Everyone in the business world has heard this old maxim time and time again: work smarter, not harder. For growth-focused companies committed to a channel partner strategy (selling products or services through a network of independent dealers, VARs, and resellers), what does it mean to work smarter? It means using the right tools to communicate, educate, motivate and measure your channel sales performance. A Partner Relationship Management (PRM) system is a “smarter” solution because it integrates all those tools and best practices within a single framework with a single point of access for channel partners. This is the definition of working smarter, for you and your channel partners.
PRM Productivity Boosts for Emerging Growth Sales
A full-service PRM system can capture your company’s sales process, train and prepare your channel partners sales people for success, monitor compliance, and measure results. We have written extensively on the subject of how critical it is to provide the tools and support functionality that your partners need to succeed. This is especially important for any company who is in the process of actively buiding a network of channel partners since this will serve as the foundation for your partner relationships. Our recent Whitepaper entitled Emerging Growth Companies: Building a Successful Indirect Sales Channel has all the details.
A PRM system helps boost sales productivity with your channel partners in the following manner:
- Effectively communicates and aligns your corporate strategies and policies with that of your partners. For the indirect sales force to be productive, it is absolutely necessary you and your partners are on the same page from the very beginning.
- Educates your channel partners with fully measurable web-based, instructor-led or e-learning programs. This is more than just training. This is targeted learning that provides your company with clear metrics on how prepared your partners are to represent you and your products to end customers. More and more, your partners are demanding training content that is mobile-friendly and readily availableto help them close more business.
- Allows you to track and measure key sales performance indicators. Reliable data is the key to building any channel sales strategy, especially when your company is in the emerging growth stage and can’t afford to expend your limited resources on unprofitable relationships. This data can be reviewed at the overall channel level, within specific regions or territories, or even all the way down to the individual partner organization.
- Avoids channel conflict with sophisticated lead registration and pipeline management functionality. When your partners compete to sell to the same customers, it’s not only inefficient and unproductive, but it drives prices and profits down. You need a solution for registering and approving leads, as well as defining sale territories.
- Motivates, incentivizes, and rewards your channel partners for executing your critical business processes, to ensure the desired results. Get your channel partners selling your products the way you want them to, according to your well thought-out strategies.
- Links the allocation of incentives and market development funds (MDFs) to actual business results. This allows you to correlate data relative to your sales performance indicators to help determine which marketing activities are producing the greatest returns.
- Integrates lead data from disparate partner CRMs with yours. There is no efficient way for different customer relationship management (CRM) systems to “talk” to each other with a layer in between. When your company and your partners use different CRMs, your PRM system can provide that link between them through a well-planned integration strategy.
How can you prime your indirect sales channel for growth? If your company is entering indirect sales or already sells products indirectly, but feels the process could use improvement, you will find a number of helpful tips and strategies in our Resource Center.
We also offer an entire Channel Program Blueprint process that helps you identify your level of preparedness and establishes actionable recommendations for your near term priorities. Learn more about this program here: