In today’s rapidly evolving and competitive business landscape, B2B partnerships play a crucial role in driving growth and expanding market reach. However, simply establishing a partnership is not enough. To maximise the potential of these alliances, organisations must invest in comprehensive partner enablement strategies, which usually leads to the development of a partner portal.
As with every aspect of business strategy and activity, it is essentially to define from the start the key objectives and results we aim to achieve. In this case, with a digital tool such as the partner portal, the goals should include the below three:
- Set up a system where data can be retrieved to (regularly) analyse the user profile and journey and monitor trends and needs for each role or type of business.
- Create the right environment for customers to engage with our organisation by providing the necessary tools, resources, and support, every growing organisation needs.
- Develop the very first entry point that helps you establish a strong partnership. Ensure your customers get the ultimate best from your offering and positioning in the market, either if this deals with better pricing, upskilling their teams, sales and marketing best practices.
Every customer focused portal needs the right blend of automation, AI, self paced and tailored services options. In other words, just because a portal is a digital product, that doesn’t mean we should disregard the affect of traditional human interaction.
The strategic layout of a portal
Best Practices to engage with SMBs
Spot right at the pain point of your SMB customer by developing a thorough mix of resources in your partner portal. Get everyone from your customer side engaged with your brand. By encompassing in your portal meaningful elements such as training, marketing, tech expertise and community engagement. Don’t forget to establish in every element a channel to keep the communication open.
- Upskill or Solution Training for Tech and Sales Roles: One of the foundational pillars of B2B customer enablement in IT and Tech is providing comprehensive training programs for both technical and sales roles, for all levels. By offering specialised training, organisations equip their partners with the knowledge and skills required to effectively communicate the value proposition of their products or services. These training programs should cover product features, competitive differentiators, sales methodologies, objection handling, and customer success stories. Make it #interactive
- White Label Marketing Collateral, Ready to Use: This includes customizable brochures, case studies, presentations, emails, social media, and other material that customers can quickly brand and personalise for their target audience. By offering these resources, you actuall make it easier for them to promote and start selling your solutions faster. Your customer saves valuable time and effort that they might not have in the first place and in addition you achieve spreading a consistent messaging for your brand.
Focus on #easeofbusiness of small teams.
- Experience Center / Demo Center: that’s a game changer. Have your customers experience how it is to actually use or implement your solution. Also providing your partners with an experience centre or demo centre that is available to their customers as well, firstly you help them win projects and second you can potentially get valuable end user feedback, for your product or messaging. Experiencing it is better than explaining it.
- Business Development Support Services such as ABM and Sales Campaigns Tailored Programs. To further enhance partner enablement, organisations should consider offering tailored options for marketing such as account-based marketing (ABM) and sales campaigns. This includes providing partners with targeted resources and assistance in developing and executing custom campaigns that align with their strategic goals. By collaborating with partners on these initiatives, companies can maximise the effectiveness of their marketing efforts, increase brand visibility, and generate higher-quality leads. Targeted tactics for strategic goals.
- Industry Insights, Reports, Market Insights: To empower partners with valuable market intelligence, organisations should regularly share industry insights, reports, and market insights. These resources enable partners to stay informed about industry trends, competitive analysis, customer preferences, and emerging opportunities. Help your customers succeed and enable them to make data-driven decisions in their sales and marketing efforts. “You are my go-to person when it comes to valid information”
Four things to keep in mind when designing a partner portal
The Importance of both Self-Paced and Interactive options: In the realm of B2B partner enablement, it is vital to strike the right balance between self-paced material and tailored options. Organisations should provide a comprehensive library of self-paced resources, such as online training modules, video tutorials, and documentation, which partners can access at their convenience. Additionally, offering tailored or interactive content specific to different roles, including tech, sales, marketing, and implementation, ensures that partners receive the targeted support they need to excel in their respective domains.
Implementing User Data Retrieval and Analysis: To continuously enhance B2B partner enablement strategies, it is crucial to implement a system that retrieves user data to analyse visitor profiles and user journeys. By leveraging data analytics, organisations can gain valuable insights into partner engagement, identify areas of improvement, and refine their enablement programs accordingly. This data-driven approach helps optimise the effectiveness of partner enablement initiatives, ensuring that partners receive the support they actually need.
Localisation: Every regional market is different. From business scale to technological maturity to geopolitics and cultural differences. Keep in mind that doing business in Europe or across regions can be very different in speed, ease or even preferred tools. Having material in language and especially maturity level is key.
Keep visitor engaged: Develop content and resources for every role and make sure it is interactive, adaptable and relevant to each role, region, business need. Invest in the user experience and map the user journey.
In today’s competitive business environment, B2B partner enablement is a strategic imperative for organisations aiming to maximise the value of their partnerships. If your organisation is tied to customer success, then, make the strategic decision to continuously enhance the partner portal with laser focused programs in driving mutually beneficial outcomes.