You probably already know that a partner portal is a critical place for enabling successful communication, passing knowledge to appropriate parties, and driving product sales. 

What you may not know is that there are common best practices for launching these portals. By following a set of suggested best practices, suppliers can sell their products better and develop more productive partners. We’ve found that starting off on the right foot is more likely to lead to long-term portal success, so these best practices are especially important for teams getting started with a brand-new partner portal.

Below, we’ve rounded up eight best practices for both internal teams (that may include Partner Account Managers or Channel Account Managers) and partner teams to follow from the earliest days of portal implementation. 

For  internal teams:

For partners:

Channel Partner Portal Best Practices: Internal Teams

Members of internal teams, whether they’re a Partner Account Manager, Partner Program Manager, or Channel Account Manager, need to understand the value that comes with a new partner portal. The more they’re able to learn about their portal, the more effectively they can facilitate the success of channel partners. Our suggested best practices will help internal teams become more successful communicators to partners and ensure a foundational knowledge of the portal.

Develop a Clear Communication Plan

Right off the bat, suppliers should communicate early and often with their entire organization on the value of a new portal. If you’ve moved from one partner portal to another, like ZiftONE, there should be clear change management information exchanged between all members of the team. Remember what they say: clear is kind! Clear communication and expectations for this new partner portal will hold everyone accountable to the same standards.

Best Practices for Launching Your Partner Portal - Clear Communication Plan-min

Host a Launch Webinar

Launch webinars should be set up for internal teams to provide an overview of the new portal. Ideally, this webinar would be a high-level tour that pieces together what lives in the portal–and where. Internal teams need to be educated on the key features of the partner portal and how they will impact day-to-day operations.

Helpful hint: If your internal team is going to be training partners on the portal, this is a great opportunity for providing training information.

Hold Office Hours

If you’re getting started with the ZiftONE portal, our team provides Zift-hosted Office Hours to answer questions and demonstrate product features. We suggest hosting these one-hour meetings on a regular cadence, whether that’s monthly or every other month, to make the most of your new partner portal. Suppliers can open Office Hours up to an unlimited number of internal team members.

Channel Partner Portal Best Practices: Partner-Facing

Similar to partner portal best practices for internal teams, our partner-facing best practices revolve around clear communication and knowledge transfers. While some of these suggested tips are specific to ZiftONE users, they all get down to the same idea: an enabled partner will do their job better than any other type of partner.

Follow a Communication Plan

Whether you’re 6-8 weeks into using your partner portal or at the earliest days of a portal launch, you should be communicating the value of a new portal with your partners. Within a communication plan, share:

  • How the portal can be accessed
  • What partner expectations are
  • How to register new users

Don’t forget that you can use social media as means for promoting the new portal to partners! You can promote material that contains overall portal benefits–and for those in ZiftONE, your Service Points can be used for these types of to-partner communications.

Best Practices for Launching Your Partner Portal - Guided Tours-min

Host a Launch Webinar

From the beginning of working in a new portal, you should be doing everything you can to get partners excited about their new work environment! A launch webinar is a perfect way to do this. Suppliers can utilize these to share important information on platform benefits, explain ease of use, and pass along tips for how to get started. ZiftONE Service Points can be used for a customer-hosted, Zift-led demo of the platform to take the work out of your hands.

Create User Guides/Guided Tours

As a supplier, your job is to make it as easy as possible for partners to get started with your new portal. A great way to do this is to create user guides or guided tours within the portal. Easy-to-digest materials will make using (and understanding!) the portal simple. While you could take matters into your own hands and create guided tours through a platform like Loom, ZiftONE customers can use their Service Points to have guided tours created for their teams.

Hold Office Hours

Just like we suggested for internal teams, Zift-hosted Office Hours are a great way to answer questions from your partners about their new portal. Partners can drop into these one-hour sessions hosted on a regular cadence to address platform-related questions on content or features.

Follow a 30/60/90-Day Onboarding Plan

Finally, setting up a 30/60/90-day onboarding plan for your partners to follow will continue the path to partner implementation and success. Partners will be more strongly equipped to explain the supplier’s value proposition and products to end customers. 

Ultimately, it’s a supplier’s job to educate partners on your company’s value proposition in an organized way through training courses, collateral that represents your brand and positioning, and portal pages that explain how to get the most out of their relationship with you. If these boxes are being checked and best practices are followed, you’re already on the right track.

Best Practices for Launching Your Partner Portal - 90-Day Onboarding Plan-min

Curious to learn more about how Zift Solutions can help you launch a successful partner portal? Contact a member of our team.