Channel Readiness Blog

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. 

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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.

 

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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

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