When it comes to leveraging a portal solution for your business, we always recommend Salesforce. There is a reason behind this. No doubt Salesforce is the best CRM, but they always update their platform keeping in mind their customers' pain points. They understand their customers' demands and requirements and also implement it as soon as possible. They keep bringing in automation with AI and ML.
For a businessman like you, Salesforce can bring in a lot of benefits. Now it depends on your business type whether you will require a Salesforce customer portal or Salesforce partner portal. If you have a B2C business where you directly sell your products to end users then you can go with a customer portal. But if you have multiple partners, suppliers, or other businesses that buy the products from you in bulk then you will need a partner portal. There are a lot of differences between these two.
Let us understand them one by one and then compare the two to learn more.
Salesforce Customer Portal
Salesforce customer portal offers everything from marketing your product to the right set of audience to the after sale services. Portals offer online support for the customers to resolve queries. The user interface is easy to use and you can also offer a personalized experience to your customers.
Customers will have access to all the documents and knowledge base. Via single sign-in, customers will have access to their profiles from where they can see all their information and edit, if necessary. They can also customize the tabs and colors. All the permissions granted to them will have field level security, meaning they can access only the relevant information.
Customers can raise tickets in case of any questions or discuss them on the community forums. The community forum on portals is a platform where customers can share their ideas and experiences. Thus, even if you do not have 24*7 support, community forums can act as one.
Don't forget to check out: Wow Your Customers with Salesforce Customer 360 Salesforce
Here is how Salesforce customer portal will majorly benefit your business.
- Increased user convenience
- Improved brand image
- Better record management
- Secure file sharing
- Reduced customer care costs
- Access to customer feedback
- Increased customer satisfaction
Salesforce Partner Portal
Salesforce partner portal allows all your partners and suppliers to login and access the information. There is a lot of data that is shared between the partners on a daily basis so that everyone is on the same page. This usually consumes a lot of time because you have to keep answering about the updates your partners are asking for.
With a portal, partners can only have access to the modules they are enrolled in. They can manage and track their sales and analyze it for future strategies. Your partners will be able to have all the latest updates from the portals and they can go through all that anywhere, anytime. They can order stuff based on the current status and this way the efficiency of your sales funnel will also increase. You can focus on your other tasks rather than answering the same things to all your partners.
Here are some benefits of the partner portal.
- Mobile responsive
- Training sessions for the new partners
- Unified Dashboard
- Proper document management
- Content management
Salesforce Customer Portal Vs Salesforce Partner Portal
Let us compare both portals based on various parameters.
- Purpose of the Portal: A customer portal will solve queries of the customer without them interacting with the representatives. A partner portal will show leads and opportunity to the partners and they will have access to all the important details.
- Audience: If your products and services are directly for end users then you can invest in a customer portal. If you sell products and services to other businesses then you will have a different workflow. In that case, you can invest in a partner portal and offer online facilities to your partners or suppliers.
- Role-based Access: In partner portal, you can give limited access to partners. For example, they can access the sales reports and tracking but not the invoice reports. Whereas, in the customer portal, the customers have access to the invoice reports.
- Cost: A customer portal may or may not require advanced features and they are easy to access. Whereas the partner solution has access to all the core CRM features. The partner portal will also require features for the sales campaign. So partner portals are comparatively expensive.
Which One Should You Choose?
After learning about both the portals in detail one thing is clear that there is a minor difference between the two. But the difference shows the uniqueness of the both portals.
The choice of the portal totally depends on your business requirements. If you want a portal to solve your customers problems, manage their profiles and activities, and to offer self service platforms, you must choose the customer portal. It will help in elevating the customer experience. A portal will slowly help you build the brand image which is ultimately important if you wish to grow your business.
However, if your business has partners and suppliers involved then your portal requirement will be more focused on sales and reports, tracking of orders, etc. In this case you need a partner portal. The partner portal will bring transparency between you and your partners and also amongst the partners. They will be able to see the other partners’ profile and collaborate for future deals. These things can help your business to scale.
You can also have a talk with the portal development companies. They know portals in and out. They can help you on how portals will work for you and what more features you can add to make it more suitable for your business type.
The portals can automate a lot of processes that drain energy and time of the businesses. If you invest in a portal, it will bring more clarity on the figures as it generates reports. These reports help in making future strategies. The return on investment is high on portals. They will save you from extra cost and at the same time help your business scale. So, choose from a Salesforce partner portal or Salesforce Customer portal, whichever suits your business type and requirement.