What is partner relationship management?
Partner relationship management (PRM) refers to both the business strategy of effectively managing your partners, as well as the tools that help you accomplish this. It involves a combination of processes, technologies, and communication channels to facilitate collaboration, increase partner engagement, and drive joint success. According to an independent analysis, leveraging a PRM platform can lead to a 296% ROI and up to a 50% increase in partner-sourced deals. In essence, partner relationship management tools make it easier to manage the day-to-day activities of your partner program, so you can focus on strategic, scalable growth.
Think of it this way: you’re managing a SaaS product’s channel program, and you have numerous partners—VARs, MSPs, and system integrators. Managing these relationships manually can be overwhelming and inefficient. That’s where a PRM platform comes into play. Instead of emailing these different partners updates, tracking commissions in spreadsheets, or answering questions a call at a time, you build a go-to platform where partners can access all of the resources they need to be successful.
With partner relationship management tools, you can build powerful partnerships and automate the rest. PRM platforms can support many activities, including:
- Partner onboarding: This step ensures new partners understand your products and are ready to sell or support them. A PRM can automate this process, from hosting training materials to tracking partners’ progress.
- Communications: A PRM solution can streamline communications between you and your partners, with a centralized partner portal for messaging, sharing events, and addressing questions.
- Asset sharing: Give partners on-demand access to your marketing and sales collateral, so they have everything they need to sell and support your products. Level up with easy co-branding tools.
- Deal registration: PRM systems often include features to manage deal registrations, ensuring that partners are rewarded for their sales efforts and reducing channel conflicts.
- Referral automation: Effortlessly track leads that are coming in through your referral and affiliate partners, so everyone is fairly compensated for their efforts.
- Partner business planning: Share, create, and track goals together to drive greater partner performance and participation.
- Performance tracking: Understanding how your partners are performing is crucial. PRM tools can provide detailed analytics, helping you identify successful partners and areas for improvement.
Partner relationship management is about more than just managing your partners, though. It’s about building relationships that are based on trust, transparency, and mutual success. In a business environment where partners can represent a significant portion of your revenue, neglecting PRM strategies and technologies is not an option.
With partner relationship management, you can enhance partner satisfaction, increase engagement, and promote a healthier, more collaborative channel ecosystem.