Partner Relationship Management (PRM) is a vital online tool that you will obviously not do without especially if you have a manufacturing business establishment. It is an effective channel management tool that makes it easy for you to connect with your business partners who include your distributors, service providers and resellers amongst others. Adopting a PRM system requires that you create a partner portal on your business website from where your business partners can access all your partner programs.
A partner portal is basically an application that your partners are able to use in accessing some information relating to your business including sales information, pricing and business promotion amongst other useful information they can use for the benefit of your own business. When you create such a portal, you are obligated to assign and provide each of your partners with logon details.
Below are just some of the mistakes to avoid when launching such a portal and how to avoid them.
• Lack of Promotion – This is one of the costly mistakes you can do when launching a portal. Failure to promote your portal will obviously lead to lack of interest in the same. Just in the same way that you promote a product just before launch, you need to seriously promote your portal in order to attract your partners’ interest in the same. It is through such a promotion that you need to outline portal features and the benefits that your channel (partners) will gain from using it. This definitely calls for an elaborate marketing plan, which you need to develop and implement ahead of launch.
• Lack of resources – Apart from effectively promoting your portal before launch, the other mistake you can make is to fail to provide adequate resources for your site visitors. Your site visitors will certainly want to find relevant information (content) that they can use. While it is in order to transfer some content from your site into the portal, it is also beneficial to develop new content specifically meant for the portal.
• Poor portal management – Failure to properly manage your portal will seriously affect the performance of your business. Creating a portal and letting it be managed by a department that is not relevant to its functionality will simply not do. For example, creating a finance portal and letting your service department manage it is simply out of place. A finance portal should strictly be managed by the finance department.
• Non-linked portal – Failure to link your portal to other relevant sites can be very damaging to your business. Leaving your business site users to go to stand –alone site for relevant information or service is one way of driving them away. Your portal should ideally have navigation tools that direct visitors to other areas or sites where they can instantly find information they are interested in.
• Outdated database – Having outdated content on your portal serves to inform visitors to your site that the portal is no longer useful. Proper management of the portal requires that all content are updated on a regular basis. Apart from fresh content, it is in the portal that you should ideally make available new partner programs before you roll them out.
• Lack of interaction – Creating a portal and failing to make it interactive is one of the most costly mistakes you can commit. You can effectively make your portal highly interactive by establishing blogs and user forums through which your business site visitors can air their comments and exchange ideas. This is a very effective way of establishing a user community that can benefit your business in a great way.
While selling your products online requires that your site attract a good amount of online traffic to increase your chances of making sales, you definitely should not ignore your business channel partners. These are indeed your business pillars whose actions can mean success or failure of your business. One way through which you can bring them on board is to implement the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) system.
Walt Robertson, in this article, discusses the important role played by Partner Relationship Management (PRM) solutions in improving relationship between business vendors and channel partners. He suggests companies to take advantage of channel management software if they aspire to succeed in the current highly competitive business scenario. For more information on PRM solutions, visit RelayWare