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Relayware Partner Relationship Management

Relayware Featured on CCI's "Channel Wisdom" Podcast

Episode 7: What Makes a Good PRM? Insights from Mike Maturo

Posted on June 15, 2016 By Mike Maturo

Steve Kellam from CCI – Global Channel Management invited me to have a chat about PRM and the opportunities it can afford companies who sell through the channel. Having Steve’s expertise in the conversation was great because CCI has a lot of experience creating and managing global channel programs. Steve reflected and reinforced some of the key points about PRM.

One of the key points is that good PRM is really a set of tools, rather than a point-solution. Good PRM supports your partners across sales, marketing, and training, at least. Another key point is that a solid PRM integrates seamlessly with other software solutions that may be in place to support channel operations, including financial systems and incentive programs. Finally, the metrics and analytics that can come from PRM are game-changing, delivering insights into the partner program that reveals the best areas for improvement.

The discussion was an enjoyable one, and we look forward to continuing our work with CCI.

Selected Quotes from the Podcast:


PRM adds a whole set of channel management tools. It brings tools for sales, marketing and training to your partners, and it makes your partners much more valuable to your end customers and it makes them much more valuable to you as a partner, because you are enabling them to have a better understanding of your products. You are better able to track how your partners are performing from a sales perspective. You are able to collaborate with them with better tools, like business planning and digital account planning. You are able to track training and certification a lot more easily. And you have a level of automation that enables you to have a richer relationship with your partners without manual intervention, so there are a lot of ways that PRM is changing the conversation with partners.

A good PRM needs to have a few key features. You want a well integrated solution. You want something that has a strong API, a strong CRM Connector. One that plays well in the ecosystem that we were just talking about — the ecosystem of software for a partner. That includes single sign-on. That includes connectors with other pieces of software and that’s to make sure that it plays well in the sandbox. Some other points about a good PRM is that you want it to be a comprehensive solution. So, even though it integrates well, you want it to be able to give you Insight into several aspects of the partner relationship. I keep mentioning sales, marketing and training, because those are the three main areas besides the portal itself that are important. So that your partners have one place to go, so they are comfortable with one environment, and they have an integrated experience.

The other thing that’s increasing important is the analytics for PRM, for partner relationship management. We’re even calling it "partner performance management." We are pushing the envelope a little here. Reporting and analytics, just as they are important for CRM, they are equally and growing in importance for PRM. So you need a tool that’s going to give you strong business intelligence, strong dashboards, so that your partners have insights into the relationship and you have insight into the relationship.

The biggest trends we are seeing is not around new partners, because on boarding new partners is really important, but it’s on boarding existing partners that you’ve had for a long time. It’s supplying the tools and information to people who have been partners for a long time and bringing them up to speed, reeducating them, re-engaing them and getting more use from those existing partners, which of course translate into greater revenue, greater profitability for everyone. That’s one of the biggest trends — how do you get more out of your partners that you may have had more many years.

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