In an earlier article, Why Use Channel Partners – 6 Key Benefits, we highlighted how partners could enrich your brand presence and grow revenue. Today, we’ll further explore how PRM software can benefit a company’s partner program.
1. A Best-in-Class PRM Will Convince More Partners to Enlist
The number one thing prospective partners look for in a program? Great products they’d be proud to sell. Yet that’s not their only consideration. They look for reassurances—both explicit and implicit—that they’ll receive the necessary support to become profitable.
The most effective way to convey this to prospective partners is with a blue-ribbon PRM. Walk them through the many portal features that would be at their disposal while simultaneously showing off examples of training content. The exercise will help them appreciate your professionalism and willingness to invest in the partner experience.
2. Partners Operate With the Right Amount of Independence
A significant benefit of PRM software can be summed up in one word: automation.
The portal leverages digital process automation to guide partners through various tasks, such as onboarding and sales enablement. It will recommend actions based on behaviors (or lack thereof) both within the platform and by email. Moreover, your PRM will serve as a gatekeeper on your behalf, presenting links to relevant materials only when the partner is ready.
PRM automation allows partners to engage with the program on their own time and without hold-up (they’ll never be left to impatiently tap their foot as you email them content). You also control the risk of them accidentally going rogue by automating portal conditions based on their specific business type, geography, experience level, etc.
A great example of this concept in action is the document co-branding capability. This PRM feature dictates which partners can co-brand which materials, as well as places the logo on their behalf in adherence to your brand guidelines. Partners won’t have to turn to photoshop or ask you to manually co-brand the items.
Partners aren’t the only ones who benefit from PRM automation. By lessening their reliance upon your company to answer questions and perform menial tasks on their behalf, channel account managers can facilitate more relationships without diminishing partners’ experiences. This is the ultimate key to making your channel program scalable.
3. PRM Software Benefits the Overall Partner Experience
Ideally, a PRM is designed to benefit the end-users, aka your partners. Examples of partner-friendly features within the Allbound platform include:
- The search bar for easy content retrieval
- The option to pin favorite content to the homepage
- In-portal features like MDF form requests and co-branding
- User-specific content recommendations
Most of the above generate near-instant access to desired materials within a consolidated hub, boosting overall content engagement.
Another way in which PRM technology benefits partners is by granting you engagement data. See which resources partners click (and re-click), pin to their dashboards, share on social channels, and use in sales conversations. Based on these insights, you can determine which content partners like most and which you should discard.
4. PRM Tools Prevent Conflicts Over Leads
When the Sherman Brothers composed the 1964 song It’s a Small World, they might as well have been referring to B2B sales. Try as you might to prevent overlap between different partners and Direct Sales, occasions will arise in which multiple representatives connect with the same prospect. As detailed in 8 Strategies to Avoid Channel Conflicts With Partners, a PRM will remove ambiguity over who registered the deal first. What’s more, if a prospect already exists within your PRM or integrated CRM, the partner will immediately be notified and the deal declined.
5. PRM Features Benefit the Sales Process
Channel partners are not the only audience who will benefit from an attractive PRM interface. Polished prospect pages set up from within the portal will present the partner’s photo and contact information alongside a bevy of relevant resources. As conversations progress, the partner can add and reorder content links based on the prospect’s particular interests and questions. So long, cumbersome email threads and buried attachments!
Working hand-in-hand with the prospect pages are automated partner sales playbooks. While you could theoretically email such materials to partners, the portal will pull information directly from the prospect page to make targeted recommendations and nudge partners towards specific resources, helping to ultimately increase channel sales.
6. Managers Can Compile Program-Specific Analytics Within the PRM
Is there a particular juncture within onboarding at which partners tend to disengage? When selling your products, do partners prefer to share case studies or video testimonials? Which content has the highest rate of assisted conversions? What is the partner group that yields the largest deal sizes?
Your PRM can grant you insights into all these questions and plenty more by tracking portal engagement and the resulting sales. As a result, you can make strategic modifications to your program and gauge the impact. Everyone benefits: your customers, your partners, and especially your bottom line.
7. Channel Managers Can Onboard Easier
There’s nothing more daunting than being handed a predecessor’s spreadsheets and asked to “pick up where they left off.” A PRM eliminates this nightmare scenario. The systemization of content and partner groupings, form creation, and in-portal reporting will make expanding your internal team of channel account managers an overall smoother experience.
8. Your Company Benefits From Regularly Updated PRM Capabilities
Much of the conversation around the benefits of PRM measured the utilization of a portal against manual processes. Yet there’s another comparison worth acknowledging: using designated PRM software versus building your own portal.
The most obvious upside of tasking your IT team to build the platform is that you won’t be beholden to subscription fees. However, considering time is money, the cost-savings of handling the technology in-house may be much less than you’d initially assume. Moreover, your IT team’s attention will spread across multiple responsibilities; it’s unlikely that they’ll make frequent updates to the design and features.
Contrastingly, a designated PRM software provider like Allbound has product engineers whose sole focus is to find new ways to improve the existing interface and capabilities. In fact, Allbound will be releasing multiple new capabilities in 2022 alone. The point is, an in-house portal simply can’t keep up with the developing benefits of an outsourced PRM solution.
Another noteworthy benefit of a pre-built PRM? Easier integrations. Companies like Allbound collaborate with other software providers to sync the two products together for seamless data sharing. In many cases, Allbound will even integrate the tools together on a customer’s behalf, free of charge.
Important Note: Not All PRMs Are Created Equal
When explaining the possible benefits of PRM software, we focused exclusively on Allbound. Not all PRM tools have the same depth of features or intuitive layout. Additionally, pricing structures can vary from one vendor to the next; what makes sense for one program could be unnecessarily expensive for another.
Check out these case studies for examples of how the right tool can be a game-changer. Here, real-world users discuss how switching PRMs benefited their partner targeting, portal engagement, and budget.
Data Shows a PRM is Necessary to Stay Competitive
Think of PRM software like an elevator in a skyscraper. The initial investment of setting up the platform (akin to waiting for the doors to open) is well worth it once you zip ahead of everyone climbing the stairs, story after story.
More and more companies are investing in their own “elevators.” The harsh reality is that failure to adopt PRM software will hurt your program’s short-term and long-term success.
To determine if Allbound’s PRM can benefit your partner program, we encourage you to request a demo. Still want to research your options independently? Read Automate, Scale, Integrate – PRM System Criteria to learn how to evaluate your options.