What is Partner Relationship Management Software?

Partnerships are the lifeblood of many brands. Meaningful partnerships can help you form new connections, expand your customer base, and increase revenue opportunities.

What is Partner Relationship Management Software?

Partner Relationship Management (PRM) tools help channel sales managers and marketing executives connect with their partners more efficiently. With one tool for all of your partner management needs, PRMs remove redundancy in the process by automating tasks like education or lead registration so you can spend less time on them while still managing leads from different sources accordingly.

With partner management software (PRM), businesses can organize and scale all aspects of partnerships. Whether these are with individuals or other companies, PRM software helps your business find new partners through customized screening processes, recruit those partners, and train newcomers on how to handle functions like customer complaints. PRMs also help establish metrics that everyone feels confident pursuing and provide visibility into partner network data, making goal-setting, reporting, and forecasting easier and more accurate.

Related article: How to Manage Channel Partner Conflict with Neutral Sales Comp

Why do I need PRM software?

Partnerships are a way for enterprises to find innovative ways of getting maximum market traction. Partners get paid commission on sales or leads generated through their efforts.

The use of channel partner management software has been shown to create efficiency in an organization by streamlining processes, strengthening business partnerships, and delivering mutual growth.

These technologies provide visibility into the complexity present within multi-tier channel networks with automated operations for increased sales opportunities through decreased investments from resources that support these relationships. This greater success rate leads to higher market share and better satisfaction rates among partners.

PRM software is an essential tool for any business looking to expand its reach and increase revenue. It can improve communication with your channel partner network, keep marketing and branding standardized, and provide more accurate, comprehensive reporting and forecasting on partner performance.

Related article: Channel Partner Incentive Program Best Practices

Common Features of Partner Relationship Management Solutions

PRM software can help your business automate many daily partnership program management and optimization tasks. Your PRM solution should have all the following functionality:

  • Partner discovery: Search, discover, and meet companies, affiliates and resellers who are ready and looking to sell your products
  • Lead management and tracking: Prevent sales and channel conflict by sharing leads with your partners, and measure partner influence by tracking their conversion down the pipeline
  • Inventory control and rates systems help businesses set reasonable prices for their products or services, accounting for partner-specific discounting arrangements and designating inventory equitably between partners.
  • Partner tracking: Track and measure the success of each partnership across all channels in real-time. Get actionable insights to help you analyze the strength of each partnership and optimize your channel program.
  • Resource sharing: Help your partners improve and sell more by sharing educational resources, promotional material, and sales enablement assets easily
  • Partner and channel management: Manage all communication with partners in a single, trackable, auditable platform
  • Partner incentive compensation: Automate your channel partner incentive program, track and schedule any payments owed to your partners, and forecast partner revenue contribution.
  • Partner portal creation: Automate partner onboarding and give them all the information and tools they need to promote and sell your offering, including automated contract creation and data-transfer processes.

PRM vs. CRM software

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and Partner Relationship Management software make business relationship management easier and more effective.

That is where the similarities end. Channel partner relationships require very different management than the typical customer. Partnerships are more complex than customer relationships, with far more moving parts and processes that need clear communication.

Although they share many of the same functionality, partner relationship management software is considerably more complicated and generally significantly customized to each business’s unique go-to-market strategy and needs.

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