If you are in the manufacturing industry, mapping your customer’s buying journey can be complex. Partner Relationship Management (PRM) helps improve communication between companies and their channel partners. The amount of time and consideration dedicated to these investments is critical to your organization and your channel partners.
Partner Relationship Management (PRM) is a combination of software, processes, and strategies companies use to streamline their business duties. A strong PRM system can be viewed as both a technological solution and a business philosophy. Features include onboarding new channel partners, lead management, executing marketing campaigns, training, and performance management.
Using a PRM increases engagement throughout your channels. Effective PRM processes seek to identify and resolve conflict in every area of the channel. By implementing a PRM, you are able to establish efficient systems for conducting business. Channel managers using a PRM system are able to provide a single place for partners to easily access information necessary to successfully sell their products and services. Partners are also able to quickly and easily register their deals, access contact information, retrieve reports, and complete necessary tasks. With the right resources, your channel partners can transform their sales and marketing efforts. CSO Insights reports that 19.3 percent of companies attribute more than 90% of their revenue to channel sales.
PRM software increases employee engagement by combining channel management best practices with sales enablement, process management, and performance management. By providing access to databases and increasing transparency between partners, collaboration can foster between channel management teams. Without a PRM, companies may find themselves emailing resources and spreadsheets back and forth, consequently causing ineffective lead distribution, unmanaged backlogs, and indolent response times.
In today's technological world, not adapting to current technology innovations can hinder your business's growth and ability to collaborate. Using a PRM allows channel managers and partners to effectively distribute assets and information across channels and speed up sales transactions. In a 2009 Towers and Watson study, which looked at more than 50 global companies, companies that achieved high levels of employee engagement experienced a 19% operating income improvement over a 12 month period. In contrast, companies with low levels of engagement had a 33% decline in operating income over a 12 month period.
A key to strengthening channel partner relationships is making it easier for partners to sell. A great way to ensure this is by running marketing and sales campaigns. PRM allows businesses to integrate digital marketing into their business strategy. Using PRM software tools, a business is able to automate workflows, personalize, and scale their marketing efforts. Marketing platforms like HubSpot allow users to extend their reach through email, social media, and content campaigns.
In addition to releasing content, PRMs can also help companies engage with their audience. Information can be collected and automated to help move customers across the buyer's journey. For example, taking advantage of your contacts list allows you to nurture leads and create long term relationships with customers.
One of the advantages of using PRM software is increased mindshare between channel partners. Mindshare is the amount of attention a business gets from its partner network. The goal of using a PRM, especially in conjunction with a CRM, is to retain customer attention with the intention of gaining business when a sales opportunity presents itself.
This process is completed using the sales flywheel. A flywheel differs from a sales funnel in many ways. Inbound marketers utilize flywheels to ensure they retain sales momentum and nurture relationships long after a deal has been won. The flywheel methodology focuses on customer-centered results by utilizing marketing, sales, and service tactics. In comparison, a funnel methodology focuses on transactional relationships. Consequently, this methodology places the customer as an afterthought.
There are many ways companies can increase their mindshare using PRM software. One of the ways is interacting with partners on a regular basis. This can be achieved through regular emails, social media engagement, and contact with sales teams. PRM software enables businesses to complete these tasks with ease. Through platforms like Zinfi, channel managers can automate social and email marketing. They can also directly engage with customers via these platforms. Channel managers can utilize PRM software to set up training, tasks, and track lead processes. Using a PRM allows constant sharing of information throughout the channel. By integrating platforms, companies are able to ensure every lead is contacted within a timely manner.
By automating systems, such as social posting and email campaigns, you increase the value of your partner interactions. Automation makes it easier to interact with your company. Your sales team can focus on offering personalized experiences for their customers and continue to build relationships. This in turn creates more sales and increases your mindshare.
Additionally, PRM software also has a business philosophy embedded in it. Using methodologies like the sales flywheel, PRM focuses on customer satisfaction. The White House Office of Consumer Affairs reported a satisfied customer is worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase. It is important for businesses to retain their existing customers to increase their mindshare and overall engagement.
PRM v. CRM
PRM and CRM are often used interchangeably, although they both have different capabilities and accomplish different goals. Customer relationship management (CRM) is concerned with a company's relationship with its end customers. A PRM is concerned with managing relationships within indirect sales teams, partners, and dealers. PRM systems enable ongoing transactions, training, and technical support, as well as working to improve a company's ability to market through channel partners. Many companies have integrated CRM solutions within PRM software to extend their functionality and simplify processes.
Channel partners can only be as successful as the infrastructure and support they have access to. Using a strong PRM software can help them increase sales, retain customers, and increase collaboration as a team. PRM offers many useful sales tools, such as real-time reporting, opportunity tracking, and automation which can increase your business' reach. ManoByte is ready to be your partner and maximize your PRM software.