Every vendor wants to build stronger relationships with their partners. Unfortunately, only the top 10% may feel the love, mostly because they have dedicated representatives to take care of them. The bottom 90% are basically left to some sort of self-serve or to buy from distribution or meet at the odd conference. Obviously not nearly enough to build any sort of meaningful sustainable relationship to grow business.
Typically, the vendor partner portal is left to do all of the heavy lifting as these partners are put into an automated self-serve mode. They are sent to the digital jungle to fend for themselves. Most industry experts know that the revisitation rates by partners to vendor portals are a dismal low number. Some as low as 8%! We have done several research surveys so we know that the numbers are low. We will be doing an updated survey on this in 2019 and report back.
Here are some reasons (with a little context) that partners tell us why they visit or do not visit vendor portals:
1. Do deal Registrations. Since many partners feel that the deal registration game is being trolled by select resellers and some insider trading, the confidence is not high. That said many do register to get that deeper discount and some protection.
2. Get marketing materials or claiming MDF. Typically partners can customize marketing materials with their logo and send. Downside is that partners do not like to upload their customer base into any vendor-driven marketing automation platform as they do not want their customers to be poached. Many partners use it to blast newly acquired lists to avoid any SPAM backlash. As for MDF, we hear that it is not easy to make a claim.
3. Get technical support and all sorts of related product information. Downside is that the amount of time the partner spends digging in to find what they need, can be extreme. With some bad experiences, it can leave a bad taste that makes them reluctant to return.
4. News. Downside is that news is not always up to date and there are so many outlets for proper news. Typically news in vendor portals are all bias towards the vendor. Not quite fake news, but not really news either. Feels more like a sales pitch.
5. Finding contacts and distributors. Not much of a downside here except some contacts who have left the company can still be listed. Very slow in updating these directories.
6. Pricing information, rebates, incentives and events. Usually good for these inquiries, but many still prefer confirm pricing with vendor rep directly as some data may be outdated or they simply want a better price.
Of course there are always exceptions, but they are not many.
This leaves all vendors with a dilemma of how to build more meaningful relationships with their partners if their PRM self-help portal is not getting the job done. They could hire more reps, but that is an expensive journey with still no guarantees.
The folks at Channeliser, may have an alternative solution that may actually be the best possible way to get the job done. They have developed a social networking platform that vendors can customize and private label. It takes very little effort to plug into the PRM portal and it can instantly jumpstart and accelerate the relationship building process.
In a nutshell, the tool allows the partner to interact with the vendor as well as partners on just about everything you can imagine. In other words they can leverage and build the platform to meet their needs. Similar to most social networking platforms, except it is private to the group and subgroups can be easily formed based on any type of interest. For example, Techs can form their own support group.
Check out my interview with the founders of Channeliser to better understand what this platform can do. You can check them out at www.channeliser.com and book a personal demo to learn exactly how this can work for you and your partners.
If building better and stronger relationships with your partners matter to you, then this tool may be the answer.
We actually practice what we preach!
TechnoPlanet has partnered with Channeliser for our UK edition of www.e-channelnews.com. You will be able to find all of our tech news on their platform similar to how publishing is done on LinkedIn but much better. Users will also be able to register for free to have full access to more functionality. Vendors and various groups will be able to form private “HUDDLES” so they can carry one gated interactions as they wish. We also use the same platform for our Elite 300 Mastermind Peer Groups (www.300elitemastermind.com) so they can connect, collaborate, ask questions, share content and schedule meetings. It is like the peer groups members have their private social networking environment to do anything that they want. The cool thing is that once the user is registered to the system, they can be invited to instantly join any HUDDLE. One-access gets it all!