Developing an effective PRM marketing strategy is critical to retaining your partners in your program and empowering them to sell more of your products and services. However, this is easier said than done, especially considering how quickly the business and marketing environment changes.
In this guide, we will share strategies to help you develop your partner relationship management (PRM) programs as well as useful tools to help you grow and improve your current marketing efforts.
According to recent research, 75% of all global trade flows indirectly.
What does it mean?
It means that a great deal of this business is conducted through channel partners, which range from dealers and retailers to resellers, managed service providers, affiliates, partners, and others.
Companies must discover effective ways to manage their increasingly complicated yet valuable partner relationships to maintain a competitive edge and partner relationship management enables businesses to do exactly this.
PRM is a strategy for streamlining processes, increasing sales, setting and completing goals, and growing your company through the most popular marketing channel – partner marketing.
Companies that set up partner programs benefit from greater success, so it’s no surprise that an increasing number of marketers are seeking to grow and improve their partner programs.
The market for PRM solutions has expanded tremendously in recent years, with the IoT (internet of things) and other technological advancements expected to drive demand even further in 2023 and beyond. Following the pandemic, many businesses are looking for cloud-based PRM solutions to assist them in maintaining authenticity and consistency across all partner channels.
Table of Contents
- What Exactly is Partner Relationship Management (PRM)?
- Is PRM similar to CRM?
- What exactly is CRM?
- What exactly is PRM?
- PRM vs. CRM – What’s the Difference?
- How Do I Find The Right Tool?
- How Can Scaleo Boost Your PRM Marketing Strategy?
- How to Optimize Your PRM Marketing Strategy?
What Exactly is Partner Relationship Management (PRM)?
PRM, or Partner Relationship Management, is a set of software solutions used by companies to engage with their channel partners. At first glance, they may appear as CRMs or Customer Relationship Management platforms, but they are not the same thing. We will get to that comparison in a few minutes!
Managing partners is a complex, multi-layered endeavor. For this reason, PRM software is typically extensively customizable, allowing companies to tailor and adapt their systems to the structure of their own partner programs.
The PRM solution is either downloadable or web-based software. PRM software is sometimes referred to by users as a channel management or channel automation solution. It typically consists of best practices, templates and workflows that work together to manage and automate business processes and connections between companies and their partners.
The PRM system is centrally hosted and often offered as SaaS or Program-as-a-Service, where users pay for the software on an ongoing subscription basis and host your business in the cloud, so to speak.
Many PRMs use cutting-edge technologies such as analytics and AI (artificial intelligence) to provide business intelligence solutions (BI) that help companies make tactical and strategic decisions.
Is PRM similar to CRM?
It is similar, yet it serves a different purpose. A PRM system allows vendors to exchange information and conduct business with their partners. Although they are not the same, you could consider a PRM to be a specialized version of CRM focused on channel sales optimization.
PRM software is designed for vendors to help channel partners progress toward a sale by providing them with a variety of tools to unify, streamline, and facilitate the entire process.
These tools include:
- sharing leads,
- registering deals,
- motivating partners to be more engaged,
- tracking progress,
- and much more…
What exactly is CRM?
CRM, which stands for customer relationship management, is a popular and commonly used type of software in marketing. It is more accurately defined as a database of a company’s customers that maintains current information, such as their most recent contacts with the companies, and provides unified visibility of such data to CRM’s users.
What exactly is PRM?
PRM is another type of software used by big and small companies with partner programs to help them with channel sales execution. A PRM would be used to handle all of the data they have on their channel partners (for example, data on sales activities performed by those partners), as well as for training and certifications, delivering information to partners, providing assistance to partners, and other objectives.
PRM vs. CRM – What’s the Difference?
Now you might be wondering, isn’t it basically the same thing? With particularly similar initials, many people are unsure of the distinction between these two common business management software tools.
In simple terms:
- CRM is used to manage the information you have on your customers.
- PRM is primarily used to manage your interactions with partners.
CRM technology solutions are often not enough to meet the needs of channel partners and managers to offer services to their end customers properly. A CRM tool focuses on a company’s relationship with its customers, while a PRM platform focuses on managing a company’s interactions with its indirect sales forces.
How Do I Find The Right Tool?
There are quite a few elements that determine a good partner marketing program, and with a little assistance we hope to make the process far simpler for you.
A PRM solution can help with channel sales and alleviate a number of the most prevalent issues associated with partner programs. However, despite the numerous advantages of investing in a good PRM platform, not all businesses use it to manage their partner program.
The need for a PRM tool depends on the size of the program and the number of partners who would utilize the tool.
This largely depends on the specific requirements of your program
Others want a PRM system that will help them recruit as many partners as possible and grow their program. Some feel it is a good rule of thumb to have a PRM in place once you work with multiple partners. Basically, you need a PRM if it takes a lot of time to onboard all of your partners, train them, communicate with them via email, and keep them informed.
When investing in a PRM, it is important that you choose the right technology for your company’s needs. Choosing the right technology will help improve your procedures, increase efficiency and improve your program as a whole.
Scaleo is one of the most advanced PRM systems that can help you manage your entire affiliate business in one place, and here is why…
How Can Scaleo Boost Your PRM Marketing Strategy?
Scaleo is a partner marketing platform for managing partnerships, tracking all marketing channels, and enhancing performance.
Consolidate your partnership and performance channels to capture the full value of each traffic source, manage your attribution and optimize for your top performers. Get the attribution and analytics that are essential for revenue growth.
Scaleo has been around for a long time and can help you automate and scale your partner relationships through a variety of powerful partner management features.
How can we do it? Through a few essential features!
Scaleo’s automation features help marketers automate repetitive manual operations, including partner conversations, invoice generation, and opening offers to publishers. Additionally, AI features such as cross-device postback URLs, traffic redirections and deep links – help to increase revenue and make sure you are not leaving any money on the table.
Our clients also benefit from automation that simplifies partner payouts and many other financial aspects, with the possibility to choose between various currencies and payment providers.
Tracking all aspects of your partner’s transactions is a significant benefit of Scaleo software and a feature that is not typically seen in partner programs. As you may already know, tracking is essential in maximizing a partner program’s value. Scaleo is a comprehensive tool for tracking all aspects of each transaction, from desktop to mobile to mobile apps. Scaleo provides a clear picture of the outcomes of each and every transaction, with over 30 data points that can be tracked and filtered in real-time.
Using this information will allow you to double down on your successful efforts or eliminate poorly performing marketing channels or partners.
Scaleo enables users to generate customized reports and examine multiple data points on a single page. You can arrange reports by any parameter, such as by account manager, affiliate, advertiser, deal, and more. You can then apply custom statistics to allow customers to access detailed data over a specified time period. Users can also share and save reports.
Scaleo not only provides the ability to track marketing effectiveness, discover growth prospects, and predict potential threats. We also have the best dashboard on the market!
Scaleo offers a variety of ways to monitor affiliate activity and performance, with over 50 data breakdowns to track affiliate program performance. Once you have captured all the important data thanks to our extensive tracking system, you can access full reports and analytics in an eye-candy dashboard, which enables better decision-making through data visualization.
We do realize you might have an existing business that you are running on a different platform. That’s why Scaleo makes it easy to transfer your information from one affiliate network to another in a simple and efficient manner with zero data loss in the process. Our skilled team is here for you should you decide to migrate your business to us. We will help you with every step of the process to ensure a smooth transfer and your data will remain intact. We can also assist you in migrating your existing affiliate programs. There is no space for errors because Scaleo primarily focuses on technology.
Last but definitely not least is the security issue which we, at Scaleo, take very seriously. Our award-winning fraud detection technology (Anti Fraud Logic) protects you from any fraudulent activity by your partners or external sources. Scaleo also has a machine learning system that detects fraud in real-time, flags suspicious transactions and traffic, analyzes incoming traffic, and evaluates performance. Scaleo’s machine-learning algorithms can detect spam and other suspicious behavior, classifying traffic as potentially fraudulent and allowing you to take appropriate action.
While this is not a complete list of our features, these are the most prominent ones, which hopefully will tip the scale in favor of choosing Scaleo as a PRM system for your business.
How to Optimize Your PRM Marketing Strategy?
Looking at the stats, we can see that vendors spent $575 million on PRMs in 2021, accounting for 20.5% of total channel software investment.
However, these stats typically do not assess the entire ROI potential.
PRMs are important to succeed in today’s channel marketing efforts, but they are, like any tool, only work when utilized correctly.
Getting the most out of your PRM requires more than just employing all of its features; you must also have a PRM strategy that corresponds with your overall goals.
Building a scalable channel requires your system, process, and people to function in unison; genuine scalability requires reducing as many manual steps as possible (remember, we talked about automation?) in your partner experience. The majority of vendors see this early on and invest in technology to support it.
Vendors have long struggled to make the most of their PRM platform expenditures. All too often, we hear about poor utilization, a lack of visibility, clumsy processes, and, most importantly, a failure to deliver on the promised ROI.
We’ve seen a slew of engagement and activation difficulties when it comes to PRM integration and optimization, and we’ve worked with vendors to solve them. Here are the most important key factors you should not neglect when building your strategy.
1 – Monitor and Evaluate Your Performance.
You won’t know how well you’ve done unless you measure your performance, so make sure to track the appropriate metrics for your program. Among the key performance indicators you should keep an eye on are the following:
- Revenue: PRM provides numerous benefits to the sales department. However, revenue must come first. Measure revenue by partner, by channel, by the deal, and by affiliate manager to get a clear picture of your performance.
- Deals: Measuring the number and size of deals brought in by a partner is another important metric to track, even if not all of them result in sales. Because there is a high volume of transactions and a shorter sales cycle, determining which sales strategies are most effective may be easier.
- Resource utilization: Providing high-quality resources to partners necessitates significant effort; therefore, ensuring that they are making the most of them.
2 – Use the Right PRM Marketing Tool.
We have already discussed the importance of choosing the PRM software that will cover your needs. The scale of your program and the number of partners will influence your decision to invest in a PRM solution. If you are dealing with more than, let’s say, 10 partners, a PRM tool may be beneficial. You may also want a PRM tool to assist you in recruiting the best partners and assisting them in growing their programs.
Since PRM is also useful for communicating with all of your partners and keeping them up to date via email. When deciding to adopt a PRM system, make sure it fits all of your company’s requirements and is scalable because after all, all these efforts are designed to help your business grow. You will be able to optimize your operations, develop efficiency, and improve your program by selecting the proper software, such as Scaleo.
3 – PRM Marketing Strategy.
Once your internal teams have been trained, it is time to begin promoting the PRM to your partners. Create a complete PRM marketing plan outlining how you intend to increase platform awareness and usage. Brainstorm ideas, try and list all the possible ways you can achieve progress, and see what your competitors do. Everything from webinars and e-learning modules to dedicated PRM communications and onboarding support should be included.
4 – Simplicity is Key.
Although PRM platforms are becoming more sophisticated and complex, this does not necessitate their complexity of use. In fact, the opposite is true. You must keep your PRM as simple as possible if you want your partners to use it willingly. Platforms and dashboards should be easy to follow and intuitive, allowing partners to find what they need when they need it. This is one of the key elements that Scaleo puts first – we make incredibly complex and sophisticated software with the most user-friendly UX and UI, allowing everyone from pros to newbies, to jump right in and start using our software.
Today you have learned the difference between CRM and PRM, how to build your PRM strategy effectively, how to choose the best PRM software for your needs and, of course, whether you need a PRM system in place at all. PRM is used to manage your interactions with partners and optimize the process leading up to the sale or conversion. If you are looking for a PRM tool to help you manage your affiliate business, have a look at Scaleo – we offer a 14-day free trial or you can schedule a demo call with our representative and see how our software can benefit your business case.