When it comes to running a business that relies on channel partners to generate a large portion of revenues, it’s important to recognize and understand what your business strengths and weaknesses are.
Identifying areas of improvement can really help define and optimize your business strategy and plan.
Ask yourself the following: What areas of our business needs help? Where can our business make improvements? Do channel partners have the support they need? Once your weaknesses are identified, the next big question to ask yourself is how can we solve our pain-points?
We recognize the challenges businesses face when it comes to channel sales and have discovered solutions just for businesses like yours! If you face these 10 obstacles, it’s time for your business to consider how a partner relationship management (PRM) platform can help.
1. Channel partners are not sufficiently trained to close deals
Well trained employees and channel partners are key factors to a successful business. Without a high-performing team, you can’t expect your business to sky rocket to the top. So, if you’re facing training challenges, consider implementing a PRM portal as your solution. With flexible training modules that can be managed directly from the portal, training channel partners and employees becomes a problem of the past. No matter if it’s on-boarding, product and sales training, or updates on latest releases, your partners will be up to speed in no time.
2. Your Market Development Funds (MDF) process is insufficient and funds are hard to keep track of
In some cases, channel partners may need market development funds to help them find opportunities, get leads, and close deals. Assess your current process: How are you tracking and managing these requests? How are requests being submitted? Is the MDF process so long that channel partners get impatient? If your answers to these questions are long and complicated, it’s time to look for more efficient mechanism to manage your MDF.
A PRM portal can help track and manage these requests. Not only can channel partners request MDF right from the portal, but you, as a channel manager or leader, can approve or deny their requests right on the portal. All while effortlessly tracking these activities.
3. You don’t think your channel partners understand or know your business plan and strategy
Sharing your business plan and strategy with channel partners is a great practice. After all, how well can a channel partner perform if they don’t know how their individual goals contribute to the overall goal and plan of your business? If you have a difficult time communicating your business plan and strategy, it’s time to get a PRM portal.
On a PRM portal, you will not only be able to convey the right messaging to channel partners, but also have the capability to motivate and educate them further. Through document modules, playbooks, news feeds, and more, channel partners will have all the information they need to understand your business plan and strategy. A motivated, educated, and well-targeted team is the perfect combination for success!
4. Your business values aren’t being communicated with channel partners
Like your business plan and strategy, channel partners need to understand your business values. Being aware of what these are shapes how a channel partner views your business. If a channel partner doesn’t believe in what they are selling and who they are selling for, they simply won’t perform as expected.
A PRM portal can not only provide resources and education for channel partners, but also provide branded resources that will help relay your business values to channel partners.
5. You have overwhelming amounts of communications between channel partners and your clients and customers
Your CRM software is a great tool for productivity and maintaining relationships with customers. However, tracking communications and activities with clients and customers may be a challenge. In fact, failure to do so can act as a disadvantage when it comes time to close deals.
A PRM portal can solve the disconnect by integrating with your CRM to manage and track all activities and communications with a client or customer. This means no more lost emails -- limiting repeated conversations.
6. You are limited by the collateral you share
We agree that Google Drive and iCloud may be great resources for sharing collateral. However, why spend money on tiered storage when you can get this and a PRM portal?
Centralize all collateral on a portal so that your channel partners can access sales and marketing collateral whenever and wherever they want. In addition, channel partners can contribute to sharing materials that they feel may be relevant to others.
7. Deal management and registration isn’t being managed efficiently
Are your channel partners struggling to manage a range of deals? Keeping deals up-to-date ensures that no opportunities fall through the cracks. Every deal can receive timely attention and the nurturing it needs to move through the buying stages. Deal management and registration can be better supported and understood with the use of a PRM portal.
8. You’re having a difficult time tracking leads and opportunities
In relation to deal management, it is equally important to keep leads and opportunities organized and up-to-date. When a lead is received, it is your job to ensure that they convert to an opportunity, then to a deal, and eventually to a loyal customer. The most effective way to convert leads to customers is by keeping track of them so that they can be nurtured and followed up with at the right time.
If you find leads are falling through the cracks, it’s time to rethink how they’re organized and managed. A PRM portal’s lead and opportunity management module can easily be a solution for you.
9. You’re spending too much time on-boarding new channel partners
Adding new channel partners and/or employees to your business can be a bit of a challenge. Introducing them to the business, managing their training and skills, filling out forms, etc. can be an exhausting and overwhelming process.
With the right tools, on-boarding and training can be a painless process for both you and your new channel partner, and they’ll be able to start prospecting and selling in no time.
10. You don’t have much collaboration, but there’s a need for it
We have all heard how important collaboration is. If there’s no collaboration in a team, we can’t expect the team to function properly. After all, as a channel team, channel partners and channel managers should all be working together. If partners are not speaking to you or each other, there’s a problem. Contribution of ideas and experiences can really guide your sales strategy and help your business to be more successful.
A PRM portal can provide you with a variety of collaboration tools and resources to help spark interaction amongst your team, other departments, and the overall business.
Focus on business weaknesses
Now that you’ve taken the time to think about the weaknesses of your business, it’s time to do something about it! These challenges can be fixed with the functionality of a partner relationship management software platform. You just need to get started.