Let’s first clear the concept of Partnership Program: It’s usually a business strategy adopted by vendors and business owners where they create an additional source of income by joining hands with other vendors, business consultants, etc. who promote their products/services.
Partnership programs differ from one business model to others. Depends on the products and services you provide to your customers. And of course, numerous external and internal factors.
Business partners or partnership programs stimulate growth. The only reason why so many businesses have partnership programs.
The startup Rindagoc experienced 1,983% boost in overall annual revenue and 1,000% user growth within six months without any upfront costs. Almost all size of companies are turning to partnerships to help them expand their customer reach which eventually drives revenue.
Considering another example that is Hubspot. It has one of the most successful partnership programs based on Saas model. Soon after the launch of its partner program, it generated an ample amount of monthly recurring revenue. With smart efforts and investment, the first quarter produced approximately 42% of the company’s customers and 33% of revenue.
Keeping aside the success stories, here are some other benefits of having a partnership program.
Benefits of Having a Partnership Program:
Without any doubts, it generates a significant amount of growth in sales and distribution of your business in the targeted areas. Having partners who are regional experts can help you penetrate those markets without you having to invest much. And eventually, all the new opportunities will add up to the annual revenue.
Extra Sales Channel
Every business has its own sales funnels. Having a partnership program opens the doors to new opportunities. Such programs work as an extra source of income for the business.
When a company partners up with a vendor, business, or consultant, they’re essentially partnering with their customers and partners as well. It eventually helps them broadens their network.
But maintaining a Partnership program is not easy. Managing, communicating, etc. with your partners spread across the country or globe is not a cakewalk. To get partners might be the easiest step of developing a partnership program.
What’s not easy is to grow the program and sustain the partnership(s).
So, we analyzed our partner program and here we are with some tips to grow and manage a partnership program.
How to Grow a Partnership Program?
As mentioned above, it is harder to sustain the partnership(s) rather than questing for the new ones. Here, communication bridges the gap. While in the conventional way you can manage that with emails, calls, messages, etc. But in the longer run, when your partnership program is growing, you will need some permanent way to manage your program.
The best way is to have an online partner portal or CRM partner portal. But before we get into the management of the partners, let’s see how you can grow the partnership program.
Partner Management System
When you have 2-5 or even 10 partners, you can smoothly manage them with normal modes of communication like emails, calls, etc. But you don’t want to stop there. To grow your program, you will need a proper management system, in order to focus more on pitching new partners. Having a streamlined partnership program is bound to be a success.
Create & Manage Assets
Another proven way to grow a partnership is to have the right marketing and sales assets. Like email copies, brochures, product descriptions, PPTs, and many more. Having helpful assets will create a good experience for partners & motivate them to put in a good word of mouth among their network. And voila! You will have more partners in no time. So, focus on the content and assets you provide.
Grade Your Partners
To grow, your program and even business, you will need a grading system. To learn what works best for you and which are the dead and unproductive assets in your system. Similarly, you need a grading system for your partners to identify who is bringing in the quality and enterprise customers. Once you identify such partners, you need to understand their strategies and help other partners implement similar strategies too.
And once you give a boost to your program, it tends to grow itself.
After the growing stage, comes the management stage. So, the next step would be to have a solution to manage your partners. And as mentioned above, a partner portal is the perfect solution.
A partner portal will give your partners a dashboard where they will be able to see their earnings, leads they have forwarded to your business, marketing & sales collaterals, etc. And you will have an overview of your partners’ performance.
To help you understand better, here are some of the ways an online partner portal will help you with the partner management.
How to Manage a Partnership Program?
Group and Role Management
When you have a full-fledged partnership program, chances are you will have plenty of data. And that doesn’t need to be shared with every other partner. You will need an effective portal to create groups and roles by partner tiers, partner classification, partner business model, etc. This is necessary as to share only the required data with the partners.
Marketing & Sales Forecasting
To allocate resources and funds in the marketing and partnership program, you need to forecast ROI. Which you can only if you have the required data including marketing qualified leads, sales qualified leads, converted leads, the marketing pipeline, and what not. It’s crucial to have data from all the previously implemented strategies based on which you need to evaluate what’s working and what’s not. It’s only possible when you have a unified solution like a CRM partner portal.
Suppose you have 3000 bills to process. And you need to calculate partner’s share on more than 1000 bills, how will you do it? Manually? No! You need to have an automated process intact to take care of all these details. If you have 300-500 partners, then I am sure, you don’t have time to look into these small details.
Single Interaction & Communication Point
With a growing network of partners, your salespersons would need to contact them on a daily basis. And maintaining contact on multiple platforms like emails, calls, messages, etc. will become tedious sooner than later. Whereas with partner portals you will have a single point for all communications. This would eliminate the need for redundant emails and calls and have all the conversations logged at a single point.
Starting a partnership program might seem easy and effortless but once it’s out of the first phase, you will need to put in constant efforts. And these efforts will definitely result in business growth.
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