The Top 3 Risks to a Successful Partner Onboarding Process

Topics: SpringCM Partners

Channel Operations Managers understand the value of working with channel partners to drive the success of your company’s product or service. But how can they communicate appreciation to a new channel partner? 

6580587331_8fb42fb571_zOnboarding is the most important step in a channel partner relationship. This initial phase is all about first impressions—and first impressions are everything. A poor onboarding experience can quickly devalue your partner relationship before it even begins.

A strategic partner onboarding process must be put in place before you begin building relationships, especially when you’re managing multiple partner accounts. There’s a lot that can go wrong when you’re onboarding process is not efficient.

Poor onboarding can cause communication issues, lower credibility, and important documents may get lost along the way. Here’s a breakdown:

The value of the potential partnership isn’t communicated

Onboarding is when you convince your potential channel partner that you mean business, and the value of working together is high. Of course you know that, but do they? During this process, a crystal clear high-value, overall value proposition statement is important.

A value proposition statement can be shared with the potential channel partner and should include:

  • Customer benefits, defined
  • Benefits compared to the overall value
  • Identification of the focused target market(s)

It can lower credibility—fast!

After the onboarding phase is the ongoing monitoring phase that must include full visibility of important legal documents and transparency in the partnership. The initial onboarding experience foreshadows what to expect in the monitoring phase. If there’s a lack of organization, visibility, and communication, a potential channel partner may hesitate to move forward in the partnership.

Important legal documents get lost in the process

The onboarding process includes an overwhelming distribution of important information and legal documents. A poor partner onboarding may result in the loss or disorganization of these documents. As a result, communicating with the channel partner becomes more of a headache.

Questions like, “Who has the contract?” only slows down the process. Not only are you unable to share important documents like proposals and contracts in a timely manner, but the potential channel partner becomes frustrated as a result.

There’s two elements to consider during the onboarding stage and both include a strategic process:

  • The business element: the process of quickly sharing important documents on a timely manner.
  • The relationship element: the process of ongoing communication between you and the channel partner.

A Channel Ops Manager needs to build strong relationships with multiple channel partners. A powerful platform with workflow and document management can help you stay organized, so you can focus on expanding the value of partner relationships.

Image: Ron McBride via Flickr

3 signs your partner onboarding process is broken

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