As the person responsible for your channel partner relationships, you are always looking for ways to help your partners increase their sales effectiveness. You have a singular focus on driving sales (with maybe a secondary focus on margin improvement) and you are interested in any tools that help.
You have started to explore what is available in the channel partner management software space. Your research has led you to an even more specific solution called partner relationship management (PRM) software.
But can a PRM solution improve sales productivity?
First, let’s briefly revisit what a PRM system is. In the simplest terms, PRM is both the business processes and software by which a company like yours can build deep and lasting relationships with its channel partners. Okay, enough of the marketing speak—what you really want to know is how a partner relationship management system can help your channel partners sell more for you. Let’s assume that you are considering a robust, cloud-based PRM solution. Below are 7 ways that such a system improves sales results.
1. Quick and efficient onboarding of new partners
Like any relationship, there is a limited honeymoon period. You need to the right tools to quickly authorize and equip your new channel partner with so that they can begin selling your products and services. You need to give them access to a system that is quick to implement, robust and easy-to-use. Today’s top PRM solutions have a single partner portal that your channel partners can use to interface with your company. The more channel partners that you have selling for you, the more likely you are to reach your revenue targets.
2. Ability to ramp-up new sales people quickly
Your channel partners are going to have turnover on their sales teams. You need a system in place that will help your partners to quickly train their new hires and make them feel comfortable selling for you. Today’s PRM solutions allow you to quickly engage with new hires and make them productive in a short period of time.
3. Lead Registration processes to avoid Channel Conflict
PRM technology provides tools for managing leads and avoiding channel conflict. Your channel partners are going to have leads and they will need to register them. Today’s PRM systems have workflows for lead registration and approval. PRM platforms also will integrate with the enterprise CRM such that sales activity for both direct and indirect selling efforts can be managed in one platform.
4. Robust Training and Certification Tools
PRM technology provides tools for structuring, launching and managing channel training events. These tools can enable instructor-led classroom training, webinars, e-learning, work-group collaboration, and on-the-job performance support.
5. Marketing & Communications Support
With a full-service PRM solution, companies can effortlessly manage sales and marketing collateral, news, announcements, and alerts. In addition, the more robust PRM solutions incorporate a social networking capability that allows you to easily facilitate cross-talk and two-way communications. Dialogue with your channel partners on a daily basis is vital to the channel partner relationship.
6. Efficient process around new product introductions
New product introductions are the lifeblood of any growth company like yours. However, coordinating all of the activities across many groups can be cumbersome and anxiety filled. A PRM solution provides your product managers and marketing team an easy-to-use dashboard for the coordination and execution of new product launches out to your channel partners.
7. Access to Performance Management Tools
Sales people like immediate feedback on their performance. A PRM system allows you to establish, measure and manage sales performance indicators. Further, the right solution provides you with the tools to motivate, create an incentive or a reward for your channel partners.
Alignment, collaboration, and engagement are critical success factors when it comes to improving the sales productivity of your channel partners. The right partner relationship management solution can help reach the goal of mutual success.
Looking for more detailed information? Our Whitepaper on Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Best Practices addresses the demand for business intelligence and many other challenges related to supporting an indirect sales channel.