Developing solid partnerships can have a tremendous impact on your business. Good ones can scale it to new levels, while subpar ones can cost you valuable time and money.
Partner management isn’t discussed as often as other business initiatives, but it’s just as vital to your company’s success. No two companies, including those in the same industry, have the same types of partners or requirements that go with them. Still, many characteristics are common to successful partner relationships, including communication, trust, transparency, mutual interest, and relationship building.
This glossary covers some of the most common definitions and terms used in partner management. It should give you insight into how you can use a partner management platform to achieve successful relationships.
Indirect sales refers to the selling of a product or service by a third-party, such as an affiliate or partner, rather than a company’s sales personnel. They are often used in conjunction with a business’s direct sales efforts but may also take the place of an internal sales staff. Companies use indirect sales to drive revenue and expand their audience reach while lowering overhead costs. Many use partner management software to track and manage their partner relationships.
Partner management comprises all the technological tools and business processes a business needs to manage its indirect sales through third parties. Synonymous with reseller management, it includes reseller sales enablement like training and software provisioning, as well as billing, license management, and customer onboarding and support.
Partner Management Software
Partner relationship management software helps companies manage indirect sales made through different channels. It typically includes various tools that automate partner management, such as training and certification, analytics, automated billing, and provisioning. It’s often referred to as a gated portal solely dedicated to serving channel partners.
A partner portal connects a business’s partners and gives them the tools they need to educate their teams, create marketing programs, build revenue, and more. Ideally, a partner portal should connect directly to a company’s CRM so partners can see their lead pipelines in real-time.
Channel Partner Management
Channel partner channel management is the process of building and managing relationships with channel partners throughout the partner lifecycle. It is an indirect sales model that charges third parties with driving traffic and sales to a business to increase profits. Examples of channel partners include distributors, resellers, agencies, and independent sales reps and dealers.
Partner networks are the groups of resellers a company recruits to sell its products. They can help expand sales efforts and drive more revenue to your business. Managed effectively, a partner network can lead to increased sales, lead generation, and other capabilities and services.
B2B Partner Onboarding
Partner onboarding is the process of initiating and integrating new partners into your company’s partner program. It educates, trains, and guides new partners through their first few weeks or months of working with your business, providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to become successful at selling your product or service.