Channel Readiness Blog

Whose Decision Is It, Anyway?

Posted by Paul Tobin on Jun 20, 2014 2:00:00 PM

 

Sorting through the Cloud solution purchasing process 


The “Cloud” has changed everything for purchasing, yet few companies have responded accordingly.  In this blog, I’ll outline some best practices for purchasing cloud-based solutions for dealer engagement, management and development. 

In the world of the Cloud and SaaS based solutions you’re not actually purchasing anything.  You are leasing it.  And secondly, unlike IT purchases of the past, you are not installing it behind your firewall and your IT department will not be the only ones using it…or managing it.  In fact, they may have very little involvement after the lease is completed. 

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Topics: prm, partner relationship management, Partner Portal, channel management software, PRM Best Practice, Channel Software, Partner Collaboration, PRM in the cloud, channel management, PRM v. CRM

Dealer Portal vs. Partner Relationship Management (PRM) System

Posted by Paul Tobin on Jun 10, 2014 3:00:00 PM

If you're thinking of building or buying a dealer portal to engage, manage and develop your distribution channel READ THIS ARTICLE FIRST! 

It's not uncommon to think a dealer portal is how you should interface with your distribution channel.  After all, it will give your dealers, distributors and franchises a single landing page for most, if not all, of their interaction with you.  But life isn't that simple.  A typical dealer portal simply provides a landing site that's nothing more than a thin veneer of usability.  Underneath that veneer is a rabbit’s warren of 3rd party and home grown tools, comprising layers of diverse information architectures, unstructured navigation, and worse. 

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Topics: channel partner collaboration, partner relationship management, Partner Portal, Sales Productivity, channel management software, PRM Best Practice, Partner Collaboration, Channel Sales Productivity, channel partner engagement

Promoting Partner Collaboration via PRM

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Jun 4, 2014 3:30:00 PM

Many challenges we face within our organizations can be traced back to one root cause: ineffective communication. This in turn leads to poor collaboration, which leads to fewer sales, lower profits, and even lower morale. For companies that provide goods and services through an indirect sales channel, these challenges are magnified. So, what’s the recipe for improving communication between channel partners and ensuring a unified, collaborative effort resulting in across-the-board increases? A technology platform that promotes feedback and improves the quality and frequency of communication is critical to helping you achieve the results you desire. 

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Topics: channel partner collaboration, partner relationship management, Channel Partner Training, Sales Productivity, channel management software, PRM Best Practice, Partner Collaboration, channel management, Channel Conflict, channel partner engagement

Partner Relationship Management Playbook [Infographic]

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on May 9, 2014 2:30:00 PM

For many best-in-class manufacturers, a sales channel “playbook” consists of a Partner Relationship Management (PRM) system that allows the “coaches” (CMOs & Channel Managers), and “players” (channel partners and dealers’ salespeople, service techs, parts experts and others) to perform at their very best. With the right blend of smart coaching, great players and a strong playbook, your channel team will be set up to make a title run of its own.

What’s in your PRM Playbook? 

Your PRM Playbook should have strategies and systems in place to handle any situation that arises.  There are a few basic types of plays that should be in any Playbook. These plays help you mitigate channel conflict, establish clear roles and responsibilities, and make it easier for your channel partners to do business with you.

 

 

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Topics: prm, channel partner collaboration, partner relationship management, Partner Portal, Channel Partner Training, Sales Productivity, channel management software, best practices, PRM Best Practice

What Does It Really Mean to Be “Easy to Do Business With?”

Posted by Paul Tobin on Apr 30, 2014 2:30:00 PM

You hear it everywhere these days. Companies proclaiming that they want to be “easy to do business with.” Who can blame them? There’s not much future for a company that’s difficult to do business with. Yet, most companies are. Especially when serving their distribution channel.

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Topics: prm, PRM Best Practices, channel partner collaboration, partner relationship management, Partner Portal, Channel Partner Training, Sales Productivity, channel management software, best practices, PRM Best Practice, Lead Registration, lead management, Inbound Marketing, Channel Software, Partner Collaboration, PRM in the cloud, channel management, Channel Partner Onboarding, Channel Conflict, Channel Partner Recruiting, Understanding PRM, LogicBay Community, Channel Marketing Strategy, New Product Introductions, Channel Sales Productivity, New Hire Ramp Up, Service Performance, channel manager, channel partners, channel partner engagement, indirect sales, emerging growth companies, emerging growth sales, Channel Partner Certification, Increase Channel Sales, Marketing Materials

Is This the End of the DIY Portal?

Posted by Paul Tobin on Apr 24, 2014 3:56:00 PM

Why more and more companies are turning to cloud-based dealer portals to engage, manage and develop their distribution channel.

Not so long ago companies built their own portals.  Dealer portals.  Company portals.  All kinds of portals.  Microsoft and IBM made a killing with products like SharePoint™ and WebSphere™. 

In fact, up until the end of the last century, companies didn’t have much of a choice regarding how they managed their partner relationships (dealers, distributors & franchises). Partner relationship management was something you did in-house and the way one company did it would bear little resemblance to the way another company did it.

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Topics: partner relationship management, Partner Portal, channel management software, Channel Software, Partner Collaboration, PRM in the cloud, channel management, Channel Sales Productivity, channel partners, Increase Channel Sales

Increase the ROI of Your Inbound Marketing Strategies [Infographic]

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Apr 15, 2014 2:00:00 PM

The accelerating transition from traditional outbound marketing techniques to inbound marketing strategies is driving the need for manufacturers to reconsider their roles in the lead development and lead management processes.   In addition, the systems that support dealers must be reexamined to support modern marketing strategies for manufacturers who sell predominately through indirect sales channel partners. A Partner Relationship Management (PRM) system is a critical tool to improve your lead management capabilities and increase the ROI of of your inbound marketing investments.

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Topics: partner relationship management, Lead Registration, lead management, Inbound Marketing, Infographic

Doing Business the Easy Way

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Apr 8, 2014 4:35:00 PM

 "Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty." 

When Theodore Roosevelt uttered these words, he wasn’t thinking about business. While he’s right, it is the work and the struggle that make the reward worthwhile, this doesn’t hold true for your business, your sales channel partners, or your clients. 

What’s it like to do business with you? Is it Roosevelt’s rewarding struggle, or is it an easy process that keeps customers and channel partners eager to return?

Hopefully you said it was easy, but if you didn’t, you probably asked yourself, “How can we be easier to do business with?” While the answer to that question is complex, the solution is quite simple.

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Topics: PRM Best Practices, channel partner collaboration, partner relationship management, Ease of Doing Business

Why Google Docs, SharePoint and Dropbox Won’t Grow With Your Channel

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Feb 5, 2014 10:52:00 AM

Managing a sales channel is a journey, not a destination. You’re never done supporting your sales partners. A growing company adds sales partners and expands its product line over time. Partner support needs evolve as your partner network grows and your product line evolves. Size breeds complexity, too.

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Topics: Scale Your Channel

Using a Third Party to Manage Your Partner Portal

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Jan 21, 2014 9:54:00 AM

Go it alone or bring in a third party? Up until the end of the last century, companies didn’t have much of a choice regarding how they managed their partner relationships. Partner relationship management was something you did in-house and the way one company did it would bear little resemblance to the way another company did it. But then partner relationship management software emerged and, little by little, companies started turning over some of their partner management tasks to third parties, the PRM software developers.

Now, partner relationship management is changing again. Traditional PRM is morphing into a partner cloud approach. Relationships with partners are managed through a system of online portals. Everything is in the cloud. Holdouts from the era of do-it-yourself PRM (and there are lot of them, according to the latest Forrester report) are starting to look at third-party solutions. The reason they are is because managing a cloud-based system of partner portals, while beneficial for maintaining good partner relations, requires a level of IT upkeep and hassle many companies would rather avoid.

Turning your company’s partner portal system over to a third party to manage brings the following benefits:

    • A third party comes with its own infrastructure. That means your company won’t have to worry about installing and maintaining servers and keeping them backed up and secure.
    • A third party comes with its own software and software development team. You won’t have to worry about your partner portal software becoming outdated. A third party vendor will continue to perfect it software based on its experience with a wide range of companies, and will keep its software up to date with changes in the marketplace and technology.
    • Cloud-based portals provided by a third party suffer very little downtime. This is a major factor for companies that do business through a network of partners. Partners aren’t very tolerant of technological hiccups. If they’re having trouble getting the information they need from one brand, they’ll shift their focus to another.
    • Third-party cloud vendors are often able to scale their services to any business size. Amazon Web Services, for example, manages cloud-based services for small, medium, and Fortune 500 companies, everything from startups to massive government entities.

Perhaps most importantly, third-party vendors—the good ones, anyway—know what they’re doing. They have experience planning and executing a partner strategy and they’re ready to bring their technology and their best practices to bear on your company’s specific channel challenges.

If you are looking to gain better insight into your partner sales channel click below to take a quick assessment and understand how to increase partner sales.

 

 

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Topics: best practices, PRM in the cloud, Increase Channel Sales

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