For businesses, technology has the power to streamline workflows, create a more efficient operation, and boost revenue. However, sometimes the pace at which technology advances can be dizzying, making strategic planning and managing channel partner relationships more complicated.
From communicating needs to lead management to distributing content marketing materials, the pain points of partner management can easily be solved with a partner relationship management (PRM) solution. In fact, with a PRM, businesses have seen a 48-percent increase in revenue and the sales cycle 5.5 times shorter, according to a 2017 Aberdeen Group Research Study on channel partner marketing and sales.
Here are five common pain points and how a PRM can help:
Pain Point #1: “It’s difficult to stay organized over email.”
With a PRM solution, it’s easy to keep tabs on who received which piece of content and where leads are in the buying process. Instead of exchanging emails back and forth to retrieve a case study or content marketing piece, everything is readily available in the PRM 24/7/365. In fact, a robust PRM will offer the ability to pin specific items to a dashboard or homepage for constant easy access to avoid having to send another email asking where something is. Additionally, as a channel partner facilitates the closing of a deal, a PRM offers a library of best practices and recommendations for what the process should look like. This prevents back-and-forth emails between the partner and vendor, which tightens the sale timeline and ultimately improves and streamlines the customer experience.
Pain Point #2: “Our channel partners don’t save the files we send.”
If you have partners who are always emailing and asking you to send them the same piece of content, a PRM is the answer. The amount of time spent looking for a file, making sure it’s the right file with back-and-forth emails or calls, and then sending the email—over and over again—equals downtime and lost productivity. Save time and money by putting all of your content in one place so your partners have constant access to all of your resources and feel empowered to sell more efficiently and effectively.
Pain Point #3: “Our content isn’t getting to our partners in a timely fashion.”
When it comes to distributing content to your channel partners, time is of the essence. You want them to have the most up-to-date materials the moment they’re ready, but sending out personalized emails can take forever. With a PRM, vendors can deliver content to the platform the moment it’s ready and partners can retrieve it immediately. Also, because a PRM solution is cloud-based, there is no end to the amount of content it can hold—from news and new product information to marketing materials, technical documentation, incentives, and more.
Pain Point #4: “Our partners don’t even know how many resources we have.”
You might have the most engaging, dynamic, and powerful content—but if it lives in an internal database, on Google Drive, or even in a stack on your desk, then chances are your partners don’t know just how much amazing content you have available. Ultimately, this does a disservice to you, your partners, and the customer. Plus, with an internal database, you have to either manage permissions for your partners or send out individual emails every time a partner requests a piece of marketing content. There are plenty of problems with this process, but a PRM platform offers a holistic, robust solution. A PRM allows you to:
- Deliver powerful filtering options based in the inbound marketing methodology
- Coach partners on specific pieces of content to use at key points in the marketing funnel and sales cycle
- Customize permissions so partners know if content is downloadable or shareable on social media
- Recommend similar content based on the type of content the vendor currently uses or is engaged with
- Provide self-service resources and content 24/7/365
The best thing about a PRM solution? If your partners aren’t sure what to ask, they don’t have to spend time emailing back and forth with a vendor to suss out the best piece of content to sell better. The right PRM offers a powerful search function, which means a partner can find what they’re looking for any time, day or night, without resorting to a chain of emails or phone calls. This saves everyone time and money, and streamlines the entire channel partner experience.
Pain Point #5: “We want to offer a great partner experience, but we don’t know how.”
For vendors, one of the biggest concerns about a PRM is a fear of losing content and not having control over branding and organizing marketing resources. The great news is that a PRM helps vendors securely put all of their assets in one place on a clean and accessible platform. Whether you want to share a PowerPoint presentation, video, case study, white paper, fact sheet, or other type of file, a PRM can handle it all. You can even organize your content around topic clusters, so your partners have all the content they need about a specific, competitive scenario in order to win the client. Your partners will also benefit from cobranding opportunities, self-service training, and even gamification based on leads or certifications gained, which helps drive partner engagement with the PRM.
Channel sales processes are, in many cases, becoming complex and difficult to manage. Now is the time to choose the right tool to help you work seamlessly and efficiently with your partners—and to help your company stand out from the crowd. Download the 2018 Allbound Partner Relationship Management Guide to learn more about how a top-notch solution can take your channel sales to the next level.