Many companies have failed to gain a demonstrable return on their investment in their CRM strategies but in many cases, this is not because the CRM strategy itself is flawed but rather because companies often do not consider that a holistic CRM/PRM strategy is needed. The fact is that if you sell your products or services through an indirect sales channel, then CRM is only half of the story. A CRM strategy should nurture your customers through the customer lifecycle to increase their propensity to repeat-purchase and recommend your products and services to others.
But in an indirect sales and support model, the individuals and organizations most likely to interact with your customer on a daily basis will be members of your channel partner community – not your own staff. So it follows that at the very least, partners have as much impact on the success of your CRM strategy as you do. In our experience, their impact can be even greater. So does your company have a Partner Relationship Management (PRM) strategy? What provision have you made for PRM methodologies and systems to ensure that you manage the far more complex relationship with your partners? Managing a partner lifecycle involves the same kind of nurturing as a CRM strategy provides for customers but with the added need for maximizing the partner’s propensity to market, recommend and sell for you. And that’s not easy!
Forrester recently released research stating that on average, only 31% of a vendor’s channel partner community is actively selling for them. What of the remaining 69% – could they be selling against you? And of the 31% – how many are truly trained, enabled, motivated and supported to represent your company and execute on your CRM strategy – assuming they are even aware of it, understand it and buy into it?
In practice, the answer is usually “very few”. That is why we strongly advocate the development and execution of an integrated customer and partner relationship management strategyas part of a broader strategy for collaboration and communication with your entire business ecosystem. Relayware is uniquely placed to facilitate such a strategy and supports full, seamless integration with Salesforce CRM and other leading CRM systems. RelayWare complements CRM software to deliver the following capabilities:
Find out how PRM has evolved and how you could be moving beyond mere program automation and facilitating and engaging in true business collaboration with your indirect channel.
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