Streamlining tools to improve your partner program

January 30, 2024

As a partner manager, you juggle many responsibilities to build and sustain valuable partnerships. You likely rely on a combination of tools to manage prospecting, onboarding, reporting, and more for your partner program. However, using disparate tools often means vital information lives in silos, key processes are inefficient, and demonstrating return on investment to stakeholders becomes difficult. By streamlining your approach with an integrated solution, you can improve operational efficiency, better leverage data to optimize partnerships, and clearly show the impact of your partner program.

The struggles of managing your partners with point solutions

As a partner manager, you likely use a variety of tools to manage your partner relationships, such as online forms, Zapier, Asana, spreadsheets, Notion, and email. These tools, while useful, often operate in silos, making it difficult to gain a holistic view of your program, optimize ROI and scale your operations. 

Point solutions—or single-function software—are popular for partner managers building their first collaborative workflows with partners. They run the gambit in terms of specific functionality: 

  • CMS 
  • Lead capture forms
  • Emailing
  • Zapier / Automation platform
  • Account mapping tool
  • CRMs

Many partner managers will jump on point solutions because of their low price point, ease of set up, and “flexible” integrations. But, as we’ll discover below, these point solutions come with significant risks—and can often be a costly mistake. 

You’re not saving money 

Many partner managers adopt point solutions because of the low price tag. And yes, while there is often a lower upfront cost for the point solution you’re considering, you’re not seeing the whole picture:

  • Usage-based pricing increases as you scale up and add more contacts
  • Individual point solutions may be inexpensive, but as you build your stack those fees pile up
  • You’ll have to invest time and energy to integrate them into a functional workflow—inflating your employee costs
  • Errors and bottlenecks lead to lost revenue opportunities and can increase prospect & customer churn

More Time Spent on Administration

Managing partnerships across various tools requires significant time and effort. You have to enter and update the same information in multiple places, track data and metrics separately, and ensure all tools are aligned. This administrative burden reduces the time available for high-impact activities like partner recruitment, enablement, and relationship building.

Disparate Data and Metrics

Valuable data about your partners—like contacts, accounts, opportunities, and key performance indicators—are spread across the tools you use. This disjointed data makes it hard to analyze trends, identify areas for improvement, and demonstrate the value of your program. You end up spending time compiling data from different sources instead of acting on insights.

Lack of Standardization and Efficiency

When managing partners, consistency and efficiency are key. However, the separate tools you use have their own unique workflows, fields, and processes. This lack of standardization reduces productivity and increases the chance of errors or omissions. Partners may receive inconsistent experiences depending on which tool is used to manage them.

Difficulty Measuring Impact

With data and metrics in different places, you struggle to gain a complete picture of your program’s impact and ROI. You can’t easily determine the revenue influenced or opportunities created through your partners. C-level executives want to see measurable value, so this makes it hard to justify further investment in your program.

It’s not easy to replace as you scale

So what if a point solution has all of these problems? Can’t you just adopt one in the early days, then upgrade as you go along? While you technically could, you’re opening the door to numerous problems and headaches down the road:

  • You won’t be able to do it alone. It implies human capital investment.
  • Data transfer & compatibility from the new system to the old is rarely straightforward
  • Partners have to be guided and re-engaged in the new way of working with you. If not managed well, it can result in a poor partner experience and disengagement.

Changing software is a hassle in the best of times and inevitably leads to slowdowns—which have a direct impact on your ability to drive revenue.

Note: If your partner workflow is already a patchwork of point solutions, Heedjy makes the migration to a centralized platform simple and easy. Contact us to find the best and most pain-free transition plan.

Point solutions may seem to save you time and money, but they cause headaches down the line. Onboarding new partners faster and keeping existing partners perpetually engaged are two areas that stand to benefit the most. While technology can never replace human interaction altogether, strategic automation and digitization of key program elements will free up more time for the high-touch work that really matters. So instead, adopt an all-in-one, centralized platform to automate repetitive tasks, streamline processes, and enhance communication. It will significantly improve partner program ROI while building better relationships. 

See Heedjy in action today.

Photo de Barn images sur Unsplash

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