Get Ready for 2013: 3 Reasons a PRM Investment Fails

new year resolutionsCompanies are doing amazing things with PRM software and it can be tempting to jump right in, to just buy a program and get going – especially around the New Year when we’re all looking for ways to streamline business and improve productivity. But just jumping in without taking the proper precautions is going to lead to problems.  Software doesn’t fail typically. It’s people and programs that do. So start off on the right foot with those resolutions and take a second to think about these pitfalls.

Here are three reasons your initiative may be doomed from the beginning:

1.) Nobody owns the implementation.

That means no one’s accountable for a successful launch. Usually this is because no one really owns the channel program. Lack of executive support for the channel will usually cause a PRM implementation to fail – to say nothing of the toll it will take on your channel program.

And since often times a PRM software implementation is done outside of I.T., you’ll need a project manager to own the decision-making and the timeline.

2.) Your PRM technology is set up to automate a crummy partner program.

PRM is only a tool, not a miracle worker. It won’t resolve inherent issues in your partner program. If you’re not sure what those are, identify those issues first and work them out before you automate and institutionalize them with your new PRM software. Otherwise the investment won’t return.

3.) No one’s established a reasonable plan for rolling it out to the field.

PRM software is not a “build it and they will come” proposition. You have to engage with partners inside the application, work jointly with them in the system. Do deal reviews together where you share a screen. Partners have to be shown and sold on the value of bothering to go to your portal.

And there’s another component… If you’re not focused on making it easy, partners won’t use the PRM system and it will fail. It’s just like good website design. If you build a terrible website, you’ll have a low conversion rate. If you focus too much on pretty design aesthetics and then just slap up bad or disorganized content, the site is basically useless. And a PRM platform built on looks instead of ease-of-use won’t do you any good. Partners just don’t care about your graphical design prowess. They’ll use your portal if it offers simple information and if the tools are useful.