Delivering Partner-Centered Experiences in the Manufacturing Industry

Today’s most successful manufacturers are not just maintaining partner relationships; they are delivering truly partner-centered experiences. Partner expectations have grown beyond manual processes, email exchanges and one-way digital portals. Dealers and distributors now want to be shepherded through an experience that supports their business success.

Manufacturers can meet and exceed these increasingly complex expectations by evaluating their existing state and leveraging those insights to enact changes. By understanding what a great experience looks like from a partner’s point of view, it becomes easier to implement the features that will help your dealers most. Reflecting on your current strengths and shortcomings and mapping out a plan of action to improve your PRM capabilities furthers your ability to empower partners. 

While self-evaluating and identifying these opportunities can set manufacturers on the right path, having the right technological assets is essential to building a truly partner-centered experience. That’s why 7Summits developed PartnerFirst for Manufacturing, a Salesforce Lightning Bolt with features and functions designed specifically for improving the experience for manufacturers’ dealers and distributors. Here’s how it addresses a variety of use cases to increase efficiency and collaboration within organizations.

Streamline Registration, Onboarding & Activation

Outdated, manual processes often result in friction for new partners as they are unable to seamlessly acclimate to your online portal. When registration is overly complex, dealers and distributors may be unable or unwilling to adopt your community. A streamlined onboarding flow enables manufacturers to increase the number of users who adopt and engage with their partner experience.  

PartnerFirst for Manufacturing contains a single consolidated solution that makes partner activation simple. The robust application guides users through multiple steps that companies can customize and configure, helping partners rapidly and efficiently get set up in your community. By choosing the groups, topics and content that they are most interested in, your dealers and distributors will see the resources that are most relevant to them. This ensures that users are engaged, and keeps them coming back to your community long after first login.

Enable Transparent Access to Resources, Dashboards & Products

Outdated partner portals and overly complex solutions that are dependent on costly integrations make it difficult for users to find and utilize the resources that are crucial to their success. In the manufacturing industry, it is essential that dealers and distributors be able to view dashboards, product information and customer information to increase conversion. By creating a truly partner-centered community, manufacturers help ensure that their channel has simplified access to the tools they need. 

Leveraging solutions like PartnerFirst for Manufacturing gives users a one-stop shop to find the relevant, impactful information and dashboards that keep them informed and productive. Search functionality surfaces the resources most relevant to their inquiry and role, which accelerates processes and unleashes them to close deals more quickly. From product info to contact information for subject matter experts, they’ll have a consolidated solution to locate whatever they need. Partners are also given access to personalized dashboards that display actionable insights and performance metrics, improving dealer satisfaction and helping keep them on track to meet their goals. The solution’s transparency and personalization make your partners feel like they’re getting a dealer-specific experience every time they interact with the community.

Provide Opportunities for Growth, Learning & Collaboration

The most successful manufacturers are taking advantage of opportunities to constantly maximize their channel performance. You need your dealers and distributors to close more deals and meet performance goals, and an enhanced partner experience enables them to do so. An easy way to improve partner performance is to give them the means to grow, learn and collaborate with one another. 

By providing simplified, one-stop access to the resources and dashboards outlined above, manufacturers enable their partners to leverage self-service to find the resources that help them develop skills and knowledge. PartnerFirst for Manufacturing also lets companies implement tailored learning journeys that give everyone in your channel the means to grow their expertise. Data-driven enablement paths are supported by links, videos and other customized resources, with lists of the specific tasks that will best help partners learn. 

Additionally, a partner community helps manufacturers improve the collaboration within their organizations. These digital experiences provide a unified solution for engagement, unleashing users to interact in real-time in deal rooms. When your distributors are able to assist one another through discussion, file sharing and participation in groups, they’ll see boosts in efficiency and effective selling. 

Boost Partner Retention & Affinity

Manufacturers benefit greatly when they have long-term partner stickiness. The dealers who work with you the longest are frequently those with the knowledge and experience to shorten deal cycles and register more deals. An innovative partner community ensures that you’re able to meet escalating expectations, keeping your key channel performers invested for the long term.

The personalization and relevance that PartnerFirst for Manufacturing unlocks gives your partners a top-notch UX that keeps them coming back. Manufacturers are able to easily interact and work with their entire dealer network, boosting loyalty and retention among partners. They will have constant access to the tools that help them meet and exceed performance goals, further incentivizing them to stay engaged in the community. All of the Bolt’s features–streamlined onboarding, simple access to personalized resources, learning opportunities, and much more–give manufacturers an industry-leading experience that strengthens partner affinity and loyalty and fosters long-term relationships that are based on mutual success.

Manufacturers are reliant on their partners to grow profitably, but these channels have higher expectations and more options than ever before. It’s important for manufacturing companies to rise to the occasion and deliver partner-centered experiences that facilitate good relationships with their dealers and distributors. PartnerFirst for Manufacturing provides a tailored digital experience for manufacturing partners by extending the power of Community Cloud via custom, manufacturing-specific apps to enhance UX, improve efficiency and drive results.

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