Quality business partnerships between yourself and another company aren’t always easy to come by. However, when you get one that is thriving, you certainly want to keep that ball rolling.
Communication, sharing and transparency are some of the essential ingredients. So how do you enable all of these when you and your partner are looking to roll out a new product, or even a set of products? What do you do when you are diving into a new market or a new vertical, and need to lean on each other to make the venture fly? How do you manage your leads, sales, onboarding, and customer service, when these roles and responsibilities are shared?
Well if you are using Salesforce, the answer to all of this is simple…
Salesforce Partner Communities!
The Salesforce Partner Communities are the best way to handle all of the above concerns and do so in a fully branded and streamlined online environment.
For those of you who have been with Salesforce for a while now, you may have been familiar with Partner portals. These portals (discontinued in new orgs as of 2013) were essentially a stripped down version of the Partner Community, where one partner would essentially be the “host” and the other business would get login credentials to the portal.
Once there, they would have access to a curated version of the host’s Salesforce org. Including, leads, contacts, accounts, etc. The host would be able to choose exactly what the other partner would have access to – to ensure compliance and security. However, all of this is still a little lacking, so Salesforce went a step further and introduced the Partner Community.
The Partner Community is a fully shared environment – which is one of the things that makes it so great. Any number of partners can connect, and specify which of their data sets are connected. Thus, all partners get a total sharing and collaborative experience. This enables powerful lead gen and sales opportunities.
The increased transparency also ensures that no deals or opportunities fall through the cracks because of miscommunication on assignment and ownership.
The next level of partnership
Aside from the partner community being a great place to drive sales, it can also be your number one resource for knowledge and help, both internal and external.
When any partner logs in – the can access curated notifications on the home page, keeping them up to date on and new developments. If you have the time and patience to build a knowledge base, you can upload everything, so that all of your team, from marketing to sales to customer enablement can have the information they need, right at their fingertips.
The same goes for customers and customer support. If you want to have a customer facing knowledge base – boom – there you go. This can also take a real burden off of your support staff. Finally, the portal can be used as a direct way for customers to connect with your support team, ensuring a smooth and centralized process for all aspects of the partnership.
-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz Team
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