Partner portals are the key to PRM systemsAs the VP of Sales for your emerging growth company, one of your many responsibilities is to manage your sales channel partners.  Last year there were only 3 channel partners to manage.  This year you have been very successful in adding new partners – 10 new channel partners signed up with a dozen more in the pipeline.  You are now feeling overwhelmed when it comes to managing and nurturing these relationships.  It has become an all-consuming activity and you are not feeling good about the results of your efforts.

The feedback you have been hearing from your channel partners suggests that your level of engagement and collaboration with them is not where it should be to ensure success.  In particular, the areas where you need to improve can be grouped into 4 key areas:

It has become crystal clear that you need to implement some type of channel partner management system.  After a little bit of research on the web, you discover the term partner relationship management (PRM), which is defined by Wikipedia as “a system of methodologies, strategies, software and web-based capabilities that help a company to manage partner relationships.  The general purpose of PRM is to enable companies to better manage their partners through the introduction of reliable systems, processes and procedures for interacting with them.  Web-based PRM systems typically include a content management system, a partner and customer contact database, and the notion of a partner portal which allows partners to login and interact with a company’s sales opportunity database and obtain product, pricing, and training information.”

What is a Partner Portal?

Great.  The Wikipedia definition for PRM has struck a cord with you and you are saying to yourself: “yes, a system like this is exactly what I am looking for!”  But what is a “partner portal” and how does it fit within the framework of PRM?

At its core, a PRM system is a partner portal through which your channel partners are able to access all of the resources they need to sell and service your products. These resources are typically accessed through a non-public web site and require the use of an authenticated username and password.  It is a single point of entry that allows a channel partner direct access to systems such as:

  • sales and marketing information
  • technical details
  • training and certification programs
  • lead management tools
  • performance management tools

A partner portal truly helps to simplify the interaction between your company and your channel partners.  Your interaction with your partners takes place in this single portal – no need to bounce around from system to system (CRM, ERP, marketing content management system, learning management system, etc.).  Today’s robust, cloud-based PRM systems can create a highly personalized environment that is easy to maintain and update. It is fully configurable, scalable, and easily accessible from anywhere. Also, today’s systems are affordable, with some pricing plans offering a fixed fee per month per user as low as five dollars.  That’s right – the same cost per user that Google charges for its enterprise email solution.

By implementing a PRM solution with a robust partner portal you will quickly find that managing your channel partners is not so time consuming.  Leading PRM systems allow you to put into the hands of your channel partners a powerful tool that will quickly capture more of their mindshare, which will increase channel partner collaboration and engagement.  This will lead to more sales which will spell success for you.

LogicBay’s Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Technology is rich with best practice workflows making it easier for organizations to do business with channel partner re-sellers. The result: More engagement and Mindshare. Greater Efficiency and Cost Savings. Alignment with Channel Partners. And, Performance Improvement for the Entire Sales Enterprise.

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