It's not uncommon to think a dealer portal is how you should interface with your distribution network. After all, it will give your dealers and distributors a single landing page for most, if not all, of their interaction with you. But things aren't always that simple. A typical dealer portal simply provides a landing site that's nothing more than a thin veneer of usability. Underneath that veneer is a deep well of comprising layers of diverse information architectures, unstructured navigation, and worse. It's your sales channel’s worst nightmare.
A Partner Relationship Management (PRM) system platform unifies the major activities required to engage, manage and develop your distribution channel--all from a single system with a common information architecture and structured, uniform navigation.
Industry research suggests the top tool sets required are:
- Content Management--for complex document libraries and permissions
- Performance Management--to deliver integrated incentives, recognition, and rewards.
- Conversation Forums--to share best practices and connect users with experts.
- Learning Management--to train and develop your field force.
- Marketing--with integrated email marketing, MDF and co-op programs.
- Lead Management--with integrations to various CRMs
- KPI's, Metrics and Dashboards--to create dynamic visualizations and deliver actionable data.
PRM technologies are the smartphone for your distribution channel. They consolidate key elements, from product information to marketing guidelines to training materials, into one login. As the channel manager, you have full visibility to view and manage everything from one place, and your channel partners can access everything they need from a central location as well.
Implementing a PRM platform consolidates and organizes all the operations within your channel, and also provides easy, open communication between you and your partners. With the imperative for partners to communicate their feedback, questions, and concerns, having a solution that promote connectivity and collaboration can bring in new ideas from your channel partners and address issues efficiently.
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