Channel Partner Portal
Enable your Partners to Self-Serve
Manufacturers think of their channel partners as an integral part of their go-to-market strategy. It is not uncommon for manufacturers to view their channel as their primary customer, because they are the people that place the orders. In the age of the customer, expectations from the channel partners are changing, and manufacturers are often competing with other manufacturers for mindshare. If this situation resonates with you, a channel partner portal might be the right solutions for your organization. If you have a mature and diverse network, or a smaller niche set of channel partners, enabling your partners to self-service allows you more time to focus on other priorities. Whether it’s a simple stock supply reorder, an increase in quantities for next month’s order, managing an RMA, adding another product line, or simply looking up product specs and information, empowering your channel partner with a tool to simplify these interactions can allow your channel partners to have access to your organization 24/7.
Manufacturers face many growth challenges with how they interact with channel partners. Often, manufacturers provide the same level of service to all their channel partners, regardless of the actual amount of revenue being generated. All channel partners are not created equal, and potentially shifting lower value activities online, frees up internal resources to do higher value activities, such as expansion your brand at that partner, or targeting additional partners to bring on. Additionally, the sheer number of available products has increased to the point that sales teams are unable to understand, and creditably sell the large variety of your products.
Even if your product line is not growing that fast, the distributor landscape is changing through mergers and acquisitions, creating larger consolidated partners representing more competitive product situations.
Thus, manufacturers are faced with finding new ways to differentiate products, and gain the mindshare of their channel partners. Furthermore, research is showing sales people are spending more than 50% of their time processing orders, searching for content, and doing other activities not related to selling.
Without a quick and easy way to access valuable product data and application information, channel partners are at a disadvantage to sell your products. As margins grow thinner and competition increases, many manufacturers are looking for additional ways to remove cost from their businesses. The overall cost to serve channel partners has increased and will continue to increase, making an online channel partner portal an easy way to reduce cost to serve, no matter what time or day of the week
Empowers channel partners to self-serve.
While he’s on the road, Sam, a sales representative, can use his iPad to easily access relevant, product information, data sheets, and other relevant information. This allow him to be efficient and prepared in front of his customer. He also can take care of a lot of his manual account “paperwork” by automating and compressing the workflows for tasks, such as online order entry and submitting quotes. He also can access product inventory and submit orders on behalf of a customer with the integration to his company’s ERP.
Always-on, self-service online access makes it easier to provide differentiated service to customers.
As a distributor for Madison Manufacturing, Denise can access Madison’s 24/7 online portal to check pricing, inventory availability and order status at any time of the day, particularly when she is on the road visiting customer sites. She also can request or approve a quote, and easily access product spec sheets, order samples and other tasks throughout the day