A Prettier Partner Portal Won’t Determine Your Channel Program Success

prettier portalIt’s easy to see why one of the most common concerns from people new to the PRM world revolves around the aesthetics of a portal.  More often than not it’s the marketing people who are building out the instance, so it comes as no surprise that they are concerned with layout, colors, and where their logo is placed.  But here are just a couple of reasons why looks mean very little in the success of a channel partner program.

Channel Partners are logging in 

When partners are taking time out of their day to log into an application like they would their Facebook or Twitter, they are there because of a task at hand.  John Doe from Partner Company XYZ is not there to check out the new logo or color scheme the vendor company just implemented. He is there to register a new deal, request funds, or do anything else he/she needs to GET THE JOB DONE.

The partner portal is a business application, not a website 

The people logging into your partner portal are not the people you are selling to.  Chances are they aren’t surfing much and they probably already have a good idea of the objectives they are looking to tackle before even entering their log in credentials.  Keep in mind, these users already have high-level knowledge of what your product is about, they don’t want to be distracted by flashy and sometimes distracting items  – like the ones that fill your website.

At the end of the day, your channel’s success is going to be built around the best practices you build for your partners and the data that goes along with it.  Remember, your partners are there to cross off another task from their to do list.  Don’t feed them materials or other items that might deter them from logging into the portal in the future.  To better put it in perspective: a house’s strength has never been determined by the paint on the walls or the curtains hanging from the windows.