At the core of channel sales enablement is the assurance that channel partners can function autonomously while vendors maintain and manage consistent branding, messaging, and more. However, when multiple stakeholders are involved and partners need varying vendor assets, it’s hard to keep tabs on all of the moving parts.
According to the CSO Insights 2016 Channel Sales Optimization Study, 46.9 percent of companies surveyed were not using partner relationship management (PRM) technology, and few companies reported having a clear picture of their channel partners’ opportunity flow. On the other hand, the CSO Insights study suggests that “PRM implementation can enhance a company’s ability to assess what partners are doing.”
To ensure consistency, efficiency, effectiveness, and agility throughout the pipeline, up your channel sales enablement game with a PRM solution. Here are five things that PRM technology can do to help you better enable your partners to sell successfully.
1. Organize your assets.
A PRM solution offers vendors an impressive platform for storing and sharing valuable content that is aligned with inbound marketing and each buyer’s current stage within the marketing funnel. A PRM platform also offers the ability to customize file permissions, so if a file is intended only for your partners’ eyes and not for their prospects, you can set the permissions so that it’s not shareable.
Having your assets organized will enable your partners to pull the right piece of content—whether an e-book, white paper, case study, video, or fact sheet—for the right stage of their prospects’ buying journeys 24/7/365, without having to reach out to you. According to CSO Insights, the better the customer journey alignment, the better the conversion rates: win rates increase by 15 percent and quota attainment rises by 13.6 percent.
Additionally, the best PRM solutions have powerful recommendation engines, which can provide your partners with complementary assets for prospects. By providing your channel partners with such a high level of autonomy, your team is free to focus on vital business needs while your channel partners concentrate on taking your product or service to market with confidence.
2. Encourage self-guided training.
One of the best features of a PRM solution is that it provides channel partners with self-guided onboarding and training so they can get up to speed at their own pace. This means your channel partners can work through training with the knowledge that certain components of the PRM platform can only be “unlocked” and accessed after prerequisite training modules have been completed. By tiering your training in this way, you can gamify the process to push channel partners to train quickly and efficiently. Also, with self-guided training, you can scale your channel sales business seamlessly and drive to-partner marketing campaigns based on whether your partners are actually using the training.
3. Increase sales productivity.
With a PRM platform, content is organized and searchable, which allows your channel partners to quickly and easily find and share content with prospects. Instead of your partners emailing you every time they need a specific asset, they can find what they need quickly within the PRM platform through its powerful search and filtering features. Better yet, the best PRM solution enables partners with the deal-specific sales enablement assets they need right when they need them most: during the registration process. This shortens the sales cycle, increases the speed of prospect communications, and boosts customer happiness—all of which helps increase revenue and customer numbers.
Additionally, a robust PRM solution offers unique tools to gamify the entire channel partner experience in order to boost engagement and create an ecosystem of productive, efficient channel partners and sales processes. Whether through a leaderboard for leads generated or certifications completed, your channel partners’ sales and marketing teams will want to become more productive and efficient.
4. Boost partner knowledge.
A PRM platform is the prime space for sharing internal playbooks featuring sales scenarios, product or service assets, and other content to educate your channel partners. This internal content enables sales teams to understand the product or service inside and out, so they can work with end users at every stage of the sales funnel. Additionally, a PRM solution gives vendors the tools to analyze which partners are engaging with what content and how frequently. With this data, you can understand what’s working and what needs to change to better drive partner engagement to drive more sales. The more you understand how your channel partners are engaging with your content and how it’s impacting their lead generation, the more equipped you are to nurture your channel partners into effective sales partners.
5. Streamline lead generation.
Managing leads is a seamless process with a PRM solution. Providing channel partners with a platform that allows them to register deals, organize leads, integrate with countless sales and marketing apps, and create personalized landing pages for each prospect enables sales teams to effectively convert leads into customers. In addition to facilitating the sharing of content, these prospect pages can also serve as a powerful means for partners to register opportunities and deals. Having all of your partners on one platform gives you a prime view of partner activities, which makes partner management easier and more streamlined. This level of lead management also has the added bonus of ensuring there is no channel conflict with deal registration and lead management.
The benefits of using a PRM solution to enable channel sales are endless. PRM technology streamlines the channel sales experience to enable partners to succeed in their own way on their own time while also giving them the peace of mind that messaging and branding are consistent and on point. If you’re ready to learn more about how a PRM platform can improve your channel sales enablement, download our Guide to Building the Ultimate Channel Sales & Marketing Stack now.