If you’re new company putting together an indirect sales force for the first time, a properly-designed partner relationship management (PRM) software system can help with virtually all of the critical elements. These include:
- Recruiting and onboarding new partners
- Ramping up new partners
- Lead management
With an appropriate PRM system in place, you can take care of the above responsibilities efficiently and painlessly. Many PRM software systems offer easy-to-access, cloud-based web portals that provide ongoing two-way communication between channel managers and partners.
Recruiting and Onboarding Partners
Automating and integrating the recruiting process not only saves hours of time but also organizes the entire process. A PRM system set up to help with recruitment can replace phone calls, direct mail and other marketing activities, storing all the information and transactions in one database. It also simplifies application and approval procedures.
Ramping Up New Partners
When you add new channel partners to the fold, it’s important to get them up to speed as quickly as possible. A PRM software system has the capability to distribute introductory information, marketing materials, product details and recommended sales strategies at the push of a button. This is, by far, the most efficient way to reach a large group that may be located in several different time zones.
PRM software systems also provide an easy means for the channel manager to communicate with new partners, a critical element during the early stages of this relationship. Questions and concerns, on both sides, can be handled quickly and easily. In addition, the channel manager can monitor the performance of new partners, offering guidance when necessary.
An organized system for managing leads is essential when new partners are seeking new customers. Partner relationship management software enables the channel manager to clearly delineate all sales territories and accounts. By so doing, all sales personnel (internal and indirect) understand which accounts and territories belong to them.
This avoids channel conflict, a highly unproductive situation in which members of your sales staff are competing against each other for the same customers. It not only wastes time and resources but can be extremely discouraging for new partners.
PRM systems can provide cloud-based, easy-to-use portals that enable partners to access lead information. The portals also store all interactions with potential customers, such as emails, phone calls, proposals and any other business documents. This makes it easy for a new partner to retrieve and organize this important information.