In today’s world of channel management, when your company does not have a partner portal in place, you are putting yourself at a big disadvantage. With a number of different solutions on the market, a partner portal shows both your active and prospective partners that you are serious about your business objectives – willing to devote time, money and resources to the channel. When it all comes down to it, your partners should be viewed as your external sales team, and they deserve attention for their work efforts.
Your partners are selling the same products as your internal sales team, so it isn’t hard to believe they are going to have similar wants and needs. Occasionally, I run into the prospective client who is hesitant to give the PRM the credit it deserves. I’ll ask him, or her, “You use a CRM, don’t you?” Every time, the answer is an emphatic “yes.” Can you imagine your internal sales team without a CRM? I can guarantee that your organization and the overall structure of your sales team would be undoubtedly less effective without one.
I believe that the portal is a key component to creating a partner scenario that works and demonstrates to your partners that you are willing to work with them. It shows them that you have time and money invested and, perhaps more importantly that you are committed to developing a long-term strategy.
Don’t set your partners back from the start or discourage them from becoming a partner altogether by ignoring the need for a partner portal. Let them know that you are interested in what they are doing to drive business both now and in the future.
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