If your business employs an indirect sales channel, you don’t have to be sold on the advantages that come with these partnerships. That being said, this doesn’t mean you’re getting the most out of those relationships either. Unfortunately, many companies find partner relationship management difficult and hope that it’s something that will more or less take care of itself. This kind of approach is not only guaranteed to produce lackluster partner relationship management results, it could ruin your business altogether.
Instead, consider the following ways Partner Relationship Management (PRM) software can ensure these important relationships reach their potential.
1. Increase Partner Engagement
PRM software is all about improving the manner with which you engage with your partners. This can mean several things, of course. One is simply that it keeps an open forum to reach your partners. It also means that you can send all your partners a message at the same time or even post information like reference documents that they can peruse at their leisure.
That’s far from all PRM software can do in terms of communication though. One of the most important forms of partner relationship management happens at the very beginning. Use PRM software to recruit potential partners and then leverage the ability to bring them aboard quickly and effectively. This type of software is an excellent asset for initial and ongoing training.
In the future, your partners are going to lose employees to turnover. While they will be forced to rehire, that’s no reason your numbers necessarily need to drop. Instead, use partner relationship management software to help your channel partners train their new hires in what it is you do. Not only will your channels appreciate this, but you will reduce the impact of partner turnover.
2. Support Specific Needs
Like most companies, no two business partners are alike. Even if they operate in the same industry, they definitely have unique aspects about them. If you don’t appreciate this about these companies, you stand a very good chance of under-utilizing their skills. While you shouldn’t necessarily have to cater to each and every channel partner's needs, better serving them in some areas can certainly go a long way.
This can definitely be a challenge to proper partner relationship management, but it can also serve as a way to separate yourself from the competition. You can tailor your communications to address certain channels one way and others another way.
That’s not all though. You can even use PRM software to help your partners connect with a product or business expert with your company that can help them get the answers they need in a more timely fashion.
Again, by looking at the specific qualities of a channel partner and what they bring to market, you can expect a more profitable relationship. Partner relationship management software is a great way to collaborate with your channels for a central goal like making a sale.
3. Maintain Greater Control
Without software, there are too many unknown variables where your channel partners’ sales are concerned. Although you certainly want to respect their right to do business as they see fit, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be looking for every opportunity to help these channels perform as well as possible. A true partnership benefits from the free flow of information and leaning on each other for help when needed.
Utilizing PRM software puts you in control by giving you insight into which partners are actively engaged in marketing your products, allows you to identify areas of support in the sales cycle, and shows your partners you are invested in their success.