Competition has never been stiffer than in today’s modern business environment. Globalization has meant that many businesses find themselves struggling to keep customers while competitors half a world away try to win them over.
One way every company can stand a better chance is by making sure they have the right tools in place to be successful. More and more often, the solution lies in software. If supporting an indirect sales channel is part of your strategy for growth, consider Partner Relationship Management (PRM) technology as one of your tools for success.
What Is Partner Management?
The term sounds self-explanatory but is fairly complex and has many synonyms in the industry: channel partner management, relationship management, indirect sales channel management, and other variations of these.
The reason this philosophy is complicated is because any company’s priorities are as unique as the channel partners they are looking to support. This multi-tiered component adds incremental complexity. Fortunately, most PRM systems allow levels of customization so there are countless ways your organization can benefit.
Taking on partners involves some inherent challenges: you have to manage them and their expectations over time. After all, these companies represent your brand to the customer so it is important to have the proper amount of oversight. With an effective engagement process in place, you can help your partners successfully grow their business by doing a better job of selling on your behalf.
Therefore, partner relationship management refers to the ways a company can ensure their various partners are successful.
How Does Partner Management Software Work?
Today, there are many PRM software options available that support channel partners to a varying degrees. Some solutions are more geared toward specific functionality while others are more broad-based in what they can provide.
However, most have a number of things in common. If you’re new to this form of technology, it will be helpful to consider the many ways it assists companies just like yours.
We have written extensively about the various aspects of functionality that manufacturers are looking to enable with PRM technology. Here is a summarized list of what these include:
- Improved Communications
- Lead Management
- Training and Certification
- Business Intelligence and Reporting
- Incentive Programs
- MDF and Co-branded Marketing Material
- Integration with Third Party Systems
- Organizational Structure Management
- Collaboration and Social Forums
What does this all mean for your business?
Perhaps you’re a company that already utilizes PRM software, or maybe it’s something you’re considering for the first time as a tool to help make your business more efficient and encourage growth. Either way, these resources should help educate the product you invest in by outlining the key areas PRM software can help with, and focusing your search for providers who deliver precisely the tools your business needs right now.