Why User Interface Matters for Partner Portal Software
Selling through the channel is not easy. It’s not just because the partner organizations don’t report to your team members directly, but also because there are many business drivers that you need to align to make things work for you and your partner organizations. One result of this complexity is that most companies tend to focus on partner relationship management in a tactical way, but forget that many of those interactions actually happen via their partner portal software. This is why the actual user interface of the partner portal software matters a great deal.
You must be asking, really? Why does it matter? Well, let’s put things in perspective. Your partner portal software is your 24×7 digital support person who can support not just one but many partners in a dynamic way to address their questions about pretty much everything, whether it’s channel programs, incentives, lead management or marketing campaigns. If you set up your partner portal software with the right programs, content and incentives, it can truly deliver those elements of your channel programs to your targeted partner base on a non-stop basis. So, while you may think of it as just a portal, it actually could be substantially more than that—if it isn’t already.
Now once you accept the premise that your partner portal software is actually the digital version of your channel support team, then you have to think about how that interaction and engagement happens. When your partners log into your partner portal software to find something, how does that experience work? Do they have to go through multiple clicks and searches? Do complications in the navigational structure make it difficult for them to find what they want? Or is your partner portal software’s user interface so intuitive that partners can run a simple search and find everything they need in one or two steps?
Here’s another way to think about it. Imagine you call one of your vendors for support and it takes forever for you to get to the right person who can help you with some very basic question, like how much something costs. Would you be happy with that response from your vendor? Probably not. The same exact dynamic applies to your partners and the partner portal software they use. If the partner portal user interface is not intuitive and not easy to use, if partners are unable to find what the need quickly and easily, it can be very frustrating.
Sadly, this is the reality more often than not.
Many of today’s partner portals have been designed using partner portal software from a decade or so ago—maybe even a couple of decades ago. Keeping that in mind, think about the user interface of your mobile phone: How did it look and function 10 years ago? How does that interface look now? Do you see what I’m getting at? If your partner portal software is running on an archaic user interface that is clumsy and clunky and slow, chances are your partners won’t use it. That means you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
Today, leading vendors like ZINFI provide state-of-the art partner portal software platform that can rip and replace your complicated partner portal infrastructure and provide a partner experience that is mobile-responsive and highly intuitive—just like your current phone. And the great news is that a partner portal software system from ZINFI can not only provide a great experience for your partners and increase partner satisfaction, but also can reduce your own management and operating costs substantially. How is this possible? Just think about it—your mobile phone today has a thousand times the capabilities it had 10 years ago, even though it probably costs less. The same thing is true of advanced partner portal software.
So, as you try to figure out how to drive your partner productivity to a higher level, make sure you have mobile-friendly, easy-to-use partner portal software in place. If you don’t, who you gonna call?