Don’t operate on yourself
As a tech company, it may seem like an oxymoron to outsource your partner portal. After all, you have the best and brightest already on your payroll. But maybe you should think of it in a different way. Would you go to a heart specialist when what you really need is brain surgery?
If you are considering building your own partner portal, think again. Companies with poorly built portals risk losing both sales and partners. Market researcher Frost & Sullivan found that nearly 86% of partners base their partnership decisions on the portal presentation.
“Professionally developed and managed portals with powerful partner relationship management (PRM) software” they state “stand to capture an incremental $8 to $9 million in indirect partner revenues on average.”
So before you decide to go it alone, ask yourself two questions. Do your staff have the time and skillsets to carry it off? Is it worth it?
Let’s take a look at in-house expertise first. Building a partner relationship management portal is like creating software. After all, there’s a reason why the alternative to going it alone is called software as a service (SaaS).
Without a software developer on site, do-it-yourself portals tend to have inadequate functionality and, once deployed, are not upgraded in keeping with the evolving channel strategy, partner needs, and the latest technology.
But to be successful in the highly competitive channel business world, you don’t just need a platform to disseminate information. You have to get information back and make it work for you. That’s right – you need an integrated business intelligence platform as well.
One that is powerful and sophisticated enough to not only handle your internal data, but one that can muscle through big data. This requires a level of expertise that few companies have in-house: the data scientist. And they are at the top of the food chain when it comes to salaries.
A SaaS provider brings advantages to the table over and above his finely honed expertise. In addition to providing a technically savvy and sophisticated solution, he can bring a fresh perspective and offer new insights into your products and channel marketing strategy. A top SaaS provider offers a scalable solution personalized for your company’s needs and can provide tools to bring in new business.
There is also the cost factor. On average, it can take 6 to 12 months for a tech company to build its own portal – a lifetime in this highly competitive market. When figuring the total costs of creation, configuration, modification, maintenance, and operation, a SaaS solution is less expensive and drastically lowers the time to market, thereby increasing your return on investment.
So while your employees are performing heart surgery on their channel partners, leave the brain surgery to a PRM expert.