In the digital age, software has become an increasingly important method for leveraging your current assets toward better results. However, you may still be a bit hesitant about investing in software you don’t already have some familiarity with. Partner relationship management software isn’t new, per se, but it’s new enough that many people have never used it before, which may have them nervous about doing so again.
What Is Relationship Management Software?
As the name suggests, Partner Relationship Management (PRM) software is all about helping your business improve the relationships with your channel partners by providing them with the tools they need to be successful.
There are many software platforms to choose from for relationship management, each with various levels of functionality. Depending on the unique needs of your indirect channel, it is important to consider what areas of support are the highest priority, and which areas ought to be considered at a later date.
Communication is also a critical aspect to effective partner relationships. Automated notifications of updated training content, new sales and marketing material, or lead distribution is a great way to stay in front of your partners and keep them active within the system.
Now, reading about the various functional aspects behind partner relationship management software can leave your head spinning. You may ask yourself: “Where do I start?”
A self-evaluation of some of the critical challenges your team faces is a good way to see what is working and what’s not. Take the small steps to work on the most pressing issues while keeping an eye toward longer-term initiatives. Another step is to solicit feedback from your existing partners. Ask them explicitly what areas they would like to see improvement and what some of the other vendors are doing to be successful. You may be surprised by their candor and asking for help is a great way to get their buy-in to working with you more closely going forward.
Still, you may be worried about your ability to learn a new type of software. Most technology platforms do come with some sort of learning curve. Whether it is new versions of Microsoft Office or an operating system for your new laptop, you’ve probably had to adapt.
Fortunately, today’s partner relationship management software manufacturers are aware that an effective platform requires giving you the support you need from the outset. As such, they put a lot of focus on the implementation process. This means that not only can you get installation of your new software handled effectively, you can also get instructions in using it from the very professionals who understand it best. This administrative support can also be available as an ongoing service for those customers that require it.
Don’t let the learning curve put you off implementing something as powerful as relationship management software. While there will certainly be a period of time where you need to focus on acquainting yourself with this new tool, manufacturers make this as painless as possible and the results are well worth it.