable two-way interactions between the company and your partners. Your PRM should be an intuitive, welcoming, and easy-to-use “digital workplace”. It’s easier to achieve this, for example, when your PRM supports multiple languages. Or when partners are given the platform to share their thoughts, ideas, and feedback. If they feel they are being heard, they are more likely to utilize the platform. But note, the keywords are ‘being heard.’ The company needs to show that it cares about what partners have to say and to act on them.
6. Track Utilization
To drive PRM adoption and utilization, it is important to know what partners do when they log in. Understand the functionalities and content that partners are accessing when they use the PRM by partner persona, partner type, and partner tier. Create more of the kind of content that partners are accessing and ensure the functionalities that partners are using remain robust. Get feedback from partners regularly on what they like or where they have issues with the PRM system. This will tell you whether it is accomplishing its purpose or not.
7. Finally, Train Internal and External Users
The last of our partner relationship management best practices to follow is the training of internal and external users. Even for the most intuitive PRM platform, training for both internal users and partners on how best to use the platform should be ongoing. Make the training a part of the employee’s and partner’s onboarding process. Take them through the system with hands-on training and use cases. Only when users experience the platform, will they be comfortable to start using it. Create training videos, guided tours, and cheat sheets that new users can reference to go about using it.
Benefits of Partner Relationship Management with Channel Mechanics
Channel Mechanics automates the processes around working with partners so that as a vendor you can focus on the relationships with your partners. We partner with you to ensure our PRM system results in ease of doing business for your partner community and channel teams, drives competitive advantage, accelerates revenue, and builds partner loyalty.
With our partner relationship management platform, you will benefit from:
- Increased channel revenue
- Reduced cost of channel sales
- Visibility into program performance
- Differentiation and segmentation of partners
- Faster time to revenue
- Ease of doing business
Talk to Channel Mechanics today and see how our channel program automation platform can transform your channel.