“Must Haves” for Your PRM Software to Increase Partner Engagement
Partner relationship management (PRM) is an important set of activities in channel management. Over the past decade, multiple SaaS vendors like ZINFI have brought significant innovation to market in the PRM software segment to enable a vendor selling through the channel to automate partner relationship management activities. In this article we will explore some of the basic capabilities that your PRM software must have to give you a solid start.
When you think about channel management and selling through a partner base, one of the most important factors is keeping partners informed and involved in your company’s programs and activities. Getting mind share from a channel partner is the first hurdle. The next hurdle is to generate interest and engagement—ideally, leading to a transaction. This is where a start-of-the-art partner portal is essential. Your PRM software should come with a set of core capabilities allowing you to set up a dynamic partner portal.
With that in mind, here are the key criteria that your PRM software must satisfy to make sure the partner portal you set up will address all of the core requirements:
- Personalized access – It’s very important to make sure the content and application modules (such as incentives, planning, marketing and sales) that you provide to partners are highly focused and personalized to specific partner types or characteristics, including partner tier, specialization, geographical location, and so on. This is a fundamental requirement for your PRM software—it must be able to link content to the partner profile.
- Mobile responsiveness – Why is mobile responsiveness important? Because your partners are always on the move, and more than 50% of portal access is now achieved via mobile devices. Therefore, your PRM software must be able to provide mobile-responsive web content in an application user interface that is optimized for mobile devices.
- Personalized communication – We’ve already mentioned the importance of personalized access to web content and application modules. Similarly, when engaged in outbound communication, you need to make sure all touches (email, calls, direct mails, campaigns, etc.) are highly personalized. For example, you don’t want to be sending information or appeals to your silver partners that are actually relevant only to your gold partners. That’s a waste of effort and resources, and will only frustrate your partners. That’s why your PRM software must be set up to allow you to personalize communication.
- Localization – One of the most important features of your PRM software should be to allow complete localization of applications, content and the user interface. In order for you to provide truly personalized and mobile-responsive access to your partners, you need to make sure that you can offer content and a seamless user experience in key languages other than English.
- Access and utilization tracking – This is a critical requirement for your PRM software, allowing your sales and marketing team to figure out what programs and assets are working and what are not —and to track success metrics by various partners groups, types, locations, geographies, etc.
In other articles we have emphasized the need for your PRM software to provide several core applications—like partner onboarding, training, marketing and sales enablement, and incentives management. As you can see from the brief list above, it is also crucial that your PRM software can be customized to different partner types or profiles, with features like personalization, mobile access in a localized environment, and the ability to track asset and application utilization for your internal sales and marketing stakeholders.
Once you have the right applications and right capabilities in your PRM software, you can truly begin to automate your channel management activities end to end. We at ZINFI live and thrive by the creation and leadership of Unified Partner Management (UPM) capabilities. Our UPM platform has fully configurable PRM software which not only provides you with all of the right applications, but also gives you the ability to fully personalize and localize content and applications, provide them in a highly responsive way, and track everything that is working or not working in a dynamic fashion to truly drive partner engagement.
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