Episode 11 - Automate Partner Management
Convey Channel MicroCast
Automate Partner Management
Sales partners expect more from their providers these days but as we all know there many complexities to building a successful channel strategy. Providers that are winning the channel game have adopted agile and innovative solutions to control their message, push their sales strategy, and provide the right tools, all while responding to constant change in their business and in the marketplace.
Convey is a big believer that every channel program should be automated, have a digital strategy and the right technology tools for their partners. And we believe strongly that having a PRM or partner relationship management system is a must-have for all channel programs. Unlike a CRM that is designed primarily for direct sales, a PRM brings a channel program the following benefits:
PRMs streamline partner onboarding. If you bring on new partners constantly, using a manual process to onboard them wastes lot of internal resources versus a PRM solution that is more efficient.
PRMs manage education and training. A PRM provides programs the ability to execute a well-defined learning plan to make sure partners know which customers to pursue, the markets they exist in, the right sales process and good basic product knowledge. PRMs keep this training online and constantly available.
PRMs offer communication & marketing support. They have tools to manage documents, communications, and other marketing assets in one online location. This ensures that partners can find the right information at the right time, allowing them to sell more effectively.
PRMs help you get the ROI for marketing or sales expenses. Incentives are an essential element to drive partner performance. PRMs enable you to gauge what motivates them so you can reallocate funds based on what’s working or not.
PRMs automate how you get the word out about new products. Having a well-designed PRM solution lets partners know what’s new and provides the ability to give real-time feedback on products. This ensures that launches can go off without a hitch.
And last but not least, PRMs increase partner satisfaction. Partners do not have unlimited resources and time, so when you offer a more efficient and beneficial way to do business with you, partners will naturally look to you to provide them with solutions for their customer base vs. your competition.
In today’s MicroCast we are going to focus on the tools inside the Convey PRM system that automate your program, increase your team’s efficiency and make it easy for partners to do business with you.
Let’s start with how Convey streamlines partner onboarding.
If you participate in Convey’s Channel Program, you may be maintaining a catalog that is viewed on our master agent portals. But those master agents are not going to give you their partner list. Getting partners to become members of your portal allows you to develop personal relationships with and engage directly with them.
Convey’s PRM automates how partners become members in the first place by turning on an automated application process. Partners fill out the application, adding information that you find valuable. The PRM can approve partners immediately providing login credentials or have an approval process for you to screen the application and approve or deny it.
If you add the partner to the member database directly, Convey delivers a welcome email automatically that you can customize message including a password set link.
Convey’s portals are designed to provide education and training.
It’s our philosophy that training and education can take many forms, all of which are supported by our portal technology. Portals are divided into content catalogs, so you can choose to consolidate training in one catalog inside the portal or spread it out over many locations.
Consider your partner audience and the ways they learn. Some partners like to analyze and read so their education so it can take the form of case studies, white papers, or product feature sheets. Other partners like to visualize, so adding graphics, drawings and pictures to explain who you are may better engage them. While other partners like experiences, so offering webinars, videos, or discussion forums may be their best option.
No matter which education option you choose, you can monitor the training that partners are using with our member activity report.
Convey portals automate communication and marketing support.
There are many ways our portals communicate with partners so let’s start with our Message Library that delivers notifications, reminders and messages. Partners are automatically notified by email when their password is changed, when there is a lead waiting for them, or commission statements are added. Reminders go out if the partner fails to login after a certain number of days. You can create custom messages or newsletters and schedule them to go out regularly pulling new information each time from the portal.
We have an entire MicroCast devoted to marketing support that profiles our 1-touch email service and the Conduct Campaign technology that lets you deliver pre-created email marketing campaigns for partners to launch to their prospects.
Our portals help you automate how you manage incentives.
Partners love promotions and spiffs that incent them to sell your services vs. the competition. However, most incentives are not forever and expire after the month or the quarter is over. If you have added an incentive and are promoting it in a banner or a piece of content, our scheduling engine will let you add those elements to the portal when the promotion begins and remove them when it has expired so you don’t have to worry about having outdated information on the portal.
Launching a new product? Convey’s portal can automate how you engage partners.
If you have an upcoming launch, you can prepare ahead of time by adding banners, content posts, and outbound emails and holding them so that they appear by using the scheduling engine. Set the message library to send outbound emails on a regular basis to make sure they got the announcement, know where the training is, and can find the spiff that you are offering.
Convey has a partner CRM or can link to any other CRM system for member management.
We love our CRM tool because it can be customized in minutes, it is easy to use, and comes with the system. However, we recognize that companies may have already invested in a CRM like Salesforce or may be using another tool. No problem. The member management API lets you manage member data in your system and create member records in ours.
If you use Convey’s CRM, then you have flexible options about how data gets into it. You can upload partner lists. You can have partners fill out the member application and automatically add that data to the CRM or you can have partners fill out profile information inside the member dashboard to collect more information. Add notes and tasks to a partner record to automate delegating responsibilities or ensuring that you follow up and use reports to extract the data you want on your partners.
If you aren’t looking into a partner relationship management system, then you are missing an opportunity to do more with less resources, consistently engage your partners and automate everything from onboarding to training. We want you to look at Convey for its capabilities, ease of use, its low cost and its ability to distribute content directly to your partners that are members of your portal or to master agent portals in our Convey Channel Network.