Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About B2B Partner Onboarding
Once you have formulated your strategy for adding new channel partners, you are ready to implement connections with your partners. Onboarding is central to your partners’ success in facilitating your business-to-business (B2B) services, so it must be the prime focus of your channel development program and not an afterthought.
When you start working with your existing partner onboarding structure, the old adage “don’t reinvent the wheel” fits the bill. If you use a modern self-service-powered onboarding approach, then you’re good to go. We spoke with several channel leaders who shared similar views on the impact of the self-service-powered B2B partner onboarding approach on business. But, let us start at square one.
What is B2B Partner Onboarding?
B2B partner onboarding is a process to initiate and integrate new partners into your company’s partner program. It sets the tone of your relationship with your partners. Facing multiple hiccups in the process can sabotage your future with new partners, and many of them can even switch to your competitor.
It might begin with a simple workflow that notifies the channel manager of a new application. Then, it can spider out into sending contracts, offering crucial resources, and giving personalized training. Now, because it is the initial stage where new partners connect with you, it is considered important. Any problem or issue can ruin your aim of establishing a long-term relationship with your partner.
When done poorly, B2B partner onboarding can have significant negative consequences, including:
- Wasted effort and time
- Poor partner relationship
- Lost sales opportunities
- Reduced revenue
- Sabotaged market reputation
On the other hand, when done well, it can help you savor many benefits, including:
- Delighted partners who act as torchbearers for your brand
- Faster time-to-value and improved revenue
- Increase partner loyalty and diminished customer churn
What Are the Challenges of B2B Partner Onboarding?
A lot of challenges distort the process of building an onboarding connection with a partner. Here are some:
- Delays and Inaccuracies
When traditional data integration methods are used, IT integrators take a lot of time to implement onboarding connections with partners. They have to write long hours of code and create extensive data mappings. That takes weeks or months of calendar time. Meanwhile, customers are forced to wait to connect with business users and receive the value promised to them.
Along with delays, companies that rely on traditional solutions to onboard B2B partners are bound to face inaccurate results. That’s because these solutions require IT teams to create long custom codes and EDI mappings manually, which are prone to errors or inaccuracies. Consequently, the process of insights delivery crumbles, and companies are more likely to make a wrong decision based on those inaccurate insights. Ultimately, they fail to drive value and grow revenue.
2. Overburdened IT
When IT integrators have to onboard partners and then integrate them, they fail to focus on other priority tasks.
For the most part, IT gets busy writing codes and performing data mappings to connect with partners. The problem worsens when only limited IT resources are available. That’s because the already scarce resources will feel the burden to perform onboarding and integration all by themselves. Also, they are not able to focus on driving other strategic tasks. Thus, the company isn’t able to innovate and grow faster.
3. Increased Data Complexity
Owing to disruption, the volume of partner data has increased by leaps and bounds. Further, the types and formats of data have also increased. Onboarding such complex, bi-directional data is a challenge. And the problem worsens when traditional methods are used to onboard partners.
How Adopting a Self-Service Approach Can Help Companies Navigate Challenges and Drive Value
Self-service integration enables even non-technical business users to implement onboarding connections up to 80 percent faster. This means companies can onboard new partners in minutes instead of months. Users need to point and click through easy screens to onboard partners. This process is fast, simple, and accurate. At the same time, IT is free to focus on other important tasks. They no longer have to struggle to write codes or create mappings.
Because users can connect with partners sooner, they can address their needs and deliver value accordingly. In other words, companies can overcome the challenges posed by traditional onboarding methods and deliver value to partners sooner.
In short, your business will reach new heights with self-service partner onboarding. Ultimately, you will be able to connect, transact, and do business with your partners quickly, easily, and smartly.