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5 Things to Look for in a PRM Solution

Make sure your partner relationship management (PRM) solution checks out in these five areas.

Relayware Partner Relationship Management

5 Things to Look for in a PRM Solution

You've decided to grow your reseller base, or double your efforts at increasing sales from your existing partners. And you know you need channel-specific automation to accomplish this without increasing inside headcount. Get this right the first time by making sure your partner relationship management (PRM) solution checks out in these five categories.

Is it a cloud-based SaaS PRM solution? You want your multi-functional PRM available via single sign-on from any Internet access point, and you don't want the hassle of updates or version control. This benefits both you and your channel partners.

Does your PRM offer strong, fully functional mobile apps for both IoS and Android? This is particularly important to vendors with channel partners in several countries, since in many regions, smart phones and tablets are partners' primary communications and Internet platform. Your partner portal should have all features and functionality regardless of device – from desktop and laptop to smartphone and tablet. At home and abroad, enable your resellers to register deals from the convenience of their smartphones and as soon as the prospect is engaged. Empower sales professionals at your channel partners to bring up product catalogs, technical specs and even instructional videos on site. Push notifications can alert the feet on the street to new training courses at the time when your partner is most receptive to the message.

Do you have direct control? Your PRM should be your direct path to the channel; all content changes and uploads should be yours to make, whenever you want. The same goes for business rules and workflows; nothing but password protection should come between your admins and any updates or changes. Look out for managed service solutions, which depend on an MSP's active intervention, support tickets and wait times to make updates or upload content. Similarly, watch out for services that charge additional setup and monthly for uploads or training material over a set amount.

Are you charged for licensing by partner organization, or by individual? Make sure the technology you use to manage your channel partners is robust and affordable. Select a PRM that charges by partner organization and gives each and every partner professional access. Look out for solutions that require SFDC licenses for each and every portal user. As your partner orgs grow and add additional staff to support you, you’re able to get each new professional up and running and keep your long-time professionals on their on unique upward trajectory. Ensure that you can send personalized messages, announcements, approvals and reminders as well as track individual performance and certifications. After all, sales are made and training absorbed by people, not organizations.

Do you have a fully comprehensive PRM that integrates with other solutions? Ensure that your partner portal solution integrates with the other solutions that are imperative to running your partner program, such as your CRM, incentives management or through-partner marketing. The more channel-vendor activities conducted through your portal provider, the more flexibly you can segment and target your partner types and regions with different training, content, and incentives, and the more your dashboards can show on one screen. Also, the less expensive programming expertise required. Content management with multilingual support, training, testing and certification, business and account planning, renewal management, MDF management, campaign automation, rebates and incentives, social media publishing can require third-party solutions or custom coding. So, find a PRM system that has these functions built in or offers them as snap-in modules to their basic offering.