What’s My ROI on Partner Relationship Management?

We’ve seen that a vast majority of technology companies today want to drive revenue through the addition of an indirect channel. When they begin to create their channel strategy, they realize they will need technology to support their channel. But do they use excel and other resident software? Manage it within their CRM, or select a Partner Relationship Management (PRM) solution? Because of this, we get asked to justify the ROI of PRM on a regular basis.

We would love to have a simple calculator to tell an organization what their ROI would be on a PRM solution (we’ve tried), but no two channel programs are the same. Each has intricacies that make them unique.

Rather than asking what the ROI will be from implementing a PRM, ask what the costs are to working with ineffective solutions.

 

When it comes to the channel, we find that the program manager often gets push back on getting the tools needed to run what is typically a major strategic component of the business. Yet we expect the channel to bring in a hefty percent of revenue and question every dollar spent trying to get there. As for any endeavor, you always need the right tools for the job.

So, what can we measure and communicate with regards to ROI?

Here are four factors of ROI to consider when it comes to PRM:

  1. Doing more with less staff: You can decide if this is true or not and assign a value. Consider time spent manually sending documents, contracts, answering phone calls, managing MDF, gathering data. distributing leads and onboarding new partners.
  2. Enabling partners and making them more efficient. Will you gain more engaged partners? Will that result in an increase in deals? The stats say it happens for other companies. Look around, all the big boys have PRM systems. They might be on to something.
  3. Opportunity cost. What deals/leads are you missing? Put a number on it and compare that to the PRM system cost.
  4. Analytics and a measuring stick. What is the cost of having no measurement? Knowledge is power. Efficiencies are created with data.

The questioning of ROI on common systems has largely become a thing of the past. No one asks for the ROI on accounting platforms, CRM systems, marketing automation platforms or content systems. These things are now taken for granted as necessary to run a business. It is no longer a question of if you need it, it is a function of which system you choose and what you pay for the features you need.

Why should channel technology be any different? After all, you reap what you sow.