Agency Best Practices for Partner Relationship Management

partner relationship management

To stay relevant, today businesses need to do a lot more than ever before! Besides learning about new market opportunities, they must reduce costs as well as increase their speed and efficiency. Such competition means they must join forces with like-minded partners and implement best practices for partner relationship management to attain bigger goals.

Before you start working with a business partner, consider how your agency will manage the relationship and make it prosper. As education and migration agencies flourish globally, creating agency business relationships with partners like colleges, universities, and migration offices are becoming very crucial for partnership acquisition.

If you can handle partner relationships with such institutions professionally, future business prospects for your agency can soar high. A serious approach to partner relationship management (PRM) for education and migration agency can ensure that the goals of the relationship come true. Learn how you can make this happen:

Define a clear path for the partner relationship management

The first step is to align your goals with what the partner expects and define who is responsible for what. Make a plan that defines the expectations of the partnership with clear objectives and partner accountability. Here is how to do it:

  • Set milestones by marking out major timelines in your project. For instance, if you plan to increase student enrolments in your partner college, define how many students and by when.
  • Be sure to clearly communicate about any incremental costs to your partners and get their approval before proceeding. An unexpected bill can ruin good relationships.
  • Be responsive and proactive. Consider your partner’s feedback carefully – weigh the pros and cons before responding.

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Understand the scope and benefits of the relationship

A combination of strategies, software, and web-based capabilities, Partner Relationship Management or PRM makes it easy for you to engage with partners at all levels. Whether you are a small agency or a large one, adopting PRM practices can help solve problems, communicate clearly, value each other’s time and commitments, and also expand agency business network. Here are some more benefits:

  • Manage agency partners as a portfolio, thus minimizing duplication of resources and minimizing risk.
  • Strengthen your agency brand. Using a good PRM technology also leverages your reputation as an agency among current and potential business partners.
  • Increase productivity. For instance, each college or university has hundreds of courses to offer. Having just a few such partners would mean taking care of large amounts of data and information.
  • Measure your partner’s performance. As the partnership grows, it becomes essential to measure performance and build business strategies accordingly.
  • With PRM technology, you can stay in touch with business partners anytime and anywhere.
  • Make accurate business forecasts by creating regular business reports, based on the data and client interactions.

Record and manage your partner details

Whether it is your client or partner, managing their data is one of the most important aspects of agency partnership. In a competitive education and migration industry, managing information efficiently is what separates average agencies from the good ones. PRM gives you many options:

  • Good management software can give your agency a single online platform to record, upload and manage all your partner details.
  • You can retrieve partner documents anytime and from anywhere in the world.
  • Accessing documents about your partners and their courses is literally at your fingertips.
  • You can keep track of important dates, events or meetings with prior and timely notifications.
  • To forget occasionally is a human thing! Using the right management software can help keep track of your communication with notes and notifications.

Customize your projects as per partner needs

Your work with agency partners will differ according to their requirements. Some education institutions may require you to assist international students with their applications, while others may need help in promotions or reaching out to a new emerging market.

The same applies to migration offices worldwide, which have their own unique requirements and ways of operating. Assuming one size fits all is bad for any agency business! Therefore, having the option to customize your partner projects is essential. PRM software can help you do so in the following ways:

  • You can create workflows as per the partners and the services they want to represent.
  • You can keep track of partners to check their work status and update them accordingly.
  • Export the entire process log as a file-note for your records.

Track partner performance for better productivity

For an agency partnership to do well, partners must agree on specific performance indicators that will help gauge their overall progress. Apart from improving productivity, such indicators also help amend mistakes and find practical solutions.

  • Generate reports that provide in-depth analysis of your agency’s business operations and partner performance.
  • Your agency must stay in constant communication with the partner’s office at all times.
  • Set targets for each partner project and keep track of whether those targets are being achieved.
  • Export lists and reports in all file formats for business meetings with partners.

Maintain financial responsibility and transparency among partners

Partner relationship management will be incomplete without financial diligence. Missing payments or unexpected bills and expenses can undermine a good business partnership. Collaborating with education institutions and migration offices requires trust and transparency.

  • Generate specific invoices for commission tracking and claims in a simple and manageable way for your agency and partners.
  • Create general invoices for other services like visa assistance and counseling.
  • Simply add and manage due dates for upcoming invoices based on intake dates or service fee installment.
  • Send invoices and receive payments on time.
  • Generate financial insights about your business, as per partner projects anytime, with the help of intelligent reporting features.

Using technology to improve agency performance with business partners and affiliates is undoubtedly good, but your attitude towards the partnership matters too! So, be open and honest about your agency culture right from the beginning.