Channel Readiness Blog

Partner Relationship Management Isn't a Technology – It’s a Strategy

Posted by John Panaccione on Oct 23, 2014 10:35:00 AM

I often get asked “what is Partner Relationship Management (PRM)?”  Good question!  It’s a loaded term.  To many, PRM is a technology class focused on indirect sales channels.  A sort of first cousin to CRM, which is focused more on direct sales channels.   Based on our experience in working with leading brands over the past decade, I submit to you that PRM is actually a business strategy for managing an indirect sales channel first, a technology second.  To use the horse and cart analogy, the horse is the strategy.  The cart is the technology that’s specifically designed to support that strategy.

Read More

Topics: Build Your Channel, Ease of Doing Business, PRM Best Practice, Channel Software, Partner Collaboration, channel management, Channel Marketing Strategy

The 3 Things You MUST DO to Optimize Your Distribution Channel

Posted by Paul Tobin on Sep 30, 2014 3:04:00 PM

Building and maintaining a high performing distribution channel is worth its weight in gold. But like gold, it’s a rare commodity! Many distribution channels are grossly underperforming and frustratingly inadequate. But through years of working with some of the most successful distribution channels in the world, including Caterpillar, Daimler, 3M and others, I’ve learned that as a channel manager you must do 3 over-arching things: 1) Engage, 2) Manage, and 3) Develop your distribution partners. This applies to all varieties of channel partners including dealers, distributors and franchisees.

As the graphic on this page shows, those 3 overarching principles are at the top of the channel performance food chain. They will guide and add focus to your program of channel optimization and lead you to the promised land of increased sales, higher margins, lower warranty costs and improved customer satisfaction. [Please feel free to leverage this graphic to your slide decks or strategy papers.]

Underneath lies a labyrinth of tasks and activities, each of which must be executed with excellence.

 

Read More

Topics: Build Your Channel, Ease of Doing Business, PRM in the cloud, channel management, Understanding PRM, Channel Marketing Strategy

9 Industry Trends Impacting Partner Relationship Management | Part III

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Sep 19, 2014 10:00:00 AM

Today we offer the conclusion to our three-part blog series discussing industry trends that need to be taken into consideration for supporting your indirect sales channel. We see Partner Relationship Management (PRM) as a way of thinking with technology as a critical component to enabling a successful channel program. Part of that philosophy is understanding the dynamics of you partner ecosystem and how the evolution of your business is supported by systems and processes that can grow with you over time.

 

Read More

Topics: Build Your Channel, Ease of Doing Business, PRM in the cloud, channel management, Understanding PRM, Channel Marketing Strategy

9 Industry Trends Impacting Partner Relationship Management | Part II

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Sep 8, 2014 2:30:00 PM

Last week we posted the first in a 3-part blog series that highlighted some of the dominant trends currently impacting Partner Relationship Management (PRM). Today we continue that discussion by focusing on three more areas that are top of mind for any company looking to support a network of indirect channel partners:

 

Read More

Topics: Build Your Channel, Ease of Doing Business, PRM in the cloud, channel management, Understanding PRM, Channel Marketing Strategy

9 Industry Trends Impacting Partner Relationship Management | Part I

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Aug 28, 2014 4:02:00 PM

Managing channel partners in today’s highly fluid environment is an “accelerating” challenge. The internet has expanded the need for better, more frequently updated information and has heightened the competitive challenges that all businesses face throughout the entire value chain of the company—including suppliers, dealers and customers. Technology is compressing these distinct entities into a single ecosystem or business community that must be managed together to optimize a company’s performance. Within this framework we have identified nine trends that are at the forefront of this acceleration in channel partner support: 

Read More

Topics: Build Your Channel, Ease of Doing Business, PRM in the cloud, channel management, Understanding PRM, Channel Marketing Strategy

The 4 Cornerstones of Channel Training and Development

Posted by Paul Tobin on Aug 14, 2014 3:33:47 PM

Deploying training to your distribution channel is complicated stuff. As I’ve said before, it requires rigid process, proven methodologies, and company-wide support. Not to mention a lot of hard work!

But even that is not enough. If you fail to follow this over-arching, proven 4-Cornerstone framework you will likely fail. Conversely, once you understand this framework, and why it’s important, you can confidently deploy a sound training and development strategy. 

Read More

PRM & CRM: The Whole is Greater than the Sum of Its Parts

Posted by Seth Jacobsen on Aug 5, 2014 4:11:37 PM

 

In the world of manufacturing and sales, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems have been the norm for some time. While they do an excellent job at managing direct sales, when it comes to managing channel partners, they leave a lot to be desired. CRMs aren’t built to encourage collaboration among partners or provide easy communication among the channel ecosystem. For improved collaboration, increased brand engagement from partners, and to create an environment that’s easier to do business in, manufacturers need to consider Partner Relationship Management (PRM) software.

 

Read More

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. 

Read More

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. 

Read More

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. 

Read More

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

Subscribe-3

Subscribe to Email Updates