CRM programs like Salesforce.com should serve as the system of record for your company, but trying to create a makeshift partner management (PRM) tool with something designed for direct sales management will only create frustration and perpetuate an ineffective process. It’s going to run sub-optimally and performance will be limited.
Here’s why: Partners and customers are different from each other, and you engage them differently. A CRM program isn’t designed for partner relationships and it doesn’t allow you to streamline and manage tasks specific to your partner program. For example, a PRM solution:
- Provides an easily-accessible repository/portal of materials partners need in order to sell your solution.
- Prevents channel conflict by effectively managing lead distribution.
- Tracks results of your MDF so you can get better at allocating funds to programs that work.
- Monitors partner performance and their pipeline.
The beauty of integrating your CRM with a PRM solution is that your channel program gets the specialized tools it needs to be successful, while everyone in your organization can continue to use the CRM interface to which they are accustomed. In the case of bringing on Channeltivity, for example, you can still work in Salesforce, and all the data that’s pushed from Channeltivity to Salesforce is reportable there. Your partners get a user-friendly interface where they can login and be more self-sufficient.
When selecting a PRM solution, make sure it integrates seamlessly with your CRM. Read our eBook “9 Questions to Ask Before Selecting a PRM Solution” for more information.