Sample Reseller Portal
Now it’s time to see how a reseller portal comes together. This is where a reseller goes to find out about your program and sign up. Once signed up, they can enter the portal to get leads, register deals, get PowerPoints, competitive information, collateral, and collaborate with other reseller partners. Pay special attention to this section!
Please view the sample reseller portal at portal.chanimal.com (opens in its own window).
Pay special attention to the following elements on the opening page.
Note that there is no mention of the product. Resellers look for three things
1) Do you have good positioning–is your product competitive (your main site shows this–it does NOT belong here (that decision is over)). If they believe you have a worthwhile product then the next thing they look for is,
2) Can they make any money? Whether or not a reseller can make money is determined by your reseller program. Things they look for:
- Do you provide leads (even if you hand out two per year you can say “yes”)?
- Will you train them and is it free?
- Do you have channel conflict (this is avoided with a deal registration program)?
- Do you have not for resale copies (or free access if a SaaS application?
- How about PowerPoints, competitive matrix or product slicks (or do they have to make their own)?
- Do they have easy access to reseller support?
In addition, is there a contact by name and number so they can ask questions (like the margin or any other barrier to entry). Some companies (SalesForce, Cisco to name a few) took me 6-7 calls and multiple e-mails and it still took weeks to get anyone to call back to ask a basic question (such as, “what is your margin” (common))–which is horrible. Note that the sample website has contact information.
Also, note the reseller application. It asks for a LOT of information. Why? Because you have to profile your partners at the beginning (when they are the most eager to apply and give you any information). One vendor I had helped called me back 10 years later to profile their resellers–they had 2,200 partners and wanted to recruit more that were just like the best–but they didn’t know why the top 20% were better because they didn’t know anything about them!
Also, note the reseller grid, showing the levels, requirements, and benefits of each level. Most partner programs don’t have this–yet resellers look for it to ensure the vendor rewards loyalty (partners that learn their product (certified) and maintain quotas).
3) Do you love me? The third thing they look for: is the vendor easy to work with and do they love (appreciate) me? This is answered somewhat within your portal. If you recognize top producers or the reseller within their portal (or via e-mail, newsletters, calls), then they start to sense that you care about them and their business–they, in turn, will start to care about yours.
Portal Sign In
Once you sign into the portal, note the opening page contains news, promotions, and (if it were customized (versus the sample generic portal)) it might show leads and progress toward certification and the quota. This sample is a generic portal–same info for everyone and what I recommend to get started unless you use a PRM.
Now notice the simple navigation and the buckets of content. You will want to review the content samples (you will be tested on some of them). This is also a great resource for sample policies, format, and content examples (for example, what does a demo script look like–there are samples in the portal).
This portal utilizes many of the best practices (having reviewed most of the industry portals, talked with resellers, and getting a lot of feedback). This should be your model for this kind of reseller portal (and you are welcome to scrape the policies and content and re-purpose it for your own site–but a lot of this is in your “Kit” (later)).
Now take the test (but be prepared–there are a LOT of items to learn and they will be covered within the test).
Hint: Pay special attention to elements of the home page, the reseller application, levels, all the policies (NFR, Leads, Deal Registration), plus the kinds of content you should provide for the resellers. The test will also give you hints throughout.