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Relayware Partner Relationship Management

Considering PRM? 5 Steps to Getting It Right.

Posted on October 27, 2014 by Mike Maturo, Sales Development Representative

When your channel partner program becomes big enough, you’re going to need a partner relationship management automated software solution. When you reach the milestone of 100 partners, know the answers to these 5 questions.

  • 1) Are the right people in the room? Make sure you know your internal buying process and who will need to weigh in. This may include Sales, Marketing, IT and the C-Suite. Work to get your colleagues on the same page as you are doing your due diligence on available solutions. Create a requirements document that includes input from all. If you build a requirements document, your research with be easier and more effective. This document can be as simple as a spreadsheet listing your requirements or as detailed as a document outlining each requirement with specific use cases and information.
  • 2) Do you really need software? If you’re under 100 partners, it’s likely that spreadsheets are enough. However, there’s a tipping point when you’ll find yourself managing lots of information in lots of different places. You’re relying on emails as well as one system for training, another for MDF, another for deal registration. Make sure to watch for that tipping point between “cheap and cheerful” and “time consuming and cumbersome.”
  • 3) Do you have more than one PRM need? Is it just the portal? Is it just training? The best implementers of PRM software have one macro-problem (like a bad portal) and one micro problem (like the desire for deal registration). Also, fixing one problem usually reveals another weakness, so plan on scaleable solutions and a long-term plan that reaches into the seven areas of PRM.
  • 4) What’s happening today? Know and document your partner ecosystem. This includes your partner count as well as your user count (i.e., which partners are really engaged with you). Know what features and functionality they are using and asking for. Do they use the portal every day? Are they engaged in training, certification? How do you onboard your partners today? What other analytics do you have today and what analytics do you wish you had to take your program to that next step? Write all this down so you and your colleagues know what to look for when searching for a PRM solution, and you’re all on the same page.
  • 5) Have you talked with your partner channel? As you are pursuing a PRM solution, be sure to have conversations with your partners to understand what will have the biggest impact on them selling your products. Learn what your competitors doing for your partners. For example, are they offering better pricing, an easier portal experience, or greater incentives?.

Going through this thought process will help you identify the best software solution for driving stellar revenue numbers from your growing channel.