Partner relationship management (PRM) provider Allbound has published a study revealing insights into the sales partner journey.
The data involved observation of partner portal users over several months to determine which behaviours and interactions has the greatest impact on retention and engagement rates. The findings aim to help channel managers prioritise which PRM actions to guide partners toward.
“Over 20 years ago we saw massive adoption begin for sales and marketing tools like Salesforce’s CRM to help direct sellers do a great job — we are seeing the same adoption curve happen for channel technology as the world is demanding tools to help companies collaborate and sell together,” said Daniel Graff-Radford, CEO of Allbound.
“Having a partner portal, or PRM system, lets companies automate a lot of the activities such as partner onboarding, training and collaboration for selling and marketing together.”
User frequency was shown to be an early indicator of consistent long-term partner engagement, with partners who signed into their portal at least ten times found to be 575 per cent more likely to engage after twelve weeks than those who visited fewer.
Channel managers should prioritise promotion of portal utilisation during onboarding, Allbound said, utilising key software features and consistent messaging.
The survey also showed that even rare interactions with easily accessible content on PRM platforms, such as accessing two articles, doubles potential for long-term engagement.
Partners who shared content twice were found to be twice as likely to be active after twelve weeks than those who didn’t share content at all, and partners who also co-branded content were three times as likely to remain active long-term than those who didn’t.
Meshach Amuah-Fuster, Allbound’s managing director EMEA, said that hybrid working and access to global marketplaces in a more connected world than ever before is an opportunity for the channel to flourish, using PRM as a tool to bring everything together.
“Engagement is all about having the right partner at the heart of everything that channel managers do,” Amuah-Fuster told Comms Business. “This starts with finding the right partner, training them effectively, enabling them and continuing to motivate them.
“In terms of the ecosystem from a software standpoint, again, the channel manager must understand and have the partner in mind so the portal must be this way inclined, not necessarily something which is specific to the vendor but with a focus on UX and ease of use.
“The benefits of working with the vendor should also be abundantly clear and achievable in the eyes of the partner.”
The full study, Six Partner Actions Proven to Increase Retention 10x, can be found online here.