Partner Relationship Management Budgets: Get the Funds You Need
The ability to get budget for partner relationship management software is a key skill for any channel decision maker. Here are three tips to get your channel program the funds for the tools it needs.
Communicate Channel Needs Clearly
During the partner relationship management budgeting process, it’s critical that you become fluent at explaining in concise terms how the channel is different from direct sales.
An obvious fact worth repeating is that partners are separate companies that won’t be motivated to bother selling your product unless it’s really easy. Partners want to know (without having to email or call you up) their deal registration status, how to use your MDF, where to access sales materials, etc.
You can try using a spreadsheet to track deals, and manually transfer information to and from your CRM. This will save you some budget. But a spreadsheet’s not a good solution to the challenge of growing the channel. As more of your time is needed to keep up with the data and questions about marketing funds and materials, you’ll have less time to enable partners or recruit new ones. Growth will take a hit.
Show How Spending on Partner Relationship Management Drives Sales and Efficiencies
Investing in partner relationship management (PRM) software automates processes and makes you more efficient. Some examples:
- A self-serve portal allows partners to access content and resources via the web or mobile — instead of emailing your team members for information.
- Managing Deal Registrations and MDF Requests in your partner relationship management tool keeps everyone on the same page.
- An integration between your PRM and CRM keeps deal and partner data up-to-date and eliminates manual data entry.
Allocating budget for partner relationship management makes working with you easier; making it more likely your partners will sell your solution. Remind execs that windows of opportunity can close quickly, and waiting for channel growth before making necessary investment sets you up for failure.
Make Your Point Using Persuasive Language
Execs are usually not encouraged to invest in “enabling” partners as part of your channel management strategy, so use language they can get behind: the vernacular of direct sales. Show that your PRM budget request is focused on producing revenue. Partners will still need to be enabled – to be influenced by you and to be given the information and tools they need – but explain those activities in terms of the revenue they are likely to produce.
Want to learn more about how to make your case? Download our free e-book, 5 Habits of Channel Manager Rock Stars, and see habit #3: How to Sell Your Plan with Confidence. Also make sure you understand all the costs of PRM.
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