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CRM and PRM: Sync Data and Combine Forces

PRM adds the functionality needed specifically for channel partners, such as recruitment, registration, tracking, training, segmenting, protecting, supplying and incentivizing.

Relayware Partner Relationship Management

CRM and PRM: Sync Data and Combine Forces

The CRM (customer relationship management) software category, and Salesforce.com in particular, enjoys trailblazer status in the great history of the IT Cloud, and today PRM -- partner relationship management -- systems are frequently preceded by CRM adoption. However, CRM and PRM provide separate value.

PRM adds the functionality needed specifically for channel partners, such as recruitment, registration, tracking, training, segmenting, protecting, supplying and incentivizing. That's also why you want the two systems to interoperate; changes to one database should automatically replicate in the other, and unless configured otherwise, sync in both directions. Also, one sign-on should admit channel managers at vendor companies to log into both systems.

You also want both CRM and PRM to play nicely together in the handoff of processes within a workflow. Events logged in one system should trigger notifications, mailings, approvals, updates, etc., in the other. Furthermore, the same status of each lead, opportunity and deal should be in sync in Salesforce and n the partner portal.

The first order of business in getting this dual-system collaboration going is mapping fields from one cloud to the other. This is a task made simple in Relayware's PRM cloud through its CRM Connector for Salesforce tool. With Relayware’s CRM Connector, many standard fields are imported from Salesforce directly into Relayware equivalents by default. Custom objects -- or the individual fields contained within -- can be replicated and mapped in the other system in one step. Synchronization can be controlled by defining the relationships between related objects.

The synced view of opportunities and their status allows a channel account manager, for example, to work in his Salesforce.com comfort zone when validating an opportunity that's been entered by a channel partner through the partner's Relayware web form.

The interplay between CRM and PRM -- and between the roles of account manager and partner -- are clearly illustrated in a representative Relayware workflow diagram below. Here activities are specified, and business rules determine branching along a grid, where rows represent actors and their systems (Partner, Partner Portal, Relayware, Salesforce.com, Partner Account Manager) and columns represent ordered processes, from Opportunity Creation to Nurturing/Validation, to Deal Approval, to Products and Pricing.

Relayware presents standard workflows that incorporate best channel practices. Workflows can also be customized as an option, and whole stages added.

Pricebook synchronization is particularly important here; product catalogs and prices can be imported from your CRM into Relayware’s solutions, automatically matched to country and partner type. Since prices and product availability can vary not only by geography, but also by partner tier, this is an important labor-saving feature.

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