On February 11, 2014, our partner Relayware announced the addition of Tim Harmon, formerly of Forrester Research, as their new VP of Customer Success. This is great news not only for our partner, Relayware, but also PRM software (Partner Relationship Management software) in general. Tim’s recent work at Forrester Research focused on the various requirements that partner and channel-centric organizations need that far surpasses the standard CRM that is in the industry today, such as SalesForce.com. As stated in the press release, “Harmon cautioned that customer relationship management (CRM) software alone is not sufficient to address the complex and multifaceted requirements demanded by partner-and channel-centric organizations”. So, what do channel-centric organizations demand?
The Channel-Centric Organization
Channel-centric organizations require the ability to not only track deals and leads with their partners but they also require the ability to manage their channel in a way that a CRM cannot. While a CRM is very focused on the transactions that take place on a lead then (hopefully) an opportunity, your PRM software must manage the entire recruitment and onboarding of new partners, the enablement of those partners and the engagement on leads, opportunities, marketing programs, etc. And, these requirements are ever changing. As more and more companies bring on the channel, their need for more sophisticated technologies to support their channel grows. As evidence by Relayware’s announcement, a focus on making sure PRM customers’ needs are heard and can be responded to quickly is key to making sure that PRM software and the development of overall channel best practices changes with the needs of their customers and industry overall.
Customer-Focused PRM Software
At Channeltivity, we listen closely to the needs of our customers. We have always held to a monthly release cycle of new features and functionality—90% of which come directly from the feedback of our customers and prospects. This ability to respond quickly to our customers has lead to substantial growth over the years (70% growth in 2013 over 2012). Many customers that come to us have either used a homegrown partner portal to manage the basics of deal registration or sales/marketing resources or have tried to configure their CRM to support their channel, both of which do not lend themselves to the full requirements that their partner programs demand. With Channeltivity’s PRM software, they can fully support their partner program requirements including partner onboarding / recruitment, business planning, deal registration, lead distribution, MDF, and a community forum while still easily integrating with their CRM system so the sales team can manage their pipeline effectively.
As we look toward the future, we know that PRM software will continue to change to meet the dynamic requirements of our customer’s channel programs. Both Relayware and Channeltivity look to hear from channel-centric organizations to learn how we can best support you.