Leading research firm, Forrester, defines Partner Relationship Management (PRM) as: The dynamic business processes and programs — and supporting technology — that support the key roles and activities of: targeting, recruiting, enabling, managing, understanding, and collaborating with partners for the purpose of delivering holistic (manufacturer-partner) solutions to customers. This definition closely aligns with Mindmatrix's view of Partner Relationship Management and core PRM elements. Attracting the right channel partners, getting them to sign up with you, training, onboarding and enabling them to see the path of success, is the basic roadmap to managing channel partner relationships.
Covering Partner Relationship Management, channel partner sales and marketing enablement, Mindmatrix is truly the #OnePlatformm that brings it all together. Please watch the video to learn more.
This is the base of a good channel network. A good PRM software will help you attract the right channel partner and make them a part of your channel network. The 'right' partner is one whose values and vision complement yours, someone who truly believes in your brand and whose expectations from their relationship with your brand lines up with yours.
Companies today know that recruiting the right partner is not enough. In fact, most vendors agree that this is just the first step. What's next? Equipping channel partners with the training they need to sell vendor products/ services successfully. An effective PRM Software helps you do just that.
You need to have a solid business plan for your channel sales model to work well. You need to plan ahead on how you will engage and empower your channel partners to sell more. Your business plan should focus on channel engagement, participation and partnerships to help dramatically improve your channel partner's performance. Not all channel partners are the same. You need to understand your channel sales model and use that knowledge to enable your channel partners and keep them engaged. A good PRM software offers you all the visibility you need to understand your channel partners and motivate them accordingly.
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Your salespeople get commission, invitations to company dinners, events, etc. What about your channel partners? Don't forget to motivate your channel partners. They are a part of your sales network just like the direct sales team. Have a value adding partner incentive/reward program in place to motivate your channel partners to sell. Next-gen PRM software lets you measure your channel partner's performance and develop objective Incentive/ Rewards program.
Today's competitive business environment is making profit margins slimmer than ever. Channel conflicts can strain your channel relationships and cost you valued channel partners. If you want your channel partners to work enthusiastically for you, you need to prove that you care enough to protect their interests and revenue. One of the ways to convey this message is by having an opportunity management or deal registration system. Next-gen PRM software offers deal registration mechanisms that allow you to control the flow of leads to your channel partners. Since every lead has to be approved by you, the chances of two channel partners pursuing the same lead drops to zero, eliminating channel conflicts.
When you have a widespread channel partner base, it is important to ensure you are routing the right leads to the right partner. You may have a varied customer base with each partner specializing in a particular industry/customer type. Or you may choose to assign leads on a round-robin basis so that you are fair to all your channel partners, or you may just choose to divide the leads based on their location. Whatever it is, you need to have a strong and consistent lead routing system that works 24/7 to route your leads to the right channel partners so they don't get lost in the journey. A complete PRM software offers you effecient lead routing tools so the leads are directed to the right channel partners on time.
Market development fund is a great resource to motivate your channel partners to push your products and services better. However, most vendors find it challenging to keep track of MDF distributed to multiple channel partners, for multiple marketing needs. Sure, you allocated the funds and even gave them guidelines on how they need to be used. But are your funds being utilized effectively? You need to know which channels are spending MDF and what they are spending it on. Our effective PRM software the MDF usage effectively ensures that you make the most of your marketing funds.
Next-gen PRM software is equipped with Partner Portal. A partner portal plays a key role in helping you maintain your partner relationships better. It provides your channel partners with easy access to critical elements that will help them close deals faster. It can go a long way in infusing transparency into your relationship with your channel partners and make it easy for them to sell more for you.