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3 Insights for Better Partner Engagement


One solution provider shares actions to take (or avoid) in your partner relationship.

We’ve been beating the drum about the importance of partner experience for a while now (if this is the first you’re hearing of it, grab a cup of coffee and start here). Every step along the partner journey is critical. The experience must be good to attract new partners. The experience must be good to win over and onboard new partners. And the experience must be good to engage and grow your partners.

Topics: Partnering Tips

A Partner Portal is Not a Silver Bullet


Follow 5 principles for a PRM that improves partner experience

The new generation of partners are digital-first. They want to self-serve partnership information online – not pick up a phone and make a call (do phones still do that?) to then be emailed a fuzzy scanned PDF (which is probably out of date). From onboarding and enablement processes to opportunity registration and marketing, all partner information should be easily accessed from your partner portal/PRM (Partner Relationship Management) solution. However, a basic implementation of a PRM (where you throw every document you have every created online behind a gated login) isn’t going to cut it anymore. Purchasing and deploying a partner portal is not enough to drive success with your partners. An effective partner portal follows the same design principles as the partner program and the user experience should be designed for maximum partner engagement.

Topics: Featured, Partnering Tips, PRM

3 Tips to Organize Your PRM


Provide a better partner experience by showing some TLC to your PRM system.

You would be shocked to know the variety of partner portal and PRM systems I’ve worked on, but one thing remains the same: the need for organization. There are many components to a PRM system: the back end, the front-end, the bi-directional sync to multiple other systems. On top of that, there are different individuals, business units and management levels that must come together to ensure a well-updated, easy-to-use, one stop place for partner engagement. Maintaining a successful PRM system may feel like a moving target, but with some organization, you can be a hero to partners and give them a good experience. Here are my top 3 tips for a successful PRM:

Topics: Partnering Tips

Give Partners the Tools to Drive Demand


3 Steps to help partners expand your marketing reach.

In our last annual webinar discussion between Diane Krakora and Jay McBain, Diane quoted desperate vendors as saying: “We don't care about a partner program; we just need them to generate leads. We don't care about customer success; we just need them to generate leads.” That’s short-sighted. Partners need a good partner program and a path to success with your products/services before they’re just going to hand over a giant bag of leads. They’re looking to grow their business and they’re doing that by building solutions for customers that involve your products along with other vendors and their own services. If you want to be a part of this equation, and want partners to develop leads for your products, facilitate your partners’ growth by offering them easy marketing solutions that takes some of the burden of demand generation off their plate.

Topics: Partnering Tips

Starting Off On the Right Foot


Three takeaways from my discussion with a solution provider.

Webinars are not just a great chance for us to provide our audience with great content, but they can be a chance for me to catch up with channel friends. Recently, I had an insightful conversation with Dominic Grillo, President of Atrion Communications (now part of Aurora) about how his organization decides to bring on a new vendor and the rough patches of getting started. He brought 30 years of experience to our chat and I found much of the conversation helpful for vendors looking to successfully launch a new solution provider. Three things really stood out:

Topics: Partnering Tips, Industry Perspective

Math, Physics & Chemistry


Get busy crafting compelling answers to these partner questions.

By now you all know I love data. I love that facts and figures give us insights and trends to change what we’re doing to be better. But you might not know I’m also a math and science geek. An original STEM girl. And that’s why when Anu Bulusu, my guest on April’s webinar, combined data and math and the importance of the partner experience, I knew I found a kindred spirit. She’s a straight-shooting smarty pants founder of not one, but two, very successful multi-regional solution providers.

Topics: Partnering Tips, Industry Perspective

Get to the Points


A points-based partner program is daunting but the benefits are worth it.

 If you are looking to engage a wide variety of partner types (consultants, agencies, systems integrators, software vendors, cloud solution providers, managed service providers), consider shifting from a legacy levels-based program (silver, gold, platinum) to a partner program that recognizes and rewards partners for their activities throughout the customer success lifecycle. But how does it work and why is it worth the effort? I’m so glad you asked.

Topics: Partnering Tips, Industry Perspective

5 Questions for Your Next Channel Tech Evaluation


Collect the right data to identify the best PRM for your partnering goals

Does working for a high-tech company make you uniquely positioned to pick the perfect technology to support your channel strategy? Not really. The partner relationship management space is so busy, choosing between the overwhelming number of options can be daunting.

Topics: Partnering Tips

Partner Influence Equals Vendor Value


The what, when, why and how of rewarding partners at the point of influence

In our latest channel chief roundtable, we asked leading technology channel executives what was keeping them up at night. Amongst their answers of: ‘doing more with less,’ ‘marketplaces,’ ‘the big lay-off’ and the ‘slow but steady demise of the “tech alliance,”’ a big topic was the challenge of rewarding partners based on the influence they have on customers and where along the customer lifecycle that influence and value is realised. With the increasingly wider role partners play throughout the customer lifecycle, vendors should take a closer look at how to reward partners for their influence. We don’t have all the answers, but we have thoughts on how to get you on the right track.

Topics: Partnering Tips

Ecosystem Liftoff: It’s Time to Get On Board


No longer a trend, partner ecosystems are the new reality.

Maybe I’m jaded because I’ve been writing about partner ecosystems for so many years. In fact, we’ve mentioned it as a “forward-looking trend” for the last five years in our end-of-year channel predictions webinar. It’s not forward-looking anymore. In fact, we're in year two or year three of the new reality where the people, programs and systems are in place to engage and support large partner ecosystems. Am I insulting your intelligence to keep mentioning the increase in partner types populating partner programs? The increase in the sheer number of potential partners? Here are some facts to support the new reality of partner ecosystems and a few, dare I say forward-looking, ways to adapt to the new reality.

Topics: Industry Perspective