If your business is dependent on partners reselling or on selling your product, then you’ll understand what a challenge it can be to keep them engaged. You want them to be enthused about selling your product over other offerings in the marketplace and with a wide network of partners, located in different towns, cities and states, keeping on top of communication and engagement can be a struggle. Well, if that’s the scenario you’re currently facing then help is at hand in the shape of a partner portal. An enabler of communication and a platform for streamlined business processes, the partner portal will result in better working relationships for both you and your partners. Let’s find out exactly how.
What Is A Partner Portal?
In simple terms, a partner portal is a private, online hub that allows you to communicate and share data or marketing materials directly with your partners. It’s a facilitator of joint working and collaboration, and it allows you to retain oversight and control of your product and brand.
A series of site permissions are in place to control access to different secure areas of content. Each partner is only able to access those parts of the portal that are relevant to them. Each individual partner section will provide secure cloud storage for all relevant information including partner agreements, individual client service level agreements, historic sales data and any other files as needed.
Benefits Of A Partner Portal
So what are the benefits of introducing a partner portal? Well, companies that have gone ahead with introducing a partner portal have reported a number of business benefits. And in the rest of this article we highlight the key ones.
Open All Hours
The great advantage of a partner portal is that it is open all hours, all-year round. This means that partners can be engaging with you and sharing information even if they’re located in another state and it’s 3 am your time. And so whether it’s to check up on the latest brand news or product launch, downloading marketing material or reporting on sales, the partner portal will be working for you 24/7 and at a time that’s convenient to your partner.
What’s more, the portal contains all the information and data that a partner could possibly want. And so there’s no need for them to waste time sifting through emails or paper trails, trying to locate that one piece of key information. It’s all there, at their fingertips. Intuitive menu navigation and an advanced search function make it a straightforward process to find exactly what they’re looking for.
And it’s this ease and simplicity of use that will make you and your product a superior choice over others in the marketplace.
Greater Control And Oversight
The partner portal will mean that you have greater oversight and control of your product. For instance, the portal is the central repository for all marketing materials, product manuals and brand information relating to your product. And so a partner can use the portal to download any marketing or product materials as well as utilizing the online forms to request display stands, pullups or flyers. This allows you to maintain oversight and control across all partners and ensures that your product is presented consistently in the marketplace. It also minimizes the possibility of damage to your brand which can easily happen when there is no central oversight.
Legal agreements and templates, if appropriate, can be included on the portal for partners to utilize. Your business will have already approved these agreements which significantly reduces the liabilities associated with partners creating their own agreements or making different arrangements. And so, not only do you have greater control, you also have increased protection.
Keeping your partners on board, feeling engaged and enthused about your product is often the main motivation for introducing a partner portal. There are a variety of ways in which you can use the portal to promote engagement initiatives with partners. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
Sales leaderboards, competitions and promotions run through the portal are one way to get partners selling as much of your product unaided as possible. Everyone likes a challenge and introducing a competitive element can make a big difference to overall sales.
It’s vital for partners to have up-to-date information on products, when new versions or updates are likely to appear and what’s in the pipeline generally. With this kind of information at their fingertips, partners will be able to provide a more responsive customer service out in the field that will result in increased sales for you.
Access To Relevant Support Staff And Expert Knowledge
Use your portal to facilitate good working relationships between your staff and partners. Have a meet the team section that enables partners to put a face to the name of the people they deal with most often. And also use the portal to identify and publicize subject matter experts so that if your partner has an issue or query, they can quickly and easily find support and expertise to resolve it.
Use your portal to put partners in touch with each other in a closed forum or blog. A partner that’s looking for a particular stock item, for example, could post a request in the partner forum. In addition, the forum can be used by partners to share customer success stories or insights around best practice.
Use your partner portal to automate business processes and do away with paper or email-based systems. The portal has its own easy-to-use forms builder or you can utilize an embedded Google Forms or Microsoft Office 365 app to develop online forms. And so whether it’s to order some marketing material, report on sales data or request a product manual, partners complete the forms online and the portal will automatically route them to the correct member of staff for action.
Partner Portal: The Easy Choice
You may well be thinking this is all great, but how much will it cost? Well, the truth is that a partner portal is a very cost-effective solution. Check out the MyHub offering on a 14-free trial and see for yourself how quick and easy it is to set one up. And for a modest monthly charge, you receive unlimited numbers of users and unlimited data. And so all of these great features make a partner portal the easy choice. Get in touch today.