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5 Reasons Why Partner Communities Are Critical to Your Success

Partner Communities

In today’s world, people expect to have data, information and tools at their fingertips. If you’re in the manufacturing or automotive industry, your channel partners (a.k.a. dealers or distributors) are no different. They want immediate access to data, such as leads, conversions and KPIs. They want to be able to find blog posts, product information and knowledge articles at the click of a button or with an easy search. They also want easy ways to communicate with you and collaborate with other partners regarding tips, issues and ideas.

Partner communities with Salesforce Community Cloud allow you to provide a level of service to fulfill – and exceed – those expectations. Let’s walk through 5 reasons why.

1: Communities drive partner loyalty.

A community shows your partners that you are invested in them, which will encourage them to be invested in you. By giving them access to key information, data, and tools, you make it easier to do business. Plus, you allow your partners to take more ownership of their information and resources. 

With mobile-responsive communities, information is digitized and easily accessible on the go via any device, empowering your dealers to spend more time selling. At the end of the day, money is a key driver for every business. So the more sales transactions a dealership or partner can make without having to deal with lengthy processes and paperwork, the more they’ll want to work on your behalf.

2: Communities allow partners to make data-driven decisions that impact your bottom line.

Imagine you were trying to run a business and had little or no access to data, like leads, conversions or wins/losses. Pretty difficult to figure out where you need to make changes to increase sales and revenues, right? Communities give your partners real-time data in dashboards and reports. This allows them to make key decisions on how to increase their bottom line, which directly increases yours.

3: Communities allow for collaboration that can lead to innovation and process improvements.

Social platforms like Facebook and Twitter are at the core of our society today, and they help drive innovation for many companies through nonstop communication. Think of the impact a Facebook review or post (good or bad) can have. Chatter in Communities can serve a similar function for your business. Providing a platform for your partners to share ideas, provide feedback, and ask questions can lead to product and process innovation, since you gain direct insight into what your partners are saying. 

4: Communities can increase marketing ROI.

In a CMO survey, Deloitte found that manufacturing companies spent an average of 8% of their overall budget on marketing, with a good portion of that in the form of overhead and direct marketing. By utilizing a community to share vital marketing information with your partners, you’re able to go to market faster. Co-op efforts can be made available in an easy-to-access portal, saving you valuable time and resources. This allows you to gain efficiencies by putting branded promotions, sales programs and marketing materials in front of your partners faster – and in a way they can easily access for their own marketing efforts or for closing sales. Plus, you are able to focus your marketing budget in other impactful areas and increase ROI.

5: Communities drive sales.

According to Forrester, Companies that have implemented a managed lead-to-revenue (L2R) process are demonstrating results with about 30% better performance in marketing contribution to pipeline and revenue and 50% higher revenue growth.” 

Leads are needed to drive conversions, which drive the bottom line. Partner communities allow you to route your leads directly to your partners, so they can take action quickly. After all, by the time most B2B customers come in as leads, they have already been on your website and have done their research on your competitors’ websites, too. The time to respond to those leads becomes critical. And by utilizing the community as a key part of your lead-to-revenue process, your chances of converting those leads to sales increases exponentially.

Are you ready to take advantage of these benefits plus many more? Reach out to our experts to learn more about how a partner community can drive your success.

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