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Kevin Dean
by Kevin Dean
on July 17, 2019

Companies depend on reliable partnerships. The right Partnership Relationship Management (PRM) software can streamline collaboration with business partners, including contractors, vendors, sales teams, resellers, and distributors.

Optimizing relationships is a great thing, but it can be hard to assign a dollar value. PRM software doesn't close new business or form the partnerships in the first place. It does, however, cost money. Upper management or shareholders might want to know what return they are getting on their investment in this solution.

Here are seven ways in which PRM software can bolster your bottom line. Every company will value these metrics differently. If you can assign a dollar value to any of them, you are well on your way to justifying your PRM software expense.

1. On-boarding New Partners

PRM software may allow you to foster partnerships more quickly, reducing labor costs and lag time. Many partnerships generate a bigger payoff the sooner they can be deployed into the field. PRM solutions facilitate this by being a central repository for partnership data, streamlining the process.

Put some thought into the cost savings and revenue enhancement of lightening your onboarding process. If PRM software can eliminate the need for employees to travel to the partner to complete onboarding, that is another tangible expense reduction.

2. Lead Management

If you distribute leads to your partner network, PRM software can streamline the process. Use your PRM platform to track lead collection, distribution, and progress toward conversion. In the data age, many companies suffer from a surplus of leads. PRM software allows you to identify unqualified leads quickly, nurture qualified leads at every stage of the sales cycle, and respond quickly to close the sale when buying temperature is high. 

If this allows the company to intake more leads or convert at a higher rate, you can quantify that data into ROI on the software.  Remember this equation: Revenue = Leads x Closing Rate x Sale Value

3. Feedback in Real Time

Partners can monitor data from the entire sales ecosystem on one convenient PRM dashboard. Sophisticated KPI tracking and analytics cut through the noise to deliver a snapshot of sales performance. This instant feedback allows problem areas to be identified and addressed quickly. No one's creativity is stifled or missed out on due to lack of timely information. 

4. Training Technicians and Sales Reps

PRM software can also be your training center. Top-performing employees no longer have to sacrifice hours of productivity leading training sessions.

You could create or purchase a repository of online learning modules which employees can complete at their own pace. This can result in huge savings on the cost of in-person training.

5. One App to Rule them All

Early on, businesses acquire a menagerie of apps, each one targeted at a separate vendor. Each app may have outdated information, and it prevents partners and vendors from talking to each other.

Many single-purpose apps can be replaced with a one-stop-shop PRM app. App clutter tends to choke off communication and bottleneck productivity. Grouping partner relationships into one app gets everyone on the same page. The cost of the PRM is likely cheaper than combined cost of other applications, a huge initial cost saver. Over time, the efficiency you gain by utilizing a PRM will save on the cost of labor and simplified channel communication will boost sales by cutting down on partner turnover and increasing the speed of onboarding.

6. A One-Stop Shop for Information

You can add as much as you want of almost any kind of content to a PRM platform. As such, it can be your go-to bulletin board, SOP library, and archive. Whatever content your partners are looking for, they can find the current version in your PRM database.  

If partners have to check multiple sources for current information and materials, something could easily get missed. Upload all news, documentation, data, marketing material, and more to the PRM software. No longer having to distribute these materials in hard copy can save you big right off the bat.

7. Partners' Mindshare

Your associates may have other partnerships competing for their attention. Often they will default their effort to the easiest partner. This is typically the most profitable partnership for the affiliate anyway. To get the most out of your business relationships, you want to be that easy relationship that gets the partner's full attention.

Streamlined PRM software keeps the benefits of your partnership in the forefront of your affiliates' minds, helping them prioritize your partnership over others. If you track the cost of partner turnover, the benefits of longer and more fruitful relationships should be easy to assign a dollar value.

Once you establish some metrics, you can calculate how much your PRM software has boosted business. What should you expect from a "successful" PRM implementation?

Conservative data suggests that most indirect sales companies can improve their bottom line by at least 10% with the right PRM software. Often the boost is closer to 20%, or, when a very messy system can be corrected, up to 40%.

Deployed correctly, your new PRM platform should pay for itself many times over.

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