During almost every demo I do for someone here at Channeltivity, I get a question regarding what CRM integrations we offer. Managing channel partners who are unable to access your CRM makes it more difficult to track every move they make. Integrations into software like Salesforce give us the opportunity to monitor the actions of our partner(s) without having to leave the CRM itself.
So when do you know it’s time to think about integration as part of your channel partner strategy? To answer that question, we first need to address two other questions…
- How many deals do my partners generate in a month?
- How long are the sales cycles for a given deal?
The first question is the obvious one. Without integration between your CRM and PRM deal registration programs, every time a deal gets added into your PRM you’ll have to go into the CRM and add it manually. With integration, one click and the software works for you – but it doesn’t stop there.
Let’s visit the second question. How long are the sales cycles for a given deal? 1 month…2 months…1 year? Now think about all the times you visit that deal throughout the given sale. To put it in perspective, lets create a realistic scenario:
You are Company ABC and your partner generates 10 new deals a month. Their current sales cycles are roughly 12 months to close win an account and they close roughly 4-5 deals a year. Based on these metrics, it’s reasonable to assume that by June you could have roughly 50 deals in your system that you’ll need to log into both the PRM and CRM.
That’s not to say that such a requirement would be impossible to maintain, but integration between systems could save hours of time each week. Just consider what could happen in October or November when the pipeline is filled with months of deals. Hours you could be using to generate more deals or nurture the ones you already have, will likely be spent going between systems to ensure they are both accurate and identical.
All of these are factors when considering integrations into CRM solutions, and have yet to even touch on the possibility of human error when updating everything manually. Naturally, the potential costs of fixing and mitigating human errors could be significant.
All too often, users think specifically about question one without ever giving any thought about question two. The bottom line: let the software work for you.