Partner relationship management is a collective term that refers to a set of strategies and technology that mostly B2B organizations use to streamline relationships with their marketing partners and selling partners. Partner relationship management can range from a simple approach to managing co-marketing relations to even more complex programs that include data management and more.
As the business grows in size and the number of partners increases, partner management via CRM can become tedious. This is where a PRM portal comes in handy and helps you make your partner management seamless and efficient.
First things first, let’s start with the basic definition of a PRM portal. A partner relationship management portal, or PRM portal, is a web-based application. It provides your channel partners with access to various resources, including sales and marketing info, product info, training and certification, lead management tools, performance management tools, and more.
If you are also a B2B business looking to manage your partners effectively, here is the post for you. In this post, you’ll learn the benefits of partners’ management, its challenges, and the best practices to follow to overcome them. You’ll also learn how a PRM portal can help you with partner management.
Benefits of Partner Relationship Management
1. Scaling Partnerships
Most organizations have partners in large numbers that take care of their products’ sales and marketing. Providing a dedicated channel manager for every partner in the network is neither feasible nor cost-effective. Proper partner management with a portal enables small partners to locate and order products themselves, allowing channel managers to focus on big deals and greater strategic partnerships.
2. Easy Selling to Customers and Partners
Effective partner management helps companies grow their business via indirect channels while keeping a common view for the customer. A PRM portal allows both customers and partners to access order histories and other details via a common centralized view.
3. Streamlined Ordering of Products
Effective partner management helps cut down on the time partners need to perform routine activities like ordering products and parts. Let’s say a customer orders a product from your channel partner. Your channel partner can also order the product from your company in the same way and as instantly as the customer does, with a PRM portal.
4. Improved Partner Relationships
A partner portal makes it easy for you to interact with your partners. With centralized communication, you can gain better insights into sales data and activities to assess sales performance. Accordingly, you can create a strategy to support your partners in boosting their sales cycles and strengthening partner relationships.
Looking for a PRM portal to make your partner relationship management better and efficient? Our PRM portal can be the right fit for you. You can integrate it as it is or get the customization you need to fit your business logic with our team’s assistance.
Challenges of Partnership Management
There are a few common challenges that partner relationship management can pose:
1. Lower Control over Partners
Generally, the level of control over employees, consultants, or contractors is higher than that on partner companies. This is because channel partners are not individuals but companies. And they again consist of different departments, including sales, technical, marketing, and others.
Managing them as a single entity rather than individuals increases the complexity of partner relationship management. A PRM portal can help you overcome this complexity by giving individual partners a centralized view of your company’s relevant data.
2. No Clearly Defined Hierarchy
In the case of a direct sales force, there is a proper hierarchy that everyone follows. This is not the case with partners and they don’t report to you or your vendors directly. As a result, lack of visibility of sales and progress leads to unwanted issues and roadblocks over time. This may lead to poor performance and sales via your channel partners.
3. Gaps in Priorities
Sometimes, your partners may have their priorities differ from yours and your vendors. It may happen that if you are trying to expand into a new marketing vertical or launch a new product or service, your partner may not show interest in that. Both you and your partner need to understand each other’s priorities and mutually find a sweet spot in these cases.
4. Dispersed Data
With so much data from different partners incoming, there may be times you find yourself swamped. Dispersed data can be time-consuming to analyze and also lead to errors. A centralized dashboard where you can easily view and update your partners’ details, track performance, and perform other tasks, is necessary to resolve this issue. A PRM portal can help you and your partners by allowing them to log in individually to access data relevant to them and update it.
5. Poor Forecasting
Poor forecasting is a challenge some companies often face due to a lack of skills and tools to set it right. It is essential to understand your partners, their sales strategies, and speed and use the right technology to drive more accuracy in forecasts.
6. Low Efficiency
Without a proper technology in place, collaborating with partners for every small detail becomes too tedious and time-intensive. Your partners may need to call or email you now and then for a small query and await your response.
However, a partner relationship management portal can help you eliminate this issue by providing what they need via a simple login.
Do you also relate to the above challenges and are looking for a way to overcome them? Our PRM portal can save your day by giving you and your partners a centralized overview for better visibility and easy exchange of information in real-time.
Best Practices of Partner Management
There are some practices that you can follow to make your partner management better.
Analyze and Pick Your Partners Wisely
Before thinking of any partner relationship management strategy or portal, know your partners first. Before you finalize a partner, find out who they are, how they work and earn money, how they stand out in the marketplace, etc. Without a complete knowledge of these things, you can’t get a genuine engagement from your partner.
Besides considering these fundamental drivers, also find out how your products or services fit their product portfolio.
Also keep in mind not to end up signing more partners than you require. This approach can backfire and create challenges like over-distribution, lawsuits, channel conflicts, unhappy customers, etc. So, understand how you will distribute your products and hire only as many partners as you need to hit your business goals.
Consider Training and Incentive Requirements
The training you may need to give to a channel partner may be more than you need to give to your employees. This is because your direct sales force has ample time to learn about your products, unlike your partners. The reason is that partners are not partners of just your company. They may be partners for several different vendors and manufacturing companies with a wide range of products. As a result, they may end up consuming a larger amount of time in understanding your products than actually selling. That is why you must be clear about your training strategy. Plan well in advance about how you will train your new partners about your products and the time and budget you need for that. Also, decide on the incentives you will be giving to your partners well in advance.
Manage Partners’ Loyalty
A partner’s primary loyalty is their customer base and employees. Keep this fact in mind and respect it. It means that no matter how valuable your products and services are, your activities shouldn’t undermine your partners’ relations with their customers.
Hence, even though you sell your products through your partners, ensure that your end-customers get the white-glove approach they want. This helps you build your reputation with your partners. Even though your business may be transactional, partners look to build their businesses on relationships first and transactions later.
Cut the Under-Performers Out
Despite giving your best, some partner relationships don’t work out. This is where you need to chime in and take a tough stance. If your partners aren’t delivering or showing interest in learning your products or services or your support costs are too high, rethink your relationship.
Don’t let the grass grow under your feet for too long.
Have a straightforward conversation with your under-performing partners and ask them the reasons for that. Find out if there is any way that you and they can mutually think of to bring the performance back on track.
Even if nothing seems to work after all this, be ready to swallow a bitter pill - part your ways! Don’t be under the false impression that things will improve Nope, they hardly ever do. Rather than putting up with poor-performing partners, focus on a few well-performing partners that can deliver better.
Want our help to elevate your partner relationship management with the right technology? Our PRM portal comes with centralized database management, lead management, and more that you seek in an ideal PRM portal.
Integrate our PRM Portal - Upgrade Your Partner Management
If you are fed up with managing separate channels for each partner and collaborating with them individually, here’s your panacea. Our PRM portal can help you eliminate the burden of managing every partner and their communications separately.
There are several next-gen features that our partner relationship management portal has as below.
- Database Management - Whether you have CRM or not, our PRM portal enables you to fetch leads into the database and integrate them with your workflow.
- Secured Access - With our PRM portal, you can provide role-based access to your different partners and team members and ensure the security of your company’s sensitive data.
- Sharing Confidential Business Data - If you want certain product installation videos, use-cases, or other confidential data to be available only to a limited group of confidants, you can do that with our PRM portal.
- Purchase & Invoicing - Our partner relationship management portal lets you manage special discounts for partners, generate purchase orders, invoices, or payments, etc. It ensures that you achieve the end goal of any partnership agreement - commercial gains.
How CRMJetty Can Be Your Ideal PRM Portal Development Partner
We believe in numbers - not just verbal assurances. And you can see that. With over a decade of portal development experience, we hold a track record of 70+ custom portal integrations across 80+ countries. Coming to CRM systems we develop portals for, they are Salesforce, Dynamics, Suite CRM, and SugarCRM.
Talking of our work methodology, we follow a flexible portal development approach. We provide both custom-build and build-from-scratch services to customers depending on their needs. First of all, our team gets in touch with you to collect your requirements and then analyzes them. If we find that our ready-to-integrate PRM portal can fulfill all your requirements, we offer you our portal as it is. If there is a need for minor customization, we do them in our PRM portal to fit your business logic. In case your requirements are far different from what we have to offer, we’ve got you covered. We can build a portal exclusively for you - from the ground up. Besides, we provide maintenance and support services for your current portal to match the latest market standards. We offer technology migration, technology, and platform upgrades, re-development of your current solution, repair and maintenance, and more.
So, just make us your partner in getting your PRM portal off the ground and take your first step towards success!
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