Partner Relationship Management (PRM) systems offer a rich collection of core functionality that is the backbone of a channel program, including recruiting tools, your partner portal, deal registration, lead management, MDF and more. But sometimes the needs of a channel program go beyond the functionality traditionally offered by a PRM solution.
Whenever you ask a system to do something it isn’t fundamentally built to do, it is always a square peg, round hole situation.
Here are the 4 areas where you need a specialized solution. Note, you should try to find solutions that integrate with your PRM so you can minimize duplicate content wherever possible.
Rebates, SPIFFS, and rewards fall into this complex category. There are numerous companies that have built businesses in the incentive management space and for good reason. Every country has different rules and regulations that govern what can and cannot be offered to partners. It takes an expert to stay up to date with the various complexities that incentive management brings. Trust us you want best practices and the years of expertise that an incentive specialized company brings and that’s only if you need it.
Partner communications are a key component of a great channel program. Good PRM systems like Channeltivity are designed to manage all partner notification emails, not marketing communications. Sales and marketing communications should be handled in the tools designed for email management. Chances are that your company already uses a marketing automation/email tool. This is good news for you! Use the systems your company has already invested in and save time and money.
Quoting or CPQ
Quoting tools are designed to help companies create and produce accurate and often highly configured quotes for prospects. These tools automate and centralize all of the complex business rules for a company’s products and pricing. These functions are better served by companies that focus on the lifecycle of the pricing and quoting process. Integrate with CPQ if it is needed. If you need quoting it is likely you are already using a CPQ solution. Leverage the tool you have and stick with the experts. Don’t ask your PRM provider for quoting.
This is an area where you don’t want to roll the dice. If you are asking about order management, it must be a critical part of your channel strategy and it must be done right. This is an area where SSO (Single Sign-on) makes the most sense. Expose your partners to your ordering system and keep things in one system. Do not compromise when it comes to something this critical to your business. You don’t want to rely on unknown “customizations” when it comes to your order process.
PRM systems are the primary driver of your channel program, but there are times when your channel’s requirements extend beyond PRM core capabilities, it’s time to consider the right tool for that job. Don’t become a PRM company’s guinea pig in a pet project of “customizations”. Turn to the experts to save yourself time and money.