Emerging growth companies are prime candidates for partner relationship management (PRM) software systems. Why? Because effective management of their channel partners is critical to their short- and long-term success. These companies not only need to scale quickly but they also have a small margin for error, compared to larger companies. Cloud-based PRM systems save them time and money as well as customizing, refining and streamlining the business processes associated with an indirect sales channel.
One of the most critical elements of PRM for an emerging growth company is the ability to train a rapidly-increasing team of channel partners. In a situation where every dollar counts, developing an effective and efficient system for training is dependent upon ease of use and 24-hour availability. Indirect sales partners have limited time and energy available for training; it’s essential that you make it worth their while.
Advantages for the Channel Partner
PRM systems can use several forms of online training—webinars, videos, tutorials and remote classroom sessions—that can be easily accessed through a single portal. When training is easy to use and is readily available, channel partners are far more likely to participate.
- From the partners’ standpoint, there are many advantages:
- Training is available anywhere and anytime.
- Sessions can be tailored to the specific needs of partners and can provide valuable information about sales territories.
- Training can be provided in just about any language.
- Partners can participate in training at their own pace, measure their progress and get feedback from the vendor.
By successfully completing training sessions, partners enhance their ability to make sales and increase the likelihood that they will participate in future training. This “snowball effect” can pay big dividends for an emerging growth company.
Advantages for the Vendor
PRM provides a cost-effective and highly productive solution for emerging growth companies who want to train partners quickly and easily.
- Low cost. It’s generally a fraction of the cost of in-person programs.
- Easy to administer. Training modules are loaded into a single portal.
- Participation and performance can be tracked, monitored and managed.
- Valuable data about sales strategies are generated.
- Session content can be easily modified. This is especially important for new product roll-outs and product upgrades, where information needs to be frequently updated.
If you manage channel partnerships for an emerging growth company with limited time and resources, you want to get the most bang for your buck when investing in a training program. That’s where certification comes in. Certification is the outcome of successful training. It not only assures you that partners have participated in the program, but also provides a way to track, measure and monitor each individual’s progress.
Because PRM systems enable simple, straightforward access through a single portal—for the channel manager as well as the partner—certification is easily facilitated.
Certification can also be viewed as a reward. Partners can be recognized and acknowledged for achieving various levels of certification. In many cases, salaries and commissions are linked to certification levels. When earning a certification translates into a larger paycheck, it can be a very strong motivator.
By training channel partners through a PRM software system, an emerging growth company can ensure that its indirect sales force is fully prepared sell to and service its products. Good preparation creates a sense of teamwork, increased morale and more money for everyone.