Your Partners Are Mobile—What about Your Partner Portal?
Believe it or not, in 2018 most vendors selling through the channel have partner portals that were built with technologies from decades ago. In fact, Al Gore could claim he built your partner portal at the same time he invented the Internet! It doesn’t have to be this way. You and your partners deserve better.
Now, if you ask what part of your partner portal needs to be mobile, the short answer is “everything.” Yes, everything. There are some vendors today that offer some web content in a mobile-responsive mode, but when it comes to core applications like lead management, incentives management, deal registration, marketing activities and sales assets, vendors tend to keep these functions in the “old” technology platform. That means they are effectively restricting access to core functionality and perpetuating a cumbersome user experience that is relevant for desktop only.
There is at least one exception, however. With the most advanced partner portal software platform in the marketplace—a key component of ZINFI’s Unified Channel Management solution—you can not only make your entire partner portal experience mobile responsive, but also put that entire experience inside your partner’s mobile device via a native application. This drives up activity via the partner portal, particularly when it comes to partners accessing news and product information. It also makes your partners more productive. For example, they can use a mobile device to apply for market development funds (MDF) or submit a claim or register a deal—and they can perform these tasks whenever and wherever it’s most convenient and relevant to do so.
Your partners are generally incredibly busy people. They are rarely sitting around in the office. Instead, they are constantly up and about, dealing with dozens of vendors, performing various lead generation and sales activities, and fulfilling requests. It is almost impossible for any of these people to remember all the little things they have to do when they get back to their office. If you send them an email, they may open it while they are sitting in the reception area at their customer’s office, but then the meeting starts and they forget to respond to that email. However, if your partner portal is entirely accessible via a native mobile app, your partners will get an alert, and they will be reminded to open the email when they have a few spare minutes—while they are getting gas on their way back to the office, say—and they will be able to respond then, when it’s most convenient.
Partners want to win for themselves and for their vendors, but the time they spend at their desktop keeps them away from their customers. An exclusively desktop-based partner portal limits their access to crucial information and inhibits their productivity. It makes it harder for them to respond to your messages, to learn what is going on with your channel programs and to participate in the activities that should be engaging their attention.
So, if you are wondering how to drive up productivity among your partners, the first thing you should consider is converting your partner portal into a mobile friendly, easy-to-use application. Can you afford a mobile technology platform like the one ZINFI provides? You would be surprised. For as little as a few cents per partner per month, you can not only create a better and more productive experience for partners—you can actually cut overall costs related to portal development, management and maintenance, while driving up revenues with the help of a group of highly productive, motivated and happy partners.