5 Partner Portal Trends for 2024

Published On: November 28, 2023Categories: Buzz, Partner Success

If you’re reading this, you already know that partner portals are an essential tool for partenr success. Whether you’re considering implementing one for the first time or have recognized the need for a new solution, the decision involves a range of stakeholders, from the partner team and IT department to finance, CFO, and the Channel Chief. Each brings their unique perspective and motivations to the table.

When engaging with portal vendors, it’s essential to bridge the gap between expectation and reality. Integrating with your existing CRM is a priority, but ensuring it can handle critical modules like Marketing Development Funds (MDF), campaign content, and deal registration is equally vital. These features empower partners to safeguard their opportunities, co-market effectively, untilize campaign materialsand participate in incentive programs..

However, the reality is that many companies invest significant resources into a portal only to find it falls short of expectations. Maintenance becomes a challenge, requiring continuous IT intervention, customization, and, frustratingly, a complete overhaul after a mere 18 months. Avoiding this cycle of pain, sunk costs, and starting from scratch is crucial. 

In this blog post, we are sharing five partner portal trends for 2024 to consider when selecting a new portal or improving your current instance. These trends can enhance customer experience, optimize portal effectiveness, and ultimately lead to greater success for your partners – a win-win scenario for both your partners and your bottom line.

Accessibility Will Remain Critical 

The foundation of a successful partner portal lies in its accessibility. It should be effortlessly discoverable, user-friendly, and seamlessly adaptable across various devices. If your portal is constantly facing downtime or incurring bugs, it won’t be useful to your partners. 

First of all, your portal must be mobile-friendly. As more partners use smartphones and tablets, your portal must provide an equally smooth experience on all screens. Use clear and straightforward language, avoiding jargon or technical terms that might confuse partners. 

The goal is for a seamless user experience. Partners should be able to easily locate the information they need. Incorporate a search bar for precise information retrieval, and consider offering customer support in multiple languages if you have a global partner base. Regularly survey your partners about their experience. What are the frequent questions and concerns? Address them. 

Engagement Matters More

Accessibility is only half the battle; you must also prioritize driving engagement and adoption. Your portal must be designed in a way that attracts and encourages usage. Think about how your partners interact online. The user experience should be as familiar as logging into Amazon or a banking app. 

Consider making portal use mandatory for specific tasks, like lead registration or order submissions. Implement a reward program, giving partners who engage with the portal exclusive benefits like early access to new products or discounted services. Add an element of gamification to the partner portal experience, offering points or badges for completing tasks or utilizing specific features. 

Don’t forget to regularly communicate the benefits of portal use through email newsletters, and share tips for optimizing their experience. 

Value Comes from New Formats

The linchpin of partner portal adoption is providing genuine value to your partners. This entails equipping them with the information and resources necessary for their success. 

You know it’s important to give partners access to marketing collateral, including sales decks, case studies, and white papers. Providing comprehensive training on your products and services, and maintaining a knowledge base of support articles and troubleshooting guides is critical. 

Think about the way you deliver this valuable information to your audience. Long-winded content doesn’t cut it. Some studies found that Americans’ attention spans are as short as 47 seconds. Give your partners information in short digestible pieces. Consider formats like Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. Mix long-form content with shorter videos and infographics.

Another way to provide value for your partners is by creating a forum where they can ask questions and exchange ideas.

When you provide partners with insights into their performance, you also give them opportunities for business growth. 

AI Will Enter Portals

In the past, partner portals were largely used for partners to find information and support. However, the trend is now moving towards more proactive portals. This means portals that provide partners with insights and recommendations based on their individual needs.

This is an opportunity for your business to leverage AI and machine learning to analyze partner data and identify growth opportunities. The technology can recommend new products and services based on past sales and customer data. 

You can empower partners with insights into their competitors and strategies to enhance their performance. Send timely alerts and notifications about significant events, such as product launches or upcoming webinars.

Global Will Rise in Importance 

In an increasingly international business landscape, it’s important to have a portal that can serve global partners. Different regions of the world have unique needs. It is important to be aware of cultural sensitivities and differences. This means providing multilingual portal options, support across different time zones, and localization to the user’s native country. 

Translate your portal into the languages spoken by your global partners. Offer customer support that spans multiple time zones. Grant global partners access to localized resources, including marketing materials and training content. Arrange webinars and events that accommodate various time zones, ensuring all partners can participate.

Best Practices 

Here are a few of our other favorite tips to make sure your partner portal and delivering for your partners and your business: 

  • Integrate your partner portal with existing systems like CRM and ERP. This streamlines operations and simplifies partner interactions. 
  • Keep tabs on portal performance metrics, tracking usage, time spent, and leads generated.
  • Continuously seek feedback from partners to refine and enhance the portal.
  • Offer a seamless experience with a single set of login credentials, providing access to various functionalities including deal registration, MDF, and co-marketing.

Get Ready for 2024

By embracing these partner portal trends for 2024, you’ll unlock the full potential of your portal, delivering substantial value to your partners. Do you need talent to manage, build or market your portal? Contact us. We’re here to help you succeed in this dynamic B2B landscape.

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