Make holistic partner program changes while optimizing operations.
Traveling in from both sides of the pond, the PartnerPath team ventured to Miami for the Impartner Customer Conference, Multiply, this week. As Partner of the Year, we know a lot about Impartner, but there’s always a surprise or three at these conferences. Here are three takeaways that stood out to me and had me staring out to sea contemplating how we can better engage partners.
1. TCMA is in the Air
The (mostly) partner, programs or marketing attendees were very focused on how to increase partner leads and drive increased engagement through the sales cycle. There almost seemed to be a panic to get more partner generated leads into the pipeline. I thought I heard the chant, “Must Have Leads” at the welcome reception, but that might have been the tornado warning sirens. The review of the Through Channel Marketing Automation capabilities in the Impartner solution was one of the most highly attended sessions. I hope channel teams got the message that partners need more help with their marketing to produce the expected lead generation results.
2. AI is Unavoidable
Not to be outdone in lead generation by TCMA, AI is jumping into the fray in a big way. Marketers typically spend over half their budget on paid advertising, using platforms such as Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads. Impartner integrates with Amanda AI to help partners automate campaigns by testing keywords, ads, bids, and audiences as well as create content (I used ChatGPT for the foundational content for this paragraph). I think this is great, but it will only work if vendors help partners use the technology for good (no one wants AI robots creating more marketing spam). When used effectively, AI could aid in developing unique value propositions and creating campaigns.
3. The Grade on Partner Experience = Poor
The PartnerPath team spent a full day reviewing 14 different vendor’s partner portals. We graded the implementation of the functionality, usability and governance of existing sites and recommended potential improvements. The implementations were surprisingly basic across the board. Folks, the technology is there to provide a seamless and sexy digital experience for your partners! Alas, the execution was excruciatingly bad and while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I can say these portals were ugly. In particular, more than one vendor didn’t even have segmented content, SSO or basic workflows set up. That’s low hanging fruit when it comes to creating a site that will encourage engagement and get your partners submitting leads (see my first takeaway). Get the most out of your PRM investment by setting it up to provide a fantastic partner experience.
Did you attend Impartner Multiply and have more takeaways to share? Tell us if you plan to invest in TCMA or AI in your channel schemes this year. I hope you’re already investing in PRM but if you want to make sure it’s not getting a failing grade, contact us to set up a 30-minute online evaluation. We can run you through a checklist and identify some easy wins for portal improvement.