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Relayware Partner Relationship Management

Four Channel Management Roles, Four Paths to Relayware PRM

by Ellen Muraskin

An ideal, fully fleshed out partner management program employs four areas of channel management -- Channel Marketing, Channel Sales, Channel Operations, and Channel Training. In large organizations these may be very separate roles, and in smaller vendor companies, often channel managers will be performing a mix of these roles.

Regardless of how many roles your channel people play, each one has its own problems to solve. Each one comes to partner automation for its own reasons. So let's role-play each path turn.

Overseeing Channel Sales, I need help hitting raised targets; I need to gain traction on new products in new regions. Or perhaps I've been brought on to lead my company's first formal channel program, and we need to start off on the best possible footing. My view of Relayware shows me sophisticated tools for:

  • Recruitment and on-boarding tools
  • Collaborative business planning
  • Co-brandable collateral
  • Lead-distribution
  • Incentives
  • Deal registration
  • Pipeline visibility for forecasting
  • Reporting that turns raw data into decision support

Managing Channel Marketing, I'm tasked with corporate branding, marketing funds, and partner portal overhaul. From there, it's a short hop to PRM. I come to Relayware for its channel marketing power, which lets me:

  • Drive campaigns and leads -- without IT
  • Track each partner's progress towards incentive awards
  • Automate my MDF requests and approvals
  • Optimize incentives in lifting partner performance

I also own our annual partner summit, and Relayware helps me automate the nuts and bolts of those events, from invitation to registration to evaluation and everything in between.

Overseeing Channel Training, I'm on the line to succeed in an area where many partner programs fail. My application and comfort zone is the LMS, in which I develop and deliver interactive educational materials for new products and markets. In Relayware's Training Pack, I get all this for a channel-specific environment:

  • Upload documents and graphics in a great range of formats, as SCORM-compliant courseware
  • Upload videos with the ease of YouTube
  • Deliver eLearning courses-on-demand
  • Logistics for live, in-person classes
  • Show each partner only the courseware required for his products and geography
  • Pair every course with an automatically scoring test
  • Let partners see their training performance relative to colleagues'

Managing Channel Operations, I'm done with spreadsheets and email. I'm looking for one pane of glass to show me my day-to-day tasks and partner activity, and to automate my routine partner communications whenever possible. So my opening view of Relayware's administrative console shows me:

  • The new partner accounts I need to approve, and links to all their application info. Once I approve, with Relayware there‚Äôs an easy on-boarding workflow.
  • The deal registrations and special pricing requests I need to approve. Once I do, partners are notified.
  • The new leads I need to assign. Once I assign, Relayware keeps me in the follow-up loop.
  • The new status of all the registered opportunities and where they are in the funnel.

I want my channel partner portal to show each tier and each type of partner only the request forms, collateral and quoting tools that are relevant to them. This personalized environment slashes my administrative workload.

I don't want to duplicate the effort goes into entering product, pricing and end customer info into Salesforce. So Relayware syncs bi-directionally with SFDC and Microsoft Dynamics.