CRM + PRM
I say “partner,” you say “reseller.”
Insurance companies exemplify the need to look past the terminology issue (partner versus agent) to identify how PRM can help agents grow their business. It starts with demand generation, where agents receive leads generated from an insurance provider’s CRM. Once an agent starts following up on these leads, a PRM can streamline need assessments with pre qualification questions to help align a customer’s needs with products. PRM uses partner profile data to target the exact digital content agents need to help agents better explain the value proposition of a set of products. And once an agent is ready, PRM provides the automation needed to create a professional quote or proposal to close business. Even post-sale, the agent can then leverage PRM to help coordinate and service customer claims.
In automotive and industrial product manufacturing, partners are often referred to as dealers. Again, the value of PRM starts with demand generation driven by a vendor’s CRM. The leads passed to dealers are often highly educated buyers who are well versed on a product’s features, price, and competitors. PRM empowers dealers to exceed these high expectations and improve close rates through on-line training and certification, recommending content to support customer value propositions, and providing easy-to-use configuration, pricing, and quoting tools to help dealers quickly generate branded and accurate quotes.
PRM makes selling easier.
At its essence, PRM is all about making it as easy as possible for a third party to conduct business on your behalf. In some cases, partners have a choice of whose products they sell. Ease of doing business is often a deciding factor for those selling on your behalf. I could continue to go through how PRM provides value industry by industry, but the key takeaway is that PRM has a definitive value proposition, no matter your industry. The following points are key guiding principles to creating a partner relationship strategy:
Do not get caught up with PRM as a term. Instead, focus on the enabling capabilities and the value PRM delivers helping external partners sell more and improve service experience.
Make sure PRM is part of your overall CRM strategy to better align your go-to-market strategy with partner performance and customer needs.
Leverage a PRM application that can seamlessly integrate with CRM applications and data while enabling you to quickly support changing partner needs.
Incorporate multiple channels such as mobile and social technologies to boost collaboration among partners, customers, and your company.
This is not an exhaustive list of capabilities but more a set of guiding principles. The bottom line is, if your company relies on external partners (regardless of what they are called), PRM should be on the top of your priority list.
“PRM initiatives work best when they are part of an overall CRM strategy where a company and partner channel collaborate to optimize end-customer experiences.”