In the complex world of global business structures, manufactured products rarely start with a single company and make it to the consumer without a loop through various business partners. This is often referred to as the Indirect Channel. In fact, over 70% of the products manufactured globally are sold through indirect channel relationships.
A common partner relationship for any manufacturer with a product to sell is a dealer or distributor relationship. Whether your company uses distributors, dealers or even your own in-house sales team, it can be difficult to keep everyone up to date with important product details, marketing material and education about new product introductions. A good Partner Relationship Management System (PRM) helps accomplish these tasks, resulting in more mindshare, better customer service, a solid and consistent product brand and higher sales figures.
A Partner Relationship Management (PRM) System is a portal that allows you to disseminate information and communicate with all partners in your network. Some benefits of a solid PRM system include:
- Dealers and vendors receive training through online courses and materials. You can even provide certification tests and offer rewards as an incentive for individual retailers or salespeople to increase their knowledge about your product. Someone that understands the product is more likely to sell the product.
- You can build excitement in the months preceding a product launch by trickling marketing and communications information to your dealers.
- Products can be improved in testing phases by involving dealers and beta-testers and soliciting feedback through the PRM portal's collaboration forums.
- Ongoing dealer questions can be submitted and answered via the PRM portal. This saves time, because everyone can see the FAQ and you avoid spending time on the same issues.
- The portal can provide visibility deep into the channel ecosystem and serve as a management dashboard for such things as sales quota tracking, lead management and incentives.
One of the most powerful means of enabling and managing an extended sales enterprise is how fast and accurately information can be disseminated. Equip your partners, dealers and vendors with that power by deploying the powerful online community through a PRM portal and in turn watch mindshare and financial results soar.