Staying competitive in today's tech-facilitated business environment requires the right technology for maximizing operational performance to increase overall business performance. Core systems for achieving these important goals should include a modern PRM system for comprehensively managing channel partner relationships. A state-of-the-art PRM platform gives manufacturers the ability to manage large numbers of external sales partners with the highest possible speed and efficiency.
As Harvard Business Review explains, the overwhelming force of business software allows today's big businesses to dominate their industries. So, it makes sense that so many companies are working toward their own digital maturity by expanding network systems, including various central management platforms and other software integrations, including CRMs and PRMs.
If you don't already have a PRM system in place, it can seem overwhelming and costly to invest in yet another software addition. While not all business software platforms are of equally fundamental importance, a PRM is one that needs to be on the priority list of business tech essentials, as your indirect sales channels likely account for well over half of your total sales revenue, and should be nurtured accordingly.
Here's a closer look at some of the major benefits of PRM software:
1. More Productive Marketing
All channel partners should be providing some form of marketing for your business. That means they are effectively serving as representatives of your business and of what your brand stands for. Their presentation of your products is a reflection of your company. Therefore, it is fundamentally important that you provide these partners with the best marketing, sales tools, materials available for your business's purposes.
Supplying channel partners with the revenue-generating tools they need may involve simply enabling free access to your company's marketing and sales materials, perhaps through MDF allocation, or co-branding of marketing materials may be the most mutually advantageous approach, if supported by a clear written step-by-step plan for execution of marketing and sales strategies.
The benefit is significantly more control of brand messaging to sustain consistency and, at the same time, provide all channel partners with the resources necessary for them to succeed.
2. Rapid Growth for Partners in Revenue Channels
Working with numerous revenue channel partners is often the strategy for companies with ambitious growth goals. But accumulating many of those all-important revenue-building relationships without the necessary tech tools to manage them is unlikely to lead to the desired outcome. It makes sense that the greater number of parties engaged in a business endeavor, the more complex management of those relationships proves to be.
To start, after you locate prospective channel partners, you must undertake the recruiting process. That, of course, includes introducing your new partners to your company and your product or service, along with the basics necessary for them to succeed in their proposed new partnership role.
With numerous partnering arrangements, each with its own multitude of interactions in all the areas of engagement, it's easy enough to see that it is advisable to have a tech tool for:
- Organizing all processes and documents automatically
- Administrating interactions
- Tracking key metrics
- Transparently managing inventories
- Executing transactions
- Conducting communications
- Lead management
3. Efficient Oversight of All Channel Activity
As you can imagine, without PRM software, it is not really feasible to maintain optimal levels of oversight across a rapidly scaling indirect-marketing and sales apparatus, as the number of external operations sprawls and multiplies the demands on internal resources.
To succeed, your revenue channel requires robust monitoring of channel partners. That is typically difficult without the ease of use and extensive functionality of the sophisticated PRM channel partner performance tracking tools.
Mechanisms need to be in place to help ensure that all channel partners are fully utilizing the resources your company has appropriated to them. Without them, it is predictable that some number of participants in any channel partnering program will fail to meet expectations, perhaps without it even being noticed for an extended period of time.
Along with real-time monitoring and the performance reporting and analytics featured in PRM software, it also delivers the steady flow of vital information channel partner managers need in order to provide the support necessary to resolve issues promptly.
This full accountability is due to the transparency a PRM allows across a business's network of channel partners. It helps channel managers make better-informed decisions, and it motivates your partners to perform their best.
4. Feedback from Channel Partners in Real Time
One of the most powerful capabilities that PRM software enables for channel administrators is the ability to receive and process feedback from channel partners in real time. These partners are operating a key segment of your marketing and sales operations.
Their real-time input empowers you to discover issues that might otherwise go unnoticed for too long, and to make necessary adaptations with optimum agility to best meet your customers' needs and expectations.
5. Automated Recruiting, Onboarding, Training, and Certification
The costs of finding and bringing new talent on board represents a shocking percentage of the total cost of doing business. The advantages of automating the processes necessary to bring on and maintain channel partner relationships throughout the duration of these critical business affiliations are enormous.
Competitors without the benefit of the modern PRM platform resources cannot keep pace with today's systems for management by a few clicks for each of the previously time- and labor-intensive partner recruiting, onboarding, and training processes.
6. Automated Lead Routing
If a PRM had no other function other than lead routing for a growing number of channel partners, it still would arguably be easy to justify the investment and migration to the system. Forbes details the fundamental importance of using lead management technology to compete in the current business environment. Key lead management functions performed by top PRMs with built-in lead routing systems can include:
- Evaluating and qualifying leads
- Organizing lead files
- Prospect profile building
- Distributing leads
- Tracking leads through the sales funnel
- Communications prompting and tracking
- Funnel workflow management
- Lead nurturing
Lead management systems (LMS) are popular as stand-alone software programs. Your PRM may integrate with your existing LMS, or you may be operating the built-in LMS component of a PRM. In either case, lead management is supported by the comprehensive partner relationship management platform store of cross-referenced data and information.
This resource brings your sales operations the full control that is only possible with the amazing breadth of digital resources for marketing and sales that a PRM makes instantly accessible. For example, indexing records of all partner communications and activity increases efficiency in servicing leads, and tracking and prompting functions register and index every action regarding the lead, preventing any lead from slipping through the inevitable cracks in manual lead processing systems.
PRM and the Future of Competition
The global PRM market is reportedly expected to grow to US $679 million over the next three years. It's fair to say that this enormous trend in PRM usage marks the advent of the PRM era in managing marketing and sales proxies.
The takeaway from this information for growing companies is that to be able to compete going into the coming decade, all businesses utilizing indirect marketing and sales resources are well advised to upgrade to modern PRM technology.
For More Information About PRM
For more information about PRM technology and how to integrate it into your channel partner management program, feel free to contact Manobyte anytime to discuss your needs with one of our experts.