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Remember: your partners are an extension of your sales team.

As they grow and diversify your market reach, you want to ensure they are fully supported, connected, and also able to access the tools and assets to represent your brand with accuracy and confidence. As your company grows, specific goals for your channel sales ecosystem will become apparent such as:

  • Balancing Partner concentration levels across territories
  • Ensuring the technical skills your partners need for different products
  • Targeting industry verticals, languages or other specialties
  • Converting competitor partners
  • Gaining Strategic partners like ISVs or accessory manufacturers that extend the value of your products

To pursue any of these goals you need to collaborate with the people who are acting on your behalf in the field, your partners. Think of your partners as your ambassadors, you want to equip them with resources they need to market, sell, deliver and service your products just as you would. As a vendor, you want to ensure they showcase your products and deploy your services just as your service or support team would.

One of the best ways to ensure your partners are up to date and up to par is through collaborative, mobile-friendly certification. Sharing corporate knowledge through an easy, accessible and structured learning environment will ensure they are able to deliver promised value and expertise to your customers.

Certification

Deploying mobile-friendly, web-based partner certification through a partner community is a great way to ensure partners are accurately representing your brand and products while accelerating your onboarding process. Incorporating the training and certification process into your partner relationship management (PRM) portal simplifies administration, provides participation insights, encourages collaboration, and offers a consistent user experience for your partners.

Depending on the size of your channel program, forcing all of your partners through a common certification program may not be the best solution. A cloud based PRM portal with social learning can offer tailored content, courseware and evaluation options to ensure each partner is accessing the right material in the most effect sequence.

As your partners are training to build expertise in selling, integrating and maintaining your products, a collaborative partner community portal is an effective way to:

  • Offer more courses on new product releases and complementary services
  • Enable Partners to collaborate and send feedback about a course to ensure accuracy and effectiveness
  • Complete the certification process by publishing quizzes and tests within the course module
  • Offer study guides, certification documents, or supplementary materials for download

How Do You Know It’s Working?

The PRM certification process can easily be monitored by your Channel Team so that participation is social, trackable and reportable. Channel Account Managers will always have a complete picture of their partner accounts; from training and certification status through to Lead Registration, Opportunity Forecasting, Sales Enablement, and MDF. Partner employees can easily discuss any new benefits like market development funds they might be entitled to with their latest certification.

For certifications which entail multiple course modules, a dashboard progress view can help keep your partners motivated to complete required modules, and if necessary advise your partner managers when a team member might need motivation or assistance to complete their certifications. A simple reminder might be all it takes to encourage your partner’s employees to complete their certification requirements or if more guidance is needed – a quick Q&A session.


What are the benefits?

Having certified channel partners will ensure they can present your products to their customers based on your unique selling proposition. More and more companies are adopting collaborative certification programs that ensure their brand and products are consistently represented accurately which extends their reach to a broader customer base through the channel.

By automating access to training with triggered workflows, you can empower partners to access resources like subscription keys and product documentation on demand. Instead of waiting for product activation or access to API downloads, automating these processes enables partners to get started on project work once they have completed mandatory courses and testing.

Tiered certification programs help Value Added Resellers, Integrators and other types of partners to be recognized for:

  • Completing certification testing
  • The length of time a partnership is in good standing
  • Volume of license, device or subscription sales
  • Number of successful product implementations
  • Customer satisfaction survey ratings
  • Quantity of product line certifications

These certification tiers should carry multiple incentives like Market Development Funds, co-marketing materials, and support resources to reward your partners for their performance and commitment to success. A PRM Community helps with tracking entitlements and certifications while providing tier-based training courses like testimonial videos on a self-service portal to keep vendors and partners in sync.


The digital transformation of partner training and testing makes learning more convenient, personalized and available when, and where it’s needed most. Automating key partner certification processes frees your channel managers to focus on strategic initiatives. An online PRM community makes it easy to personalize content and training access to partners based on their tier, including documents, discussions and course content.