As a manufacturer, your customers expect digital self-service as a normal part of the B2B buying process. But what about your channel partners (e.g., distributors, resellers, and others)? Whether you realize it or not, they expect and need similar digital capabilities when they interact with your brand.
Partner Relationship Management (PRM) systems meet your partners’ needs while offering a more effective way to manage the B2B ecosystem. As a subset of digital self-service, PRM improves relationships with partners and enables them to generate more sales for your company, delivering important wins for customers as well as anyone involved in the sale and distribution of your products.
PRM is an extension of digital self-service
In many ways, PRM is a logical extension of digital self-service. In the same way that customers can initiate ordering activities online, PRM enables dealers and channel partners to register leads, request quotes for complicated equipment purchases, or access a manufacturer’s educational information through the CRM.
Across the B2B sector, companies are realizing they need better access to training enablement, quoting, and ordering to keep pace with customer demands for rapid order placement. Since PRM resides inside the same interface, channel partners benefit from the digital experience already available to customers.
Essentially, PRM positions partner activities in the center of the B2B commerce ecosystem. Rather than forcing partners to navigate disparate systems and processes, PRM provides a connected ecommerce solution that enables partners to make online purchases and receive support in a centralized way. As a result, it frees up channel managers to focus on strategic partnerships and other revenue-generating activities.
Benefits of PRM for manufacturers, partners, and customers
More than ever before, manufacturers need tools to help them grow their businesses while managing the complexity of large sales and distribution networks. B2B commerce offers a natural solution to the demands created by channel partnerships, especially when it includes PRM.
Specific benefits of B2B commerce with PRM include:
- Scaling partnerships. Most manufacturers work with a high volume of partners. But given the number of partners involved in the sale and distribution of products, it’s not reasonable to provide a dedicated channel manager for every partner in the network — the time demands are simply too significant. PRM and B2B commerce allow smaller partners (i.e., the “long tail”) to quickly locate and order products, so channel managers can focus on larger deals and more strategic partnerships.
- Selling to customers and partners. It makes sense for manufacturers to grow their businesses across indirect channels while maintaining a single view of the customer. B2B commerce creates a digital presence to drive customer awareness and demand, creating singular visibility to order histories and other customer-centered details.
- Streamlining parts ordering and distribution. PRM reduces the amount of time it takes for partners to perform routine activities like ordering spare parts. For example, if a customer reaches out to a channel partner to order a part, the partner enjoys the same access and fast response as customers enjoy when they use digital self-service.
B2B commerce has radically transformed brands’ relationships with their customers. But for manufacturers, relationship management must naturally extend to partner networks. With PRM, you can achieve a B2B commerce ecosystem that improves partner relationships as well as customers’ experience with your brand.
See PRM in action and improve your channel partnerships while managing your B2B ecosystem.