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Our Three Secrets to Managing Change


Change management is leading to sleepless nights. More than 80% of the attendees at our last partner programs roundtable indicated it’s keeping them up at night (yowza). After two decades of partnership model and program consulting experience, we’ve seen all the warning signs of failure. Without organizational change management, your new program, compensation plan, or portal initiative is pretty much worth the paper it’s printed on.

Topics: Partnering Tips, Industry Perspective

10 Steps to Ensure Successful Partner Automation


“We must consider the complex inputs to get to the desired output.” This quote from our webinar guest Lisa Stifelman-Perry, Director, Global Partner Experience Operations at Splunk, A Cisco Company, sounds so simple and yet so many companies don’t properly plan ahead before selecting and implementing partner automation tools.

Topics: Partnering Tips

Is the juice worth the squeeze?


Putting in the work on PRM tools pays off.

Your PRM, known as the Partner Portal to your partners, should hold all the sales tools, automated processes, and enablement necessary to help partners sell your joint value proposition (and deliver on it). That’s easy to write, but in reality, it’s more complex. Anyone who has been through the experience of solution evaluation, implementation, change management and ensuring post-launch success has at some point asked themselves whether “the juice is worth the squeeze.”

Topics: Partnering Tips, PRM

What is Comp Neutrality and why does it matter?


Deciding how to tackle sales compensation is no easy task.

A participant in our recent partnering executive roundtable asked the group: “Are you in favor of or opposed to creating compensation neutrality for your direct field team?” Without missing a beat (and to my surprise), almost half of the roundtable participants said they were against ‘comp’ neutrality. How could anyone be against something with the word “neutral” in it? If you’re not familiar with the term, compensation neutrality means a salesperson gets paid, or their sales quota is retired, at the same rate if the product is sold by a partner or themselves. How compensation is defined for your direct sales force can help or hinder your partnering efforts and there’s no clear consensus on the right answer.

Topics: Partnering Tips, Industry Perspective

Check It Before You Wreck It


Overcome 5 Roadblocks of Partner Digital Experience

At the 2024 Impartner customer event Multiply, we assessed the PRM/partner portal of attendees in a service called ‘Check your PDX’. My co-worker and I conducted these checks in tandem, back-to-back, in 30-minute segments for six straight hours. It was interesting to see the wide landscape of different partner-facing systems but by the end the meagre snacks and prolonged period in front of the screens had us running for the poolside to talk through our findings. One thing that became obvious was how many vendors face the same PDX roadblocks. From lack of focus to partner program alignment, navigating these roadblocks is essential for optimising collaboration and driving mutual growth.

Topics: Partnering Tips, PRM

10 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Partner Program


Here's a checklist of 10 mistakes we see people make in designing and running a partner program. For context, details, possible fixes and some friendly banter, watch the video here.

Topics: Partnering Tips

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