Today’s retailers – both B2B and B2C –work with a multitude of partners. Not just vendors and suppliers, they must also liaise with influencers, publishers, and apps for branding and revenue growth. Once only limited to affiliates in the ecommerce space, partnership today encompasses diverse actors.
Partnership, here, refers to the entire ecosystem of business relationships and alliances. These partners play an important role in helping potential buyers discover a retailer’s products.
There are a plethora of PRM (Partner Relationship Management) solutions available in the market, which provide a business with the option to effectively channelize their efforts while maintaining efficient communication with their associates.
This eradicates manual effort, allowing a business to invest their actions towards recruiting and engaging with existing and potential partners with relative ease and efficiency.
Communications with business partners used to be handled with the help of conventional, non-scalable means such as email or phone. This limited the number of partners that retailers could work with.
Through partnership relationship management solution of Salesforce, retailers can manage thousands of relationships using automated but personalized messaging. With the blend of technology and such platforms, managing numerous partnerships, which was considered a cumbersome feat for business at one point of time, has become possible.
The Expanding PRM Market
PRM platforms function as a link between a retailer and its partners. With a growing number of partners, PRM software functions as a means to provide a linear and coordinated approach towards ensuring an automated workflow and sending personalized messages.
The sales and marketing aspects have already been digitized and are undergoing innovative changes as you read this. The next segment is partnership relationship management, and the market is already witnessing impressive statistics.
As many as 23 vendors offer PRM services in one manner or another, where the revenue generated on an annual basis is $350 million, which is purely software revenue. In addition, research shows that the market is sure to grow by another $673 million by the year 2023 (Forrester, 2018).
These statistics simply signify the rate at which growing businesses are realizing the need for PRM platforms, and are witnessing their fair share of growth and increased revenue by using them.
Key Benefits of having a PRM Software
Speed up selling. A PRM platform helps to simplify processes such as onboarding, recruiting, training, and supporting your partners with features and tools you can implement immediately.
It gives channel managers directions to quickly configure the whole marketing process, in turn, assisting them to catch up speed in selling.
Increase Productivity. Provide valuable information to help partners spend less time searching for information to close deals and more time selling products.
Multiply channel ROI. PRM platform helps partners build, track, and analyze marketing campaigns using simple, quick-start tools to increase ROI by driving more demand.
Effortless process management. Automation makes selling faster and easier for partners as it simplifies the channel sales process and prevents lead conflicts.
Enhanced accessibility. Deliver performance insights anywhere, on any device as an efficient PRM platform allows your partners to access data from any source to understand their business better.
Also, sharing reports and dashboards from any device to help keep track on KPIs or explore data for upselling and cross-sell opportunities is available.
Real-time support. Give partners help instantly with on-demand knowledge articles and FAQs, and let them initiate real-time assistance with live chats.
The Future of Partnership Automation
It can be said that after sales and marketing, partnerships represent the third channel of growth. With partnership automation platforms, enterprises can move away from ad hoc tools and manage the partner lifecycle in a smooth fashion with integrated software solutions.
Instead of managing partnerships in a fragmented way, retailers can leverage automation to facilitate a partnership program that enables growth.
Indeed, with partnership automation, retailers can improve the performance of a critical business channel as they embrace the many virtues of the Partnership Economy.
The manual discovery and engagement of partnerships is an old, broken, and non-scalable model. The next phase – partnership automation – is ready to overhaul and simplify every step of your channel sales process, from onboarding to selling.
Modern PRM platform products have advanced to the point of being able to adapt to the current rate of change and handle much more.
The changing nature of channel partners is the harbinger of the most critical elements of PRM. Channel partners diversify their own business models and increasingly utilize mobile technology for their onsite customer interactions.
Today’s PRM vendors offer platforms that are robust, yes, but many also act as strategic partners who provide services and counsel on PRM-related programs and decisions involving partner enablement, partner marketing, and channel finance.