PRM Software: The Best Way to Onboard New Channel Partners

By Seth Jacobsen Posted on 2/23/15 7:30 AM

PRM Software The Best Way to Onboard New Channel PartnersThere’s only so much your business can ever do on its own. You can do a lot more with the assistance, not just of great staff members, but of channels partners that will help market and sell your products and services. Before any partner can begin increasing your profits, though, you need to think about how you’ll initially onboard them. While many strategies have been utilized in the past, none compare to simply using PRM software, an option that comes with all kinds of other benefits as well.

Related: Top 3 Reasons to Invest in Partner Relationship Management Software

Be Selective in your Partner Application Process

You cannot underestimate the importance of pre-screening your partners before bringing them on. Too many companies bring on any new partner who simply raises their hand in interest. That does not mean it is a good fit for your business. It might make sense to cast a wide net in order to get as many partners  working for you as possible. However, just because a partner is interested in partnering with you doesn’t mean they’re going to be worth your time and money.

Prescreening doesn’t have to be difficult with PRM software. It will help you develop partner profiles based on the types of partners that have been the most successful in the past. This can include parameters such as location, industry, or product category.

At the moment, you may have an idea of what the ideal partner looks like. Be sure by going over your existing channel partner network, identify the areas that need greater reach, and begin actively pursuing the candidates that fit your needs.

Not only will this help you eliminate partners  that would be more trouble than they’re worth, it will help you zero in on the types of partners you want to look for in the first place. With PRM software, this type of profile is available immediately.

Know Where Your Customers Are

Along with the above, partner relationship management software can show you where, geographically, your sales are coming from. Again, this makes it easier for you to identify partnerships with the best chance of capitalizing on these opportunities for you. This, in turn, makes it easier for you to choose the right partners up front and bring them onboard as quickly as possible.

A solid partner management strategy is essential to partnering with other businesses. With PRM software, every element of this strategy, including onboarding, is easier than ever.

Download CMO 2015 Guide to Managing Sales Channels Partners

Provide Essential Information Immediately

From the outset, your partners will need help learning about your company and they value they can deliver through your products and services. This can entail time-consuming and manual processes or it can be almost completely automated. With PRM software, this part of your partner management strategy is much more streamlined and effective.

All of your essential materials can be ready and waiting for new partner to access and learn from. Aside from basic product details, you can have training materials available for them too, so they won’t miss a step in getting their staff onboard too.

This is also a huge advantage in the future as you update your materials and your partners experience employee turnover. Never miss a beat when your partner management relationship software has a library of the sales and training material your partners need.

Promote the Programs Your Partner Need to Succeed with MDF Funds

A good example is a Market Development Fund (MDF) program. MDF funds are a central part of any successful Partner Relationship Management (PRM) strategy. Your partners can use these funds to do a better job of marketing your products in a manner that is consistent with your corporate standards. In this way, it’s a fairly traditional investment on your part.

For new partners, you can help get their company productive more quickly by supplying them with necessary MDF funds from the beginning. However, if you don’t manage these funds correctly, they could easily go to waste.

One thing PRM software does really well is allow you to keep a bird’s eye view on these funds at all times. This is especially important during the early days of working with new channel partners because you can’t take for granted that they’ll use these funds effectively (something you can often assume with partner you’ve been working with for years).

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