At the recent Impartner EMEA User Community virtual meet-up, the conversation revolved around the delicate dance of "tough love." Through this lens, we dissected the intricate decisions and actions organizations must embrace to tap into the untapped reserves of their Impartner platform experience. Two themes, which on the surface may seem disparate—customization vs. standardization and fostering partner engagement—emerged as deeply interconnected pillars for driving Impartner platform success.
By Adina Alexa, Partner Enablement Platform Manager at Vertiv™ & Steven Newton, Digital Transformation lead for Finastra's Partner and Ecosystem team. Discussion facilitated by Helen Curtis from the Coterie Community.
Striking the right balance: Customization vs. standardization
Adina’s journey with Vertiv™ and Impartner has been one of evolution. In 2020, their approach leaned heavily towards customization, characterized by standalone partner portals, scattered Excel lists, and a lack of structured tiering. But by 2023, the winds have shifted towards standardization, with integrated ecosystems, consolidated partner databases, and a globally harmonized tier structure.
However, as Adina described this transformation was not without its trials:
- Challenge: Aligning partner lists to system requirements while filtering out redundant data.
- Key Learning: Sometimes, the tough love is in understanding that less is more, laying the foundation for streamlined operations.
- Challenge: Formulating a global tiering mechanism.
- Key Insight: Necessary decisions, although tough, paved the way for global alignment, such as introducing the universal Silver tier.
- Challenge: Weighing custom solutions against native functionalities.
- A Revelation: Steering clear of overly tailored solutions preserves the flexibility and robustness of built-in platform features.
While Adina was navigating the realms of customization, another crucial component surfaced, intrinsically linking the journey with the broader theme of partner engagement - just because you “build a partner portal” they will not necessarily come.
The pulse of partnership: Fostering engagement
Steven explained that navigating the Impartner platform experience and capabilities isn't just about technical mastery—it's about cultivating and nurturing relationships with partners. This dynamic interaction is driven by purposeful engagement. He recommended focusing on three pillars:
1. Crafting a dynamic communication strategy
Beyond the Build: The age-old adage of "Build it, and they will come" doesn't hold water in the age of information overload. A proactive and intentional communication strategy is pivotal. Crafting messages, identifying the best mediums, and ensuring partners receive timely and relevant information are cornerstones of this strategy.
The MVP of Communication: A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for communication means distilling your message to its most effective and efficient essence. This ensures clarity and reduces noise, making interactions more productive.
2. Engage with precision and empathy
Tools and Touchpoints: Platforms such as the Partner Portal, Highspot, and Mindtickle provide varied avenues to engage with partners. However, it’s essential to not just use these tools, but to employ them strategically knowing when a quick message suffices or when a detailed demonstration is needed.
The Partner Lifecycle: From initial discovery to scaling operations, partners undergo a journey with varied needs at each stage. For instance, during the onboarding phase, they might benefit from tools found in the Sales Enablement platforms, which offers online training resources. As they scale, tools such as SFDC for case management become invaluable.
3. Upward and outward communication
Reflect and Evolve: An organization's strategy should be fluid. Regularly revisiting and refining communication strategies is crucial. This includes assessing engagement levels, understanding partners' evolving needs, and ensuring internal alignment.
The Human Touch: Beyond tools and strategies, it's essential to remember the human aspect. Partners should feel they can reach out to real people within the organization—be it account managers for day-to-day queries or higher-ups for strategic discussions.
Starting on your journey
Your journey on the Impartner platform will be an intricate tapestry woven from threads of "tough love" and decisive action. The balance between customization and engagement presents organizations with challenging choices.
As Adina's insights underscore, sometimes less is indeed more, and certain standards are pivotal for cohesion. Meanwhile, as Steven highlights, genuine and purposeful partner engagement, driven by thoughtfully curated communication strategies and empathetic interactions, can make all the difference.
The harmonization of these elements—embracing tough decisions with a sense of genuine care—paves the way for a thriving ecosystem, where organizations and partners collectively achieve unprecedented growth and success.
Ready to learn more? Discover more about the Impartner platform experience today!