We've talked a lot lately about how much sales and marketing have changed in recent years, and the theme underlying all of it is that a modern manufacturing dealer network must evolve to keep up.
A dealer network needs to be able to provide a much wider range of services, and much better consistency in customer experience, if they're going to remain competitive. Furthermore, as a vendor seeking dealers you also face a lot of competition. Your dealers and distributors, both current and prospective, are facing their own pressures and are having to choose between many options in vendors. Appealing to them and making yourself highly attractive as a partner is vital for sales channel growth.
How PRM Can Tune Up - Or Overhaul - Your Distribution Network
1. A One-Stop-Shop For Everything!
Simply put, the primary purpose of PRM is to centralize everything your dealers and distributors need for success. One of the biggest issues that's always faced dealer operations in the past is how often they have been forced to use a multitude of software solutions, often paired with outdated and manual processes. Paper-based training with no tracking capabilities. Various Excel spreadsheets. Files uploaded to Google Docs, Dropbox, or other file-sharing sites. Different programs for collaboration and communication. That's not just inconvenient, it's inefficient and becomes a barrier to conducting business.
2. Simple Materials Sharing
Especially when it comes to more technical or complex areas of business, one of the hardest parts of managing a dealer network is ensuring that everyone has all the documents and other materials needed to do their jobs. From printed or video sales packages, to best-practices guidelines for sales staff, to technical documentation for post-sales support, these materials need to always be updated and easily-accessed.
PRM makes this easy, with a central document repository which you can update and permission content to ensure it's reaching the right audience. There's never any more question whether a certain dealer has the latest in updates – it's all available online.
3. Easy Lead Tracking And Sales Analytics
PRM brings a full suite of data analysis options as well, giving you increased oversight, down to the level of individual dealer reps. Every lead who enters the system can be tracked throughout their customer journey. Sales, marketing, and other initiatives can be analyzed for fine-tuning. Your top performers can be easily spotted and rewarded, while under-performers can be targeted for extra training.
4. Seamless Training And Onboarding Processes
One of the biggest challenges we see is around proper training and onboarding. This is especially true when reps had to physically fly out to a new manufacturer to conduct in-person training, even though it was often necessary for quality control.
A PRM system can support a full library of training materials, videos, and self-testing options. Results are, again, tracked down to the level of individual staff members. Likewise, it becomes far easier to implement new or supplementary training packages, as your needs and products evolve. Dealer networks can save time and effort by prescriptively assigning the training and certification programs they need based on job role, geography, or areas of expertise.