Partner relationship management is a loyalty and engagement concept encompassing all aspects of developing and managing B2B channel partner relationships.
For most organizations, channel partner networks are the critical indirect sales channels that bring the products and services into the market and end customers. In this process, partners play a crucial role in acting as an extended sales arm to the organization.
In today’s market, businesses face several market challenges such as
To support a company’s mission and evolving growth initiatives, organizations acquire, develop, and maintain the right channel partner segments to help drive its growth objectives.
Partner relationship management or PRM is a set of strategies, methods, and tools businesses use to promote and manage their ongoing relationships with partner networks. PRM helps partners facilitate sales and marketing of products and services to the end customers. These end customers typically can be consumers, businesses, government, or even non-governmental organizations.
PRM programs drive a range of sales and marketing activities, engaging channel partners to deliver the organization’s business objectives. For example, Businesses run PRM programs to engage and motivate channel partners to
A PRM solution helps establish and maintain ongoing partner interaction and engagement across various communication channels. PRM processes help to identify and streamline channel segments and help create more efficient channel operations. As a result of improved collaboration and engagement, PRM programs help brands enhance the mindshare of channel partners, resulting in better channel performance.
To effectively operate a long-term partner program of any scale or complexity, businesses need PRM specific tools, processes, and strategies. In general, PRM programs help an organization achieve three key objectives:
In short, organizations design PRM programs to meet its objectives, goals, and ambitions. PRM programs help businesses achieve long-term commitment and relationships with their channel partner network.
Partner Relationship Management or PRM has evolved to become more specific, precise, and extensive in business objectives, outcomes, and impact. PRM encompasses sales operations, partner interactions, and various channel marketing activities of the organization.
From spreadsheet and email-based manual operations, PRM has evolved to automated and personalized solutions incorporating complex operating methods and best practices. Industry experts continue to explore and innovate tools, technologies, and solutions to deliver better results to the stakeholders.
PRM solutions have emerged in the Hi-tec sectors in the past two decades. It has further expanded to Telecom, Security, Electrical, and Electronics industries too. Today, many organizations invest in PRM programs as they scale globally to reach a diverse customer base.
According to reports published by Forrester, the PRM market continues to grow, evolve, and adapt to the market conditions and channel partner needs. Today, many businesses deploy and experiment PRM programs with their partner networks and innovate channel partner relationships that best suit their business model.
Simultaneously, a new generation of PRM service and solution providers have emerged in the market who solely focus on developing methodologies, tools, and best practices to serve these global organizations to benefit from the PRM evolutions. These specialist PRM providers are creating partner programs for organizations that bring strategic competitive advantage to the market.
Many traditional industries such as industrial automation, agriculture, automotive parts, chemicals, heavy equipment, mining, and building material embrace PRM programs with their extended partner networks. In many cases, the industries and organizations are helping the channel networks enable and educate, and enhance their relationships by digitalizing their day-to-day operations,
Partner relationship management facilitates managing and developing ongoing relationships with channel partners efficiently and effectively. Organizations need Partner Relationship Management solutions to operate channel programs to build and establish long-term relationships with their channel partners.
Channel Partners sell, market, and support products and services on behalf of the organization. With the help of channel partner networks, organizations accelerate their geographical expansion, market penetration, and enhance go-to-market initiatives.
Companies sell their products either via direct channels, indirect channels, or both.
Partner Relationship Management primarily focuses on indirect channels. Indirect channels include:
Channel structures also vary by market and industry. A business defines its own channel structure that best fits its business model and business objectives. It is important to note that the channel combinations evolve over time and are based on market size and opportunities. A PRM program adopts a full or partial channel structure in the program.
The benefits of a PRM program are multidimensional. The first dimension is by type of audience: the organization and the channel partners. The second dimension is the type of benefits associated with each: market, customers and, financials. Let us look at each category to see how PRM brings benefits.
Benefits to Organization
Benefits to Channel partners
PRM programs are helping channel partners with easy access to product knowledge, market information, and advanced tools and technologies. PRM programs help organizations bring consistency, uniformity, and compliance to channel partners at a global scale. With the help of technologies, processes, and best practices, PRM programs improve the flow of goods and services to end customers efficiently and cost-effectively. In short, PRM programs enhance the efficiency of distribution channels, facilitate global trade flow, and benefit all the stakeholders, including Organizations, Channel Partners, and Customers.
PRM programs continue to evolve with the convergence of modern technologies, O2O communications channels, and partner expectations. PRM is benefiting from the growth and maturity of CRM. This has brought significant advantages to the PRM market to rapidly adopt the best practices and adapt market needs. PRM unifies recruitment, onboarding, enablement, incentives. Organizations having indirect sales and dependant on partner networks to reach customers must leverage the power of PRM programs.
PRM programs are based on strategies, technology, and operating standards, allowing organizations to scale their businesses efficiently. When organizations empower and enable channel partners effectively, channel partners can go to market faster and efficiently. This results in better Partner and Customer Experience, propelling the organization to gain a significant competitive advantage.
Today, B2B organizations investing and innovating on PRM frontiers to empower channel partners to grow and stay ahead in the competitions.