Only some businesses have realized that partnership is the key to upscaling their business in this competitive landscape. But when it comes to partnership management, it’s essential to know that not all strategies can spur impact or get the desired result that you may be working to achieve. Effective partnership relationship management is crucial for promoting products and building strong relationships.
Many successful brands, including Microsoft, Hubspot, and Salesforce, have achieved tremendous results via channel sales and PRM. Amazon Web Services is one of the leading examples of having strong partnership management skills. Another brand that outshined with channel partnership was Zoom. They reported that channel partners in Japan contributed to 40 percent of their Japanese business. 70 percent of their US Federal Government business was due to channel partners.
So how do you think all this was possible? The answer is strategic partnership management. Businesses have realized that implementing partner management strategies has enabled them to reduce potential communication breakdowns, which ultimately leads to poor performance and affects brand reputation. As a business owner with multiple partners, you may have challenges managing your partners. With this being said, here are six ways you can build better long-term relationships with your partners and propel your business to the next level using a PRM portal.
Steps to Strategize Partnership Management
Successful partnerships are the result of proper nurturing, transparent communication, effective tools, accountability, and the willingness to change if needed. If implemented correctly, it can help partnerships thrive and achieve expected results.
1. Establish Clear Foundation
Discuss common goals. Because in strategic alliances, businesses often assume that being in the same department means everyone is on the same page. That increases stress on partnerships and reduces the odds of success.
Your workflow and processes should meet both your and your partners’ needs. Your negotiations, plans, and strategies should be transparent. Include all the individuals involved in the day-to-day lead operations.
A partnership relationship management portal provides a centralized interface to track and manage the pipeline. It gives your partners and internal staff a unified platform to share ideas and insights and view progress. It helps them identify loopholes. For instance, when registering deals, everyone has visibility of the possibility of the lead at every stage. Besides, partners can easily find all the information they need to approach a client along with numbers like win/loss opportunities, customer requirements, special pricing offers based on manufacturers and developers, etc.
A PRM portal built on CRM lays a strong foundation for relationship management. Partners have access to every data they need – objectives, leads/opportunities, profit/loss, and more.
2. Provide Comprehensive Onboarding and Training
Ensure that partners get all the training and support to promote products and services. There should be a program for new product orientation, marketing strategies, and support. Creating a repository of articles, documents, videos, manuals, and marketing plans is essential to success.
A partnership management portal automates the onboarding process with triggered workflows. Plus, it provides easy access to all the learning materials, including datasheets, manuals, workflows, blogs, etc. It helps personalize training and achieve training milestones by giving partners a chance to self-learn, earn incentives, certifications, and rewards, and experiment at their own pace.
Here’s what kind of process and training you can expect from PRM platforms:
- Filtering applications based on the defined parameters. Sorting it on their performance and other metrics. This way, businesses only have to go through the eligible candidates.
- Organizational training explaining basic safety protocols, customer service, company policies, and so on.
- Product training including features, workflows, technical specifications (if required).
- General training includes engagement, communication, and collaboration methods.
- Training to understand market demand, grab business opportunities, develop marketing strategies, competitive pricing, and lead generation.
3. Nurture Relationships
Every business that starts successfully can erode due to communication and collaboration issues. Hence, one of the partnership management strategies is to connect with partners. Understand them, their skills, interests, etc. It helps enhance communication and collaboration.
A community feature makes it possible. It helps everyone on the team – partners and members to connect despite the geographical constraints. They can discuss ideas, interests, challenges, and more with fellow mates. Transparency and data visibility further helps recognize each others’ capabilities, culture, and achievements. It strengthens relationships and helps businesses create more opportunities.
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