Many business models rely heavily on strategic and channel partnerships to succeed. Having an online portal where these partners can go for your most current and relevant information will save your internal teams time and resources and make your partnerships more effective.
Here are five things you MUST consider before creating an online partner portal:
Have the Best Search Functionality
Partners will be coming from different backgrounds, industries, and maybe even countries, so having a robust search engine supporting your portal is critical. Partners need to be able to enter a variety of search terms to find the information they need. Also consider how different types of content will be searched. Bloomfire, for example, features functionality that creates a searchable transcription for every video that is uploaded to the system. This means every word uttered in the video is searchable – and the searcher can go precisely to the point in the video that the term was said.
Provide Mobile Access
With the average American spending more than two and a half hours accessing the internet from their smartphone very day, it’s a given that information you make available online needs to be mobile-friendly and easy to access anytime and from any device. This is especially true for partners who are on the go and need information about your solution and company at their fingertips.
Find a Solution That’s Easy to Use
This is so basic but also very easy to overlook. When evaluating or creating an online partner portal, make sure it’s intuitive, visual, and doesn’t require extensive training to master. A good partner portal may require a brief overview to help someone understand the lay of the land and the different ways to find information, but if you are scheduling training sessions to get your partners up to speed, you may want to rethink your solution.
Be Consistent and Keep Content Up to Date
Nothing is more frustrating when you’re using new technology than to find that the information within the tool is outdated or poorly written. Make your partner portal the single source of truth for your organization and commit to keeping it relevant and well organized. This may require tasking one person within your organization with being the curator, or knowledge manager, for the portal.
Offer Q&A Functionality
Give your partners the ability to ask (and maybe even answer) questions on your portal. This can be an incredibly effective and streamlined way to communicate important information. How many times does your internal team answer the same question? Why not capture that answer once within your portal and then direct partners there to find the answers they need.
With the availability of turnkey partner technologies, having the perfect partner portal is more attainable than ever. Click here to watch a video about how Mulesoft is using Bloomfire to manage their partner communications.