Key Considerations Before Implementing a Partner Portal on Experience Cloud
Creating a successful partner portal on the Salesforce Experience Cloud requires careful planning and a clear understanding of goals. The first step in this process involves brainstorming and coming up with creative ideas, which is essential to kickstart the website development journey. To make this process easier, we’ve put together a set of important questions that you should think about before you start implementing your portal.
This guide is designed specifically for companies that want to build a Salesforce partner community but may be unsure of where to begin. It covers essential aspects of setting up and customizing a PRM portal, ensuring that it meets the unique partner needs. We hope this piece will help you understand your and your partners’ requirements, needs and goals.
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Understanding Salesforce Experience Cloud and its PRM portals
What is Salesforce Experience Cloud? Salesforce Experience Cloud, previously named Community Cloud, is a robust DXP platform for building and managing online communities and websites integrated with Salesforce. This includes partner portals, also referred to as Partner Relationship Management (PRM) portals, which are tailored to enhance collaboration and interaction between a business and its partners.
Salesforce Experience Cloud partner portals serve as a centralized hub where businesses can interact with their partners, which may include distributors, resellers, suppliers, or other external stakeholders. These portals are a fundamental component of an effective partner relationship strategy, providing several key features and benefits.
Key Salesforce partner portal features and capabilities:
- Experience Cloud allows businesses to create customized partner portals that align with their branding and offer a tailored experience by providing personalized content.
- PRM portals come with robust access control mechanisms, allowing organizations to define user roles, permissions, and access levels, ensuring partners access only relevant information.
- Salesforce partner portals help in encouraging teamwork and collaboration by offering features like real-time messaging, document sharing, and collaboration spaces for joint projects and discussions.
- Partner sites can be seamlessly integrated with other Salesforce solutions like Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Service Cloud, enabling the flow of data and information between systems.
- Salesforce communities for partners offer reporting and analytics tools, helping organizations gain insights into partner engagement and performance. Partners can access personalized dashboards that display only relevant information and resources.
- PRM portals often include training materials, documentation, and support channels to assist partners in their inquiries.
Crucial considerations for successful PRM portal implementation in Salesforce
Before diving into the implementation of a Salesforce partner management portal, there are important questions that need answers to ensure a smooth and effective process. These key considerations help guide the path to a successful PRM portal launch.
The following list of questions/considerations is based on our own extensive experience in building partner portals in Salesforce.
Think about your sales/deal management process involving partners.
Consider how you engage with your partners at various stages of the sales cycle, from lead generation to deal closure and post-sale support. This will help you customize your partner portal to align with your partner-driven sales strategy.
When it comes to leads and opportunities, clarify your approach. Do you exclusively use opportunities, or do leads also have a role? Consider your use of different record types for leads and opportunities. Regarding partner engagement, can partners create both leads and opportunities, or is there a specific focus? Finally, do leads get distributed to partners, or do partners solely contribute leads to the system? These insights will help you tailor your partner solution to your sales strategy.
Customization and branding.
Salesforce provides easily customizable site templates for crafting a partner portal within Experience Cloud. However, if you have particular design preferences and require a custom design, please ensure that you share your brand guidelines with the development team. This will guarantee that the new design aligns seamlessly with your brand identity and vision.
Salesforce partner portal security measures.
Specify your community’s access preferences, whether it’s entirely behind a login or a combination of public and login-only pages. Providing comprehensive details will help the development team to tailor the security measures to your specific needs.
When it comes to data security and privacy for your partners, it’s crucial to address factors like user authentication and role-based access control. Consider whether partners should have the same level of access to all pages and data, or if different partner types should have access to specific data or areas within the PRM.
Do you want to implement a partner registration and onboarding process on your PRM site? If this is the case, think about specific details of the onboarding process to ensure the result aligns with your requirements.
Partner activation process.
Do you have any existing partners who need to be activated on PRM? There are a couple of activation options: it can be done manually through Salesforce, where users are marked as partner users, or a mass activation with email notifications can be performed.
Marketing Development Funds (MDF).
Are you looking to utilize Marketing Development Funds functionality on your partner site? If yes, are you happy with Salesforce’s out-of-the-box offerings, or do you need a custom implementation?
- In terms of security aspects and data access, it’s important to think about the hierarchies in your organization. There are two key aspects to keep in mind:
- Do you have a partner account hierarchy?
- Do you need a role hierarchy for partner users? Will there be partner managers who can access their agents’ leads and opportunities?
Are you thinking about teaming up with your partners for co-branding?
Would you be interested in helping your partners create their marketing materials in line with your branding, using prebuilt marketing templates? Out-of-the-box, Salesforce Experience Cloud doesn’t offer co-branding functionality. However, you can explore implementing native Salesforce partner portal solutions for Experience Cloud. When it comes to co-branding within your partnerships, AC Partner Co-Branding is the ideal choice.
Do you want a partner directory on your site?
This allows partners to list their services publicly to promote themselves and generate more leads. It can be achieved through implementation of the Salesforce partner portal solution AC Partner Marketplace application for Experience Cloud.
AC Partner Marketplacesee product details
Are you currently using a Learning Management System (LMS)?
If you are, would you like this LMS to be integrated with the portal, or do you prefer to continue using an external platform for partner learning and onboarding? If you prefer integration, consider options like single sign-on (SSO) integration or a more comprehensive solution.
Do you need Case management functionality on your partner portal, specifically designed for your partners?
Implementing Case management on your Salesforce PRM site will help you enhance partner support and improve the resolution of partner-related issues and inquiries, aiding in streamlining partner communication in the Salesforce portal and maintaining strong partner relationships.
Salesforce partner portal analytics: reports & dashboards.
Are you interested in having reports and dashboards on your portal? You can use either standard Salesforce reports or create custom reports highlighting specific information tailored to your partner needs.
Do you need to import any data into Salesforce for a PRM project?
This consideration is relevant to vendors who previously used other systems to manage partnerships and now aim to migrate all data to Salesforce for consistency and centralization. You may want to continue using external systems but require their integration with the Experience Cloud partner portal, a task our Advanced Communities development team can handle for you. We can also provide any Salesforce Experience Cloud services you may need, including migrations, portal development, web design, and implementation of Experience Cloud accelerators.
Explore our latest case study to see how we enabled vendors’ partners to log in to the external partner management platform directly from the Experience Cloud partner portal homepage.
Do you want to give your partners access to marketing materials, files, or documents through Resources?
You can make this process simple and efficient by using Salesforce Libraries. This way, your partners can easily find and download the latest information directly from your partner portal.
Addressing partner requirements, customization, data security, and collaboration features is imperative. A well-planned and comprehensive approach ensures that your Salesforce partner community serves as a user-friendly platform, fostering meaningful partnerships.
Never go it alone with your Salesforce partner portal integration. Hiring a professional site development team is crucial for success. Advanced Communities is your best partner when it comes to the Experience Cloud development and implementation. As an official SI and ISV Salesforce partner with over 15 years of industry experience, we are well-versed in every aspect of creating Salesforce portals and integrating custom solutions, such as partner or member management software, to tailor projects to the specific needs of both you and your partners.
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