I am not talking about a financial audit. I am talking about a true partner experience audit. There are many steps or tasks you need your partners to be able to easily perform. Most of these activities are probably enabled through a partner portal or your website. One of the key goals of any channel partner program is to make it easy for your channel partners to complete the tasks they need to get done. When is the last time you went to your own partner portal, systematically walked through, and tried to do some of the key tasks you need partners to perform? These critical tasks include:
- Find sales enablement collateral
- Find specific technical documents
- Register for and take a class
- Find material for a customer proposal
- Request special pricing or find pricing
- Identify contacts to answer specific questions
- Identify and customize available marketing collateral
- File a co-marketing claim
- Place an order
- View incentive payment information
You should manage the partner experience of your website or partner portal, just like you manage the customer experience of your company website. It's not uncommon for vendors to focus on how much material they can put out on a partner portal versus how easy it is to use. The process of auditing the partner experience or usability can be very simple and help to improve the quality of your channel partner program.
Try creating a dummy partner account and have someone that is unfamiliar with your partner program and resources sign in and try to accomplish some standard tasks. This should not be limited to interacting with a partner portal; it should be task based and include non-portal based activities where appropriate.
This is a very simple concept, but if you haven't tried it, you may be surprised how hard it is for your partners to navigate your channel program. So give it a try. I would be interested in hearing what you learn!