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You Need CRM + PRM for Robust Sales Management

It’s essential that your channel program data is synced between your CRM and PRM systems in order to maintain visibility into channel operations.

Relayware Partner Relationship Management

You Need CRM + PRM for Robust Sales Management

Posted on September 2, 2016

For productive, strong channel program management, it’s essential that your channel program data is synced between your CRM and PRM systems in order to maintain visibility into channel operations.

Remember that partner relationship management (PRM) solutions (like Relayware’s) improves the processes and communications between a vendor and their channel partners. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions are focused on the relationship with the final, end-customer. While there are some similarities between these relationships, these solutions do not address the same set of people or the same challenges, and therefore you can’t expect one to effectively substitute for the other. Channel partner program management needs are different from what you need to manage your customer relationships.

Some CRM solution providers offer a small bit of overlap in functionality with PRM solution providers, and often people compare PRM to CRM when first introducing the concept. But don’t get confused. There are many aspects of channel management that are inherently different from customer relationship management. So, what’s needed is integration between the two systems – have your PRM talk to your CRM.

A channel partner’s needs are different from a customer’s.

For example:

  • As a vendor you have a need to train your resellers. You may even have accreditation and certification. This is a different type of learning than you’d expect from a customer.
  • You want to help your channel partners market your solutions to end-customers putting together their brand with yours. This may include co-branded white papers or other advertising materials.
  • Marketing development funds (MDF) are a key part of many channel programs. This isn't part of your relationship with your customers.
  • You want your channel partners to register opportunities, track their deals and register their sales.

These are just a few of the key differences, but they highlight why you’d need different systems for these distinct relationships.

And in the end your channel partners are touching your end-customers, so naturally you want your PRM solution to sync up with your CRM.

For more on how Relayware connects with Salesforce, for example, click here.

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