Have you ever sat down and counted how many software tools your partners are required to log into and utilize on a daily basis? If not, you might be surprised at how complicated your software pipeline is. It’s extremely easy for “software creep” to happen to a channel, with software tools added ad-hoc until a reasonable number of tools has become decidedly unreasonable. In worst-case situations, it can become almost suffocating to an ecosystem.
If you aren’t thinking about integrating the software your channel partners are using, you’re probably making life in your ecosystem more difficult than it needs to be. That can potentially cost you sales, or even entire partnerships.
The Problem Of Software Creep In Sales And Marketing
According to Hubspot surveys of the industry, 38% of companies, the plurality, require use of more than five separate software tools on a daily basis. And 28% of respondents – the second-highest percentage – say they spend more than an hour each day just doing software-based duties.
Interestingly, in that same study, 40% said they spend less than 15 minutes per day on software tasks. Which group do you think is making more sales?
This is particularly relevant to indirect sale ecosystems. If your partners view you as being difficult to do business with, or having a pipeline which wastes their time, that could be a big incentive for them to push sales of your competitors instead. On the other hand, being able to say you have streamlined time-saving processes can be a major selling point when recruiting partners!
Of course, that’s only one side of the problem. The other side comes from the potential impact on the buyer experience.
How Software Creep Harms Customer Experiences
One of the big problems with setups where sales and marketing have to use many different tool sets is that those tools rarely, if ever, talk to each other properly. Have you ever been on the phone with customer service and found yourself having to repeat critical information over and over? That’s a company without well-integrated software systems.
This can heavily affect marketing in particular. If your software systems aren’t integrated, having smart targeted marketing becomes difficult, if not impossible. Critical information the sales department has on customers may not even make it into marketing databases! Customers may start receiving promotions which clearly aren’t meant for them, or repeatedly receive the same content marketing pieces in their inbox.
Such problems can reflect very poorly on a brand, which ultimately harms every aspect of the ecosystem.
All-In-One Software Suites Are Available And Can Be Adopted
If any of this describes your ecosystem’s software setup, it’s time to start seriously thinking about better options – all-in-one options. Software creep isn’t something that will ever go away on its own. It’ll only get worse and more wasteful over time.
However, it’s now easier than ever to improve your situation. Modern Partner Relationship Management (PRM) systems can integrate every major software component you’re likely to need: CRM customer databases, communication systems, sales analytics, rewards systems, and more. Everything is based in a single shared cloud-based network that you and your partners both have access to, with smart role-based permissions ensuring everyone receives appropriate access levels.
You can also extend functionality with managed services which add additional value. Plus, everything can be skinned and branded to match your corporate look.
Moving to an integrated software solution truly ties your ecosystem together. It streamlines operations, makes you more attractive to sales partners, and improves customer experience at the same time. To learn more about the possibilities, contact us to schedule a demonstration of LogicBay PRM.