This page includes instructions about the portal site, channel marketing, the orientation process, most of the needed templates, videos, etc.
(This section and the menu to access it is only seen if you login as the ADMIN – the normal Subscriber will never see the ADMIN menu and cannot access this page)
This section contains basic instructions for channel sales and marketing managers. Including a few processes and helpful documents.
- Channel Orientation. You will need to understand about channels so you don’t “mess up” this channel program portal. If you are new to channels, you will want to go through the Channel Orientation For a New Channel Person document. You may also wish to go through the complete channel orientation course within the Chanimal Learning Center (FREE). This is a good course for even seasoned channel managers to help level set and ensure you are up to speed on industry best practices.
- Orientation for a New Channel Person (doc). Basic channel overview to get up to speed on a reseller channel.
- Roles of the Channel Team (doc). Explains the roles of channel marketing vs channel sales.
- How to Create a SaaS Reseller Program (YouTube). One hour video that explains the fundamentals of creating a SaaS reseller channel.
See additional files for the Administrator only on the very bottom of this page.
Overview Steps to Setup, Onboard and Enable Partners
- The reseller applies (the primary trigger).
- Review their website, confirm they are legit
- Add them to the portal (see how to add a new reseller to the portal below)
- Provide them access to your NFR (access is unique per company)
- Send the reseller approval email (contains margins, login password, etc.)
- Call the new applicant IMMEDIATELY. BTW, it takes an avg of seven calls to catch a reseller at their desk, so to save a LOT of time, call quickly since they are probably still at their desk if they just applied. Confirm they received the acceptance email, welcome them onboard and commit them to a time for orientation (usually between 1-3 days after your call).
- Add them to your Partner Follow-up Worksheet so you can start to track their onboarding process.
The Initial Setup usually takes just a few minutes
- Review the portal (there is a portal demo script–takes them through the MAIN and critical policies in 7 minutes (I’ve seen some that lasted an hour (KILLED the reseller). We do not cover everything–just the policies, plus have them download the PowerPoint, Matrix and price list)
- Product demo (17 minutes – model how they should present)
- Explain the 90-day jumpstart bonus (if you use this–highly recommend)
- Confirm they know how to order the product
- Set up the next meeting (it typically takes 20 minutes). This is the meeting you will help them get the product on their website and introduce the new product introduction email
- Follow the formal AGENDA (see sample attached below)
- Find out what works for them (see agenda sample)
- Create the items to complete (get the product on the website first)
- Set up your meeting to confirm product on website and to help refine it
- Add them to the reseller locator AFTER the product is setup
- Follow up on the day the email campaign is to start
- Make sure it is personalized, help them send out (review the templates)
Again, see the follow-up worksheet below to ensure the process is complete. Following these block and tackle steps makes a dramatic difference. One multi-billion dollar company with thousands of partners skipped most of these steps. When they went back to complete the steps they had a $257 million delta increase over the prior quarter!
Orientation Meeting Agenda
- In the orientation meeting you take the reseller through the portal (explain the policies, the 90 day jump-start bonus, how to order), then give a product demo and answer any questions. You will typically use the Sample Reseller Follow-Up Worksheet to keep track of this.
How to Add a Page in WordPress
Adding a page to the portal is different than just adding a regular WordPress page since you also have to set permissions, use the correct page template to match the look of rest of the pages, and make sure your new page shows up on the “inside menu,” etc. These unique steps are shown below.
- Go to Pages
- Add New
- Give it a name
- Parent: Select which page would be your parent page
- Template: Select Leave it at default for this theme.
- Require Membership: Select which group can see this page. Do not check any items if you want everyone to see the page, or select one or more of the user types (Authorized, Gold, Admin, etc.) to limit who can see the page content. Usually, you would select them all (including admin) inside the portal, or select NONE if it is an external page.
- Menu Swapper: If your new page is inside the “portal” section, then don’t do anything in this section (it uses Internal Portal Menu as a default). However, if you create a page and want it to display outside of the portal, select “Internal Portal Menu” and replace with with “Intro Menu” – this will show up on the external pages and can be seen by the general public.
- Add content to your new page. Press UPDATE before you leave the page.
- Show the page on the menus. The SIDE and the top menus items are created manually (since the external page and the internal portal have different menus). To add your new page to the top menu: Go to Appearance / Menus in WordPress (located on the black left menu in WordPress).
- Select a menu to edit: Internal Portal Menu (the menu used INSIDE the portal).
- Under Pages (on the left), select your newly created page
- Your new page will be listed on the bottom of the Menu Structure. Drag it above to where you would like it to go.
- Select Save Menu. Your top menu will show up.
- Select the Side Menu that corresponds to the top menu (i.e., if your new page is supported, then you’ll use the Side Menu – Support menu). Add your new page to this menu and save menu.
- Your new page is setup. Now view that page to ensure it is set up correctly.
How to HIDE a Page in the Portal (Do NOT delete a page you may restore later)
- Go to Appearance/Menus. Select the correct menu (there is a top and side menu for most pages). Find the page on the menu and select the button, “Enable Visibility Rules” and then Save Menu. By default the page is set to Administrator.
- Using this approach the page content and it’s unique settings are not lost. Plus, we can still see the page as the administrator—so it reminds us to add the content as it is done (since we need to have testimonials (as part of the beta), need to have graphics (already have them now—just need to add), need to have a basic video (even your recorded partner video can be easily edited and added to the portal).
- When we use Visibility Rules, the customer never sees it and we can click a single button later and the entire menu structure, the page and the content shows up and is public. And it does not break the menus or remove content we expect to setup later. 😊 Here is an example with the Visibility Rules turned on—note it defaults to admin (only WE can see it).
Adding FILES within the Portal
- ALL files (graphics, PDFs, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) should be added to the media library. Make sure the actual file name has a proper description so they can find them when downloaded. It is ok to leave the “rev” on the end of the file name when uploaded, but remove it when the file name shows up in the portal.
- File naming convention. When adding files, use this naming convention: File Name (format). A brief but detailed description of the document and how it can be used. Resellers go into dozens of portals and a major pet peeve is not being able to identify the correct file to download quickly.
- Open in Own Window. Make sure that you edit each link and select the checkbox, “Open in own window.” This way all documents open a new window (especially PDF’s). Otherwise, if the partner closes the document, he exits the portal (which can be frustrating).
- Underline the file name. You may wish to highlight the file name and press CTRL U to underline it. The theme underlines it but the line disappears once the file has been clicked–so it is harder to notice the next time someone tries to download the file.
- Cinch Competitive Matrix (PDF). This matrix shows how Cinch compares to all the main competitors.
How to Setup (add) A New Reseller
Review the application and website. If they are legitimate reseller that meets your criteria, then do the following (your steps may vary slightly, depending on your internal processes):
- Sign them up for the NFR account. Add the NFR access login details (usually their email and password) to the Reseller Acceptance Email Template.
- Add them to the portal site.
- Go to USERS, ADD NEW
- Create a user name (usually the firstlast name combined)
- Create a password use “password123” (makes it easy to tell it to them again if they don’t remember (until they change it)) and confirm weak password (they can change this later).
- Unclick the send user notification
- Keep the role as “Subscriber” (This is CRITICAL–since a Subscriber gets re-directed to the inside of the portal, while an admin gets access directly to your internal portal and can make modifications)
- SAVE (update)
- Create the partner level
- Return to the USERS and it will now show new options that allow you to set up their reseller level (called Membership), enable them to comment within the forum, etc.
- Go to USERS and edit the reseller (the one you just created)
- Turn off the Toolbar (a checkbox). If you do not click this, a black menu item appears above the portal content (default by WordPress). It often causes confusion if left on.
- Add the LeadSmart links. “If” you are using LeadSmart (highly recommended (white label version of Salesforce with a better interface, marketing automation, and partner management–built-in (all for a lower price)), then you can add the links to your leads and to your deal registration in these two fields. See how to setup LeadSmart below. These are unique for each partner–and how they will get “their” leads and track their registered deals. If you don’t use LeadSmart, leave these areas blank–or you may not even see them if the plug-in has not been activated.
- Change Membership to GOLD (de-select the option to automatically send an email—you will send the approval email manually (with their NFR access, etc. manually afterward)
- Change Forums to “Participant”
- SAVE (update)
- Add them to your affiliate program (if you have one). Note their name and password.
- Modify the Reseller Approval Email Template (include their NFR name and password, their login name and password (same for portal ). Send them the Reseller Approval E-mail.
- Follow up after the email with a phone call to get them to the Orientation Meeting
How do I add the LeadSmart links for a new user?
- Login to your LeadSmart account and locate the partner Contact in LeadSmart that you are adding to the Portal. In the Contact record, you will see a section called LeadSmart Partner Links and within that section, you will see two links – one for Deal Registration and the other for the LeadSmart Portal. Simply copy each unique link and add to the custom field in that User’s profile record in the portal. Now when this user clicks on the LeadSmart Portal or Deal Registration menu items they will see their personalized Portal and Deal Reg pages. For more information and detailed instructions view the integration Tutorial Video. Check it out at https://LEADsmarttech.com/LEADsmart-saasmax-package
Instructions for “Leads” page in Portal
LeadSmart (www.leadsmarrtech.com) is an integrated CRM, Marketing Automation and Partner Collaboration suite designed specifically for businesses with channel partner programs. LeadSmart also enables you to register and disseminate leads with your partners directly through the Portal. Although not required, it is recommended that you consider LeadSmart for your business and you will be eligible for a special discount/bonuses as a SaaSMax Partner Portal user. The LeadSmart plug is automatically installed in the portal for Partner Portal. CLICK HERE for more information on the integration and the discounts/bonuses available to you as a SaaSMax client.
If you are not using LeadSmart your Partner Manager will send you leads via e-mail.
Add a Reseller to your Reseller Locator
You will typically want to add your resellers to your reseller locator AFTER they list the product on their website. 1) First, your prospects will be able to find your resellers when they are looking for local support and to answer pre-sales questions (critical if your office is closed or you are in a different region or time zone–better the prospect gets someone who can answer questions and potential close the deal than nobody (and your risk them finding another product instead)). 2) Second, it shows that you support your resellers (think of them as regional offices that also need leads). 3) And third, it is an incentive (BAIT) for resellers to get your product on their website (no product info–no leads (through locator or manually).
The Store Locator shows up in TWO places: 1) Inside the portal (Reseller Locator) so the resellers can read the policies to get listed (and then it shows what it looks like below). 2) There is also another page that is outside the password-protected portal (Find A Reseller–the “first” page that shows up inside this portal)–this can be linked from your pricing page (usually called “Find a Reseller”).
- To add a reseller, select “Store Locator” on the left side menu. Add the reseller name within the section. Note: you do NOT want to automatically link this to your User database since the reseller MUST put the product on their website BEFORE they show up in the Locator.
- Send the reseller an email that they are now in the locator.
Here is a generic YouTube tutorial
Create a Newsletter Post
You can create your newsletters within this portal site so it will automatically show up on the home page and be archived under Support. You will use the Blog Post feature of WordPress. Use the following steps:
- Add a Post. Click on POST, Add NEW and then create your newsletter subject and copy.
- Select Layout. While in the post, go down below your text area and select Construct General Page Options. Then select the far LEFT Layout (so there there are no columns).
- Disable Intro. Go further down the page and look for Intro Options. Select the bottom option to Disable Intro (or your post will have two titles).
- Do NOT Swap Menus. Unlike adding a new page, you will NOT swap out the top menu when you add a POST. The menu swapper plug-in apparently will use the menu of the most recent “post” AS the menu for the home page–not good since your public home page will then have the internal menus.
- Levels. Do not select any of the levels under Require Membership–so everyone sees the newsletter.
- Add a graphic. You can add a graphic for the post under Featured Image on the bottom right.
Update your page and proof. Your latest newsletter is now posted within the site.
Turn Off Menu Items
There may be items in the menus like white papers, videos, etc. that you don’t yet have–but you may add them in later. Rather than deleting the menus, you can just hide them from the partners. Then you are reminded to complete the content, but they won’t see them until you have content in the section. Following are the steps:
- Enter the inside of the portal. Login and click on the Partner Portal to enter.
- Go to Appearance/Menus
- Find Select a menu to edit. Then find and select Internal Menu.
- Scroll do to the menu you wish to hide and click the menu.
- Select the box “Enable visibility rules.” You first item that is pre-selected is Administration. This means ONLY the admin (you) will be able to see this menu.
- Do the same for any other menus you wish to hide.
- Save Menu when complete.
- Repeat for the side menu. The portal has a top and side menu. So return to “select a menu to edit” and chose one of the applicable side menus (i.e., Side – Marketing Tools). Find the menu and follow the same process.
Here is a video that shows how this is done.
The following are basic utility steps within WordPress.
How to Update WordPress & Plug-ins
Much like Windows, WordPress will require updates that fix bugs, security holes and adds new features. In addition, WordPress uses “Plug-ins” that are programs, similar to MS Office, Photoshop, etc. Just like Windows, the plugin programs also have updates. Prior to any major update, you will want to backup your files. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or IT department should do nightly backups, but you don’t want the hassle and delay of requesting a restore if you mess something up. See “How to Backup” below–then proceed.
To update WordPress, go to the Dashboard (top left menu). It will show you if there is an update. Sometimes WordPress updates are installed automatically (many ISPs do this)–but I don’t recommend it. I prefer to update when I am awake and available to test. If an update is available, you can click the update button and follow the instructions. Make sure no other admins (if they exist) are not inside the portal.
You can usually see when a WordPress update has or is about to occur since the plug-ins start to request an update. You can tell because the Plugins menu will have a red number next to it. You will want to update them one-by-one. If you do it too fast you get nasty looking code on your screen–just refresh your browser to clear and update one at a time. Then test a few areas affected by the plug-in and you’re updated.
How to Backup Your Portal Site
Prior to any major update. or anytime you have added or edited a lot of content and don’t want to risk losing it, you will want to back up your files. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or IT department should do nightly backups, but you don’t want the hassle and delay of requesting a restore if you mess something up. To backup within the portal click on the Settings menu (bottom 1/3rd on left side of WordPress). Select UpdraftPlus Backups. When it opens, click on Backup. It will start the backup procedure.
The system will save the two most recent backups. You can also download the files to your computer if you wish.
Admin Only Files
Following are several files that you can use to run your partner program:
- Partner Program Checklist (xlsx). Steps and time frames to set up your partner program.
- Program Level Grid(xlsx). WordPress does not use pretty grids, so a spreadsheet was used to create the levels grid. You can use this spreadsheet to modify the levels, then save as a PDF and Jpg image. Then replace the existing grid with your new version. This version also has referral/affiliate levels (remove this column if your program does not have a referral program).
- Partner Follow-Up Worksheet – SAMPLE (xls). A worksheet that is used to follow up with partners. One of the tabs includes sample data.
- Roles of the Channel Team (docx). Explains the roles of your channel team–including the Channel Marketing Manager and the Channel Sales Manager.
- Orientation for a New Channel Person (doc). A checklist showing the quickest way to understand how the channel works, how to conduct orientations, how to recruit (what works, what doesn’t) and much more.
- How to Determine SaaS Reseller Margin (doc). Explains how to determine your reseller margins.
- Reseller Approval E-mail (doc). Sample reseller approval letter.
- Download Email Response & Lead Schedule (doc). How to send referrals to partners. A detailed process (with dialogues, etc.) showing a drip campaign and how and when to send leads to a partner, what it should contain, and dialogues they can use to close the deal, get return calls, etc.
- Defining Your Partner Program – Elements of Your Program (xls). The main spreadsheet that contains every element of a partner program, along with samples above. Used to define which elements you need in your partner program and the outstanding deliverables.
- Portal Demo Script (docx). Sample demo script of the fastest way to take your partners through your portal. Takes only a few replacements and is ready to learn.
- Phone Dialogue to Recruit Resellers – Sample (docx). Dialogues that you can modify to recruit resellers.
- Sample Reseller Recruiting Email_& Follow-Up Process (docx). Use as an email template to recruit resellers.
- Software Presentations Tips & Tricks (PDF). Provides basic tips on how to give a software demo.
- Why Deal Registration (docx). Explains why you should not have territories, but should use Deal Registration.
- Reseller Template – SEO for Reseller Partners (docx). Basic instructions for a reseller to optimize a landing page for your product.
- Review of THIS portal (YouTube). Explains what to look for in a portal / PRM. Shows some of the features of this portal site. Also shown below.
- Reseller Sign Up Process (docx). Initial steps to set up and start the reseller onboarding process.
- Reseller PowerPoint Template Guidelines (docx). Tips on how to create your reseller PowerPoint template.
- Agenda for Partner Marketing Meeting – Sample Plan of Action (docx). Sample agenda used for the initial marketing meeting. It also shows a basic plan of action. This info transfers to the reseller follow-up worksheet.
- Reseller Template Product Introduction Email (docx). Sample template that a reseller would send to existing customers and prospects announcing they now carry your product.
- Creating a Competitive Matrix (docx). How to create a competitive matrix (3rd most requested item from partners).
Add the LeadSmart Lead Plug-in (delete this section if you don’t use LeadSmart)
LeadSmart is an integrated CRM, Marketing Automation and Partner Collaboration suite designed specifically for companies with channel partner programs (it is a white label OEM version of Salesforce with a more polished interface, marketing automation and partner management–at a lower price!). LeadSmart enables you to register and disseminate leads with your partners directly through this Portal. The LeadSmart plug is automatically installed in the Partner Portal (but you would have to ‘Activate” it to make it live).
There is a special discount/bonuses available as a Chanimal/SaaSMax Partner Portal user. CLICK HERE for more information.
If you are not using LeadSmart then your Partner Manager would send you leads via e-mail or another system that you have setup.
What to Look for in a Partner Portal
Below is a webinar that shows what you should consider in a partner portal. It features the Chanimal / SaaSMAX portal (this one). It also explains what you should have, how to post your content, what NOT to include and more. Please watch!
How to Build a SaaS Reseller Channel
Covers all the phases of 1) defining, 2) recruiting, and 3) enabling a channel, plus includes a section on the unique differences for a SaaS channel. Excellent and real-life information for new and experienced channel managers, GMs, sales, marketing and business development. Similar content presented across the nation at the SaaS University conferences.
How to Create Killer Strategic Alliances & dominate Your Marketing
Learn the acid test for every alliance, the four legs you must have, when to setup an alliance, how to pick the best partners, how to prospect, what to cover in your meetings, how to multiple your sales force and channel partners, expectations and much more.
How To Position Your Product and CRUSH the Competition
Learn how to position your product before & after developed, examples of creative positioning approaches, how to segment, then differentiate=then CRUSH remaining competitors, tools of positioning (matrix, quadrant, Venn diagrams, analogies), why a prospect would be a FOOL not to consider your product & more.
Sales Management Training
Sales By the Numbers & How to Play the Game of Work. How to increase sales by tracking, then improving your activity, skill, policies, systems and motivation. Shows the exact system that created the #1 team in the nation (4 times). It works every time and helps you become the coach and shows the team how to self correct. Channel sales management “is” sales management–but with an indirect sales force, so most of the concepts still apply.
How Setup SEO for a Reseller Landing Page
The FIRST promotion to do with your partner is to get your product on their website. However, they should use the landing page that you have optimized for them. If they follow your instructions, it will get them on the first page in a Google search. If you set up your sample landing page correctly, they will show up in the FIRST position on the HOME page with the words you selected. This video shows how this works.