Are you ready to automate your partner program?

The automation of your partner processes can drive productivity and program success, but if done prematurely it can bring frustration and inefficiency. Through the years we have worked through hundreds of implementations and have identified 3 readiness indicators that drive partner program automation success.

The right resources

Great projects start with having the right people involved. When considering partner automation make sure you have the right players on your bench. It is likely that you will need (at a minimum) a program/process owner, content owner, communications owner, partner owners, and integration owner (if integrating with other systems). Making sure these people are identified upfront will help you get to your desired outcome. Having the right people in place upfront will allow you to assign owners and identify gaps early allowing your automation implementation to stay on track. You probably are not ready for automation if you do not have the people needed to own the automation inputs.

Well-defined programs

Before you automate you must have a reason for partners to do business with you. Spend time defining your partner program and the other programmatic elements of your partner offer. These programs could include deal registration, training, opportunity support, or MDF. Getting it right is key and less is more when you are getting started. Make sure your programs are fully baked and have a balanced benefit to your partners as well as to you as the vendor. Knowing your offering inside and out will allow you to leverage channel automation to the fullest. If you do not have your partner programs built out it is likely that you are not ready to automate.

Established processes

Automation drives process, without process it is almost impossible to automate your partner program. When considering automating your partner program make sure that you have at least these 4 processes built out: partner registration, partner approval (promotion/demotion), content & communication, and lead and opportunity management. It is crucial to understand how each of these processes will work within your organization before looking at automation solutions. This will provide you the detail needed to make sure that the tools align with the way you do business. If you do not have these processes in place today you probably are not quite ready to automate. Take a step back and define the process before trying to automate.

When armed with the right people, programs, and processes you will be on the path to partner program automation success. Taking these preparations into consideration up front will save frustration during implementation.