PRM: The Return on Investment Challenge

[fa icon="calendar"] Jan 26, 2018 9:44:59 AM / by James Hodgkinson

James Hodgkinson

To drive true return on investment (ROI) you need to put all the focus on partner engagement.

More than ever, technology companies of all shapes and sizes are realizing that there are some huge opportunities to achieve growth through channel partners. To achieve this, it’s generally accepted that implementing the correct Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Technology, and in particular, a great online partner experience (partner portal), is a key component in driving this success.

Yet the market for such solutions still provides unclear choices with ‘PRM’ vendors providing very different interpretations of how to address this challenge. If you go and speak to the various companies offering solutions you will see what I mean.

Imagine if CRM or Marketing Automation was like this - the burden is all on you to take the risk on a bet that looks like it might be the best one in a market that is poorly served by a range of relatively small and often dysfunctional companies. And the one gorilla in the room (Salesforce) still doesn’t understand the difference between CRM and PRM and continues to put lipstick on the same pig when it comes to channel engagement.

So how can you take the emotion out of this decision and look at what’s best for your business using cold hard facts?

I can help you through my own, at times painful, experience. I ran a ‘PRM’ solutions company for more than 15 years. In 2013 we realized that the old ways weren’t working and everything we were doing had to change. We ripped up our entire technology stack and started again - all because we knew we were fighting a losing argument with a legacy approach and that our clients needed a next-generation solution.

To drive true return on investment (ROI) you need to put all the focus on partner engagement. For too long PRM has focused on the ‘M’ in this acronym, providing vendors with the tools they need to manage their channel programs internally but far less on technology that will enable channel ecosystem members to drive revenue together. Pushing out endless features and functionalities is not the answer - how many ‘modules’ do we use on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn and yet what does the adoption look like?

But don’t take my word for it - it’s all in the metrics.

Hard metrics - like how many partners were successfully converted from a prospect to a transacting entity, how much they grew the revenue once they were on-boarded and what trends are we seeing in deal close rates and timeframes.

If you are considering PRM you need to ask the hard questions about how results can be driven and measured in just the same way you would with an e-commerce marketing automation platform. Just measuring logins is not enough.

Webinfinity recently published a white paper 'Why Webinfinity - The ROI from Top to Bottom' speaking to the ROI we drive and how our technology architecture is uniquely placed to do it. We’d love to hear about your channel program goals and if everything we’ve learned, created and refined over many years can help you achieve them!

Topics: PRM, Partner Portals, Channel, Salesforce, Partner Ecosystem

James Hodgkinson

Written by James Hodgkinson

As Founder & CEO of Webinfinity and now SVP of 360ecosystems, I have led the development and launch of a game-changing SaaS Ecosystem Engagement Management platform, also known as 360ecosystems!