The solution to customer management that can be shared with partners
Last updated November 27, 2023
Effective communication with partners is vital for businesses working in tandem. While partnerships can provide great pay-offs, miscommunication or mismanagement between teams can hold both teams back.
To improve collaboration, companies use partner portal software to ensure alignment. Just as customer relationship management (CRM) solutions improve client-based processes, partner portal software aims to accomplish the same with business partners.
Whether you’re newer to partner portals or researching software options, you can jump to the section that’s most relevant to you below:
What is partner portal software?
Partner portals are management solutions that allow businesses to streamline collaboration with their partners in a centralised platform. Portals create partner ecosystems – online communities where you can share business insights and retool core operations. By sharing information through the portal, business partners can align their services and branding.
Partner portals help business partners work together more efficiently. Companies can use a partner portal to:
Share information not intended for customers or the public
Host training resources relevant to specific tasks
Relay sales and marketing results
Link to other tools
Create an internal help desk
Register new partners
Store technical support documents
Who uses partner management software?
Partner relationship management (PRM) platforms are critical tools for companies working together. Businesses can use partner management software to create a unified view for their partners. Alternatively, they can create a shared space for closely related teams.
PRMs enable you to build a partner-facing internal knowledge base, improve workflows and automate tasks. More specifically, PRM software helps businesses that need to:
Organise partner accounts and contacts
Streamline deal registration, lead distribution and training
Automate time-consuming tasks
Address operational inefficiencies or process gaps
Improve their collaborative processes
Share information securely
While small businesses may not immediately need partnership management tools, they can still benefit from them as they scale because PRM systems help evolve and streamline processes.
A comparison chart of top partner portal software
Navigating different PRM platforms and finding the best one for you should take time and due diligence. To help kickstart your process, we’ve rounded up some of the top partner portal platforms below:
Starting price (per user per month)
10 PRM tools to consider
Zendesk offers full partner portal functionality to help centre users. It’s a one-of-a-kind solution to relationship management with your partners. Thanks to extensive features like data-sharing and a self-service platform, your partners can sit in the driver's seat.
Zendesk client portal software provides a dedicated hub for partners to manage support requests and access a shared knowledge base. View permissions let admins create custom user segments in Guide, while agents can flag an article that needs review or updating within the Agent Workspace.
With Content Cues and scheduled publishing, Zendesk knowledge admins can identify gaps in the knowledge base and keep their finger on the pulse of article popularity. Agents can also create the single source of knowledge your partners rely on. Finally, thanks to its mobile support and affordable service, Zendesk offers the most competitive partner portal on the market.
Suite Team: $55 per agent/month
Suite Growth: $89 per agent/month
Suite Professional:$115 per agent/month
Suite Enterprise: $169 per agent/month
Customised: Varies based on features; learn more.
Plans billed annually.
Free trial: 14 days
Multibrand theme customisation
Team and scheduled publishing
Flag and create knowledge
Article view permissions
Mobile device support
PartnerStack focuses on partner channels for B2B SaaS companies. Instead of honing in on direct sales, PartnerStack diversifies a business’ channels for faster growth. By leaning into a multichannel approach, users generate more qualified leads and explore new avenues of support.
PartnerStack accommodates a wide range of business partnerships. Whether you need a reseller, agency, affiliate or influencer, the platform can accommodate you. It also offers an easy-to-read interface that any business can understand.
Pricing varies based on features and goals; available upon request
Free trial: None
Affiliate payout system
Affiliate and customer tracker
Bulk email tools
Reporting and analytics
Promotional offer management
Since its inception in 2008, impact.com has combined media and relationship management in one platform. The software sets its sights on advertisers who want to expand their affiliate marketing approach. Impact.com leverages proactive messaging and automated workflows to improve productivity at any scale. Its performance metrics and reports track customers from your partner’s online portal.
The platform goes a step further by recommending tools based on partners’ goals and pain points. Thanks to its focus on advertisers, impact.com offers solutions tailored to keep partners productive, informed and on-brand.
Free trial: None
Partner onboarding and migration support
Automatic payment processing
Learning management system
Fraud monitoring tools
Impartner helps businesses track and manage their relationships with other companies. With its focus on organisation, the platform tracks and measures partnership KPIs. Streamlined reporting ensures every relationship stays on track for a high ROI. This optimisation drives revenue for distributors, resellers and partners at every step.
Impartner comes packed with standard partner programme management features. Users can manage communications, projects and agreements from their dashboard. Finally, portal partners can apply their tools from a single view to track every channel detail and promote growth.
Varies based on features; learn more
Free trial: None
Shared calendars and workflows
Lead and content management
Better performance metrics
Email outreach tools
Partnerhub helps digital agencies and SaaS companies manage their relationships. The partner software offers solutions to find, vet and form as many partnerships as possible. Unlike other platforms, Partnerhub works like a dating app for partners. In place of standard PRM features, users log on to bridge SaaS companies and digital agencies.
Instead of focusing on reports and specific channels, Partnerhub strives to improve operations overall. You can integrate it with popular CRMs and automated marketing solutions. Together, they enhance features for managing partners. Users also gain access to features like document sharing, automated messaging and referral tracking.
Free for digital agencies and tech companies
Free trial: None
Partner referral tracking
Cooperative campaign management
Shared growth projects
Access to a marketplace of vetted partners
Kademi is a PRM product designed for B2B companies. The all-in-one tool combines out-of-the-box partner management tools with code-free customisation. Users can drag and drop features with its partner portal editor. Kademi’s flexibility helps each partnership form unique solutions.
The platform can accommodate distributors, resellers, referrals and affiliates. Kademi also goes beyond standard PRM features. It offers sales partnership software, learning management solutions and payment handling to each portal partner. This range of features provides comprehension with less specialisation.
1,000 active partners: $500/month
3,000 active partners: $1,250/month
Free trial: None
Partner enablement and onboarding tools
Segmented partner data
Automated engagement tools
Channel partner training
PartnerPortal.io is a web-based platform that helps agencies and software companies manage their partnerships. With its emphasis on business portals, users can onboard, register, collaborate and message their partners. Advanced features handle financial tasks, such as distributing commissions.
PartnerPortal.io lets users rely on the features they need and ignore the rest. Whether you require partner programme management or a portal, the platform will meet you halfway. Thanks to the intuitive interface, training partners to use the software takes little time.
Free trial: None
Automated payments and lead tracking
Partner success metrics
Ecosystem and partner revenue data
Simplified commission payouts
Among the many partnership software options, TUNE stands out for its simplicity. The software works to streamline recruitment and onboarding for your most valuable partners. It helps businesses leverage low-risk, high-reward channels. The volumetric approach doesn’t suit all companies, but those tailored to this service swear by it.
Content publishers, affiliates, influencers, agencies, mobile app makers, performance networks and tech providers can all use TUNE. The platform’s Connect features help businesses discover and meet diverse partners. From there, you can curate high-quality media to grow your business.
Contract: varies based on features
Free trial: 14 days
Partner programme customisation
Ecosystem management features
Partner discovery tools
Mobile device support
Partner Fleet offers a turnkey marketplace platform that simplifies going to market with partners. Using the platform, businesses can drive the adoption of integrations and various partner services. As a result, companies can launch white-labeled partner marketplaces without dev support in a few weeks.
Partner Fleet also offers standard PRM tools. Users can boost sales among partners' management teams, align departments and grow. Businesses see the most ROI by creating interconnected websites, partner portals and marketplaces. Best of all, the platform lays out this data in its partners’ online portals.
Varies based on features
Free trial: 14 days
Built-in partner directory
No-code partner marketplaces
Collaborative campaign management
Partner onboarding and enablement features
Website and app marketplaces
ZINFI helps businesses establish core PRM processes across their sales channels. Across verticals, the software helps companies recruit, onboard and provide market and sales enablement to partners. ZINFI assists various channel partners, including agents, dealers, franchisees and resellers.
ZINFI’s unified channel management approach leverages various SaaS applications. Its partner portal works as a line of communication between vendors and a diverse partner base. All of this comes packaged with the core PRM tools businesses expect.
Starts at $375/month
Free trial: 14 days
Partner contact and lead tracking
Channel data management
Price and quote configuration
Benefits of partner portal software
Partner portals go beyond exchanging data. The main benefits of partner portal software include reducing partner churn, streamlining communication, improving partner satisfaction and agent efficiency and evolving your business based on analytics.
1. Reduce partner churn by making partner onboarding easier
Similar to staff churn, partner turnover can be mapped, in part, to poor training and a lack of resources, especially with a complex model. While there are many ways to combat partner churn, effective onboarding is one of the best. With partner portal software, you can reduce partner attrition with education and enablement resources like:
2. Streamline collaboration between teams
When two businesses partner, aligning the individual teams is key. Balancing legal, sales, customer support and IT staff procedures requires choosing the right technology partner to help streamline collaboration.
PRM software eliminates data silos between teams by providing direct avenues of communication and unifying data in one place. These features let partners collaborate on requests, share tickets and refine data across departments.
3. Improve partner satisfaction by providing a centralised place for partners to get help
The best partner portal software helps your business partners find needed resources. Rather than exchanging emails or mailing documents, partners can log in for quick access to help. A partner portal works as a one-stop shop for:
Finding help centre articles
Using 24/7 help centres
Submitting various requests in one place
Checking on the status of their requests
4. Improve efficiency by reducing agents' workloads
PRM software often comes packaged with macros that automate internal escalations, reassignments and recurring tasks. These automations help your agents focus on more pressing tasks. Additionally, self-service features allow partners to answer questions and resolve issues without consulting an agent.
When Agoda partnered with Zendesk, it saw partner satisfaction and employee experience ratings soar. Thanks to our help desk, Agoda also experienced improved query routing and gained deeper business insights. Additionally, its self-service station saw 100,000 views in October 2021 alone.
5. Evolve with the right data
You can’t overstate the importance of finding a great partner – leverage portal data to grow together. You can do this by:
Collecting data from your PRM’s internal analytics and reporting tools
Sharing the findings within your partner portal software
Implementing changes based on your initial findings
Reviewing how your productivity changes after reforming your process
Features of partner relationship management software
While partner portals are invaluable, they aren't the only PRM tools available. You can see the best relationships with partners by leveraging additional tools with your portals. Other features to keep in mind include the following:
Custom themes to match your brand(s)
While brands work as a customer-facing identity, they aren't always a reflection of an entire company. Some businesses control multiple brands and need different themes for each help centre. Depending on your software and pricing plan, PRMs let you set up distinct pages for every brand.
Platforms like Zendesk go a step further by supporting logos and custom themes. This customisation ensures that you can create help centres that match your brands.
Single sign-on options and article view permissions
If your business has an expansive help centre, you need a way to route partners to relevant pages. At the same time, you don't want to compromise your security. Configuring single sign-on creates a seamless experience between your website and the help centre. It also authenticates users and verifies partners' permissions before giving them access to internal documents.
You can leverage article view permissions to route partners to relevant documents, too. Rather than open the floodgates to all content, view permissions restrict what your partners can see. Zendesk organises view permissions into four categories:
Visible to everyone: includes anyone who visits your help centre and does not require sign-in
Signed-in users: includes internal and external users who create an account and sign in to your help centre
Agents and admins: includes staff members only, so you can create content that is internal-facing
Custom user segmentation: restricts viewing access to specific users based on tags, organisations or groups by applying custom user segments
Self-service and AI
Instead of relying on your support agents, you can resolve partner issues with automation and self-service features. Not only will this keep your ticket volume low, but you can also reuse these features for every partner you take on. When partners submit a request for support on a platform like Zendesk, AI can suggest:
Relevant help centre articles
Useful partner community forums
Chatbot-generated responses for FAQs
Unified workspace for your partner support team
Your partner support team needs a centralised workspace to manage your relationships. More often than not, your agents must deliver support across multiple channels like email, text and phone calls – a unified workspace helps them do so. By placing all your channel information in one place, your team can quickly track, manage and respond to partner requests.
Analytics on partner performance
Most businesses have access to data reports and analytics from third-party tools. While CRMs provide client data, PRMs offer the same kind of partner data. PRMs deliver direct reports and analytics on the ROI of each partnership. You can diagnose operational issues and leverage your reports for data-based solutions.
PRMs collect data on:
Active pipeline value
Activity across channels
Opportunities per partner
Deal registrations and closures
How to choose a partner portal for your business
Although every business faces unique partnership needs, finding a reliable portal is possible. By following these steps, you can take your partner relationship management to the next level:
Evaluate your needs: Businesses need a portal suited to their scale and operations. To find the right portal for you, consider if your focus leans toward sales, support or marketing. From there, note your pain points and the biggest issues your partners have mentioned.
Identify the most useful features: After taking stock of your business, review the features partner portals offer. Do you need a place to connect and share information? Alternatively, do you need a larger array of PRM tools?
Consider integrations: As your partner network and business expand, you may need to add new tools, features and integrations to set you up for success early on. Even if your portal doesn’t provide every tool you need, platforms like Zendesk offer integrations that help your portal grow with you.
Design your ideal onboarding and training process: Sometimes, it pays to work backwards. After narrowing your list of options, consider how you’d onboard partners with each solution. If a portal fits your optimised process, it may be worth trying.
Implement a portal and measure its ROI: After using your portal for a few months, compare your ROI before and after implementing the software. If your partner network hasn’t improved, you may need to try new features or invest in a different platform.
A portal should offer a fast time to value, too. When Keen partnered with Zendesk, the advantages of the software were apparent right away. Shortly after implementing Zendesk, Keen reduced its first reply time by 39%. Upgrading to Zendesk also helped Keen evolve alongside partners who actively upgraded their own technology. Whether Keen’s call volumes spiked to 1,400 or 4,000 a month, Zendesk helped the company keep pace.
Frequently asked questions about partner relationship management software
Partner portal and PRM software offer both new and familiar features to established businesses. To help you better understand these tools, we’ll answer FAQs about partner portal software and PRMs.
Try partner portal software for your business
Growing businesses need successful partnerships to provide the best service. Whether you want to share information or improve collaboration, partner portals promote a robust partner ecosystem. Turning your business into an enterprise may take time, but a healthy partner programme will get you there faster.
Like our client portal software, our partner portals offer all the tools growing companies need. Learn more about how you can create a portal for partner requests or issues that can be shared across multiple organisations.
Tap into more knowledge
There’s plenty of information about partner portal software. Read these resources to learn more.