CRM-PRM solutions are a real revolution for companies wishing to cover their entire market. These management platforms make direct and indirect sales processes more dynamic, improve productivity, and promote sales reach. In this article, discover how CRMs and PRMs complement each other to support a multi-channel sales strategy that requires managing two types of relationships: end customers (CRM) and partners (PRM).
CRMs and PRMs are both about building a relationship from a sales perspective, either direct or indirect. To put it simply, a CRM is to a Sales Manager as a PRM is to a Partnership Manager. At first glance, the two software may seem quite similar, but this is only an appearance because their usages are ultimately very different. The reason is quite simple to understand: You don't manage a customer like you manage a partner.
A CRM allows you to automate tasks or services around your customers. By centralizing data, you can avoid dispersed information and adopt a sales and marketing strategy that is oriented towards customer data. With a CRM, sales representatives can prospect, sell, acquire new customers, develop turnover, respond to requests, and report to management. A CRM facilitates exchanges between teams (Marketing, Sales, Management, etc.), and is essential in organizing a department on a daily basis.
A PRM is the daily working tool for Partnership Managers, Channel Partner Managers, and partners. It integrates all the performance criteria for the players in the value chain. The objective is to develop a network of partners and increase a company's sales force. Thus, a PRM helps the partnership manager achieve the following goals:
Simplify partner recruitment & onboarding
Provide partners with a central management portal
Share sales, marketing, and educational resources
Simplify registering leads and deals
Prevent sales and channel conflicts
On the partner’s side, a PRM simplifies declaring opportunities and offers maximum management autonomy.
Not only does a PRM improve management, but it is also a great relationship tool. Through a Partner Portal, indirect sales teams can interact with their partners in real-time, at any time. This tool is as useful for an indirect sales ecosystem, as it is for fostering a lasting, winning relationship with partners.
Just as a PRM is not suitable for customer relationship management, a CRM alone is not enough to deploy a smooth, profitable indirect sales channel. A CRM is much more focused on the customer. PRM, on the other hand, optimizes the partner relationship. Let's discover their respective features:
A CRM offers the possibility to manage people and companies in a single database with a 360° vision over all of them.
Benefits: The ability to access information on the needs of customers or prospects is improved. Centralized data allows for better collaboration between sales, marketing, and customer service teams, allowing you to propose offers to customers that are more personalized and coherent.
The pipeline view over sales steps and opportunity tracking allows you to keep control over this complex process.
Benefits: This feature guarantees reliable visibility over sales and development potential. You easily identify and qualify deals from interest to signature. You qualify the key steps in your sales process and have an instant view of the actions to be taken in each one. Managing a company and a sales team is greatly facilitated
All interactions are collected and measured to optimize follow-up with your customers or prospects to be able to react properly.
Benefits: In a long sales cycle, it’s advantageous to keep prospects’ history and track their interactions with your company. With good visibility over the context of a project, you can choose wisely which action to take. By intervening at the right time with the most relevant information, your action plan can be more coherent and increases the chances to close the sale.
Key figures over your direct sales are gathered together to better guide you in decision-making.
Benefits: The dashboard helps you make decisions on a daily basis, and reporting gives you an overview of your sales performance. Their joint use enables you to manage sales more efficiently and improve the quality of your approach. You are kept up to date with current activity, all while keeping you on track for future objectives.
Partner portals enable you to create a common inter-company ecosystem (company and partners) to manage the relationship, share knowledge, and engage your partners.
Benefits: A partner portal offers a real competitive advantage that facilitates partnership recruitment. By simplifying the daily life of your business contributors, resellers, integrators, etc., their productivity is increased along with their commitment to your brand. Read more on this topic here: PRM: A winning strategy for successful indirect sales
A PRM facilitates the entire process done by your partners, from securing a declaration of an opportunity up until the final sale.
Benefits: By securing the ownership of a deal or lead, it is clear for all parties involved who is in contact with each prospect. As a result, you avoid any confusion or conflicts between partners and the sales team or other partners. This creates a positive environment for your partners, increasing their engagement and commitment to your brand.
This feature allows you to distribute your leads better by identifying which partners will have the best chance of closing the deal.
Benefits: Thanks to a PRM’s distribution of qualified leads, your partners become an extension of your sales team. When deciding how to distribute a lead, you can select the ideal partner based on reliable data that shows who will have the best chance of closing. Result: you generate more sales.
At any time, your partners have access to a library of content that you have approved and published (sales and marketing materials, pricing lists, etc.). You can automatically add your partner's logo on all your corporate documents.
Benefits: Your partners always have access to the most up-to-date information and documents, which can be easily found on their portal. The association of your two brands reinforces the synergy and ensures the legitimacy of your partners with your end customers- a real plus to improve engagement.
You train your partners on your products and services to certify their level of knowledge as well as their ability to sell.
Benefits: Implementing certified training means considering your partners as an integral part of your sales force- and you reinforce the loyalty of your network!
KPIs or Key Performance Indicators measure sales efficiency, the profitability of your partners, and your overall indirect sales strategy.
Benefits: You detect the most profitable partners and analyze why some are more or less efficient than others. The most complex data is quickly analyzed to optimize your indirect sales strategy.
The ability to integrate with a CRM is essential in an effective PRM software.
Benefits: By integrating your PRM into your CRM, you optimize the impact of your indirect ecosystem and keep everything coherent with your direct sales. Since all the information is gathered in a single database, you can establish more reliable sales forecasts.
Some CRMs offer add-ons to manage the partner relationship. However, certain add-ons do not cover all the necessary tasks of your sales partners. Before choosing this option, make sure that the investment will truly optimize the engagement and process of your partners.