30 Jun 5 reasons tech companies should use PRM to drive more deals
by Steve Seo
For many tech companies, long-term revenue stability is not a given. In fact, a majority of tech companies don’t feel confident about their sales prospects. An astonishing 61 percent of technology and software companies say that they’re expecting fundamental marketplace volatility in their industry over the next three to five years, and 57 percent of these companies anticipate fundamental changes in how their customers make purchases, according to 2021 research from the Hinge Research Institute. While many market forces are outside a tech company’s control, tech companies can control some aspects of their long-term sales prospects—and that includes sales partners. The tech industry can and should be leveraging its partner networks to optimize the number and size of deals. Sales partners are among a company’s biggest assets. They have access to their own leads, their own customer bases, and their own sales and marketing teams that can complement and magnify a company’s own sales and marketing efforts.
The key for tech companies is to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with their sales partners. Sales partners need to believe that a company has its own best interests at heart and that the company is willing to invest the time, effort, and resources to help every sales partner succeed. To help partners to feel connected, integrated, and valued, tech companies turn to partner relationship management (PRM) technology. PRM platforms like the industry-leading Salesforce Experience Cloud are designed to help tech companies comprehensively manage relationships with all of their channel partners. Let’s explore five key reasons tech companies should be using PRM to drive more deals:
PRM is a tangible investment in partners’ success
Tech companies need to invest proactively in building mutual trust with partners, so partners don’t perceive the company as only being in it for short-term gains and one-off deals. The best way to build this mutual trust is to invest in channel partners’ success. PRM helps companies to streamline and automate channel sales processes, with a focus on areas like negotiations, lead generation and tracking, and pricing and quoting. When channel partners believe that a company is investing in their success, the channel partners will prioritize that company and make conscious efforts to grow sales with the company.
PRM generates and distributes intelligent leads
If a sales team is inundated with leads, unfortunately, if the appropriate systems and processes are not in place some of these leads can get lost. Others end up getting referred to channel partners for follow-up. And, it’s often commonplace for neither tech companies nor their sales partners to have time to make intelligent decisions about how to distribute and prioritize their leads. These key decisions often get made more on intuition and gut instinct than on objective, hard data. PRM, coupled with Marketing Cloud’s excellent lead management, is a comprehensive solution for taking the guesswork out of prioritizing and distributing leads. The PRM platform continuously and automatically analyzes copious types of sales data alongside customer behavior and demographic data to understand what they are likely to want and need—and when they’re going to be making a purchasing decision in response. Next, by connecting with Marketing Cloud, leads get routed automatically using customized workflows to the partner best positioned to pursue them. And on the back end, the system automatically registers deals to the responsible partner, so there’s no conflict and friction over who deserves credit. Meanwhile, as partners follow up with the high-value leads recommended by PRM, the platform learns from the outcome of each successive sale, refining its predictive capabilities over time.
PRM empowers partners to be more effective sellers
In the average channel partnership, tech companies often struggle to empower their sales partners with all of the tools and information they need. Partners struggle to locate important product and pricing catalogs, or they run into issues and don’t know how to get their specific questions answered. PRM solutions are designed to meaningfully enhance communications and interactions between tech companies and their channel partners. Ivanti, a long-time client of Simplus, uses both CPQ and PRM to make the most out of its sales channels. The reason you can’t leave PRM behind is because a PRM system provides a pre-built partner portal infrastructure through which channel partners can easily search and retrieve answers from knowledge bases, as well as communicate and be auto-routed via live chat. Because PRM is infused with AI, PRM also helps partners more intelligently recommend cross-sell and upsell opportunities. Instead of arbitrarily guessing at what offers to present to a customer, partners can use the AI built into PRM to auto-generate customized offers that are most likely to resonate with where the customer is on their buyer journey.
PRM enables collaborative marketing campaigns
Communication and coordination between the marketing team of a tech company and its channel partners are typically limited at best. As a result, tech companies can barely keep up with current and planned marketing initiatives of their channel partners—and vice versa. PRM provides a collaborative platform for marketing teams to design and execute highly coordinated marketing campaigns. For the first time, it becomes feasible to easily create branded collateral with partners, and to create seamless, engaging marketing experiences for the customer—regardless of whether the customer is interacting with the company directly or with one of its channel partners.
PRM optimizes sales by continuously crunching data
The best way for channel partners to sell more is to understand customers better. Unfortunately, extracting actionable intelligence from customer data is laborious and time-consuming to do manually. PRM takes care of automatically and continuously crunching customer data to help tech companies and their sales partners truly understand customer needs and priorities, and where customers are on their buyer journey. Additionally, PRM continuously monitors the real-time performance of individual channel partners, enabling tech companies to understand how partners are engaging with the company and how the company can reach out to help partners become more connected and invested in partner sales strategies and opportunities.
Sales partners play an instrumental role in helping tech companies optimize the size and number of deals. And, tech companies can strengthen and empower their partner networks to sell more by investing in PRM technology. For sales partners, PRM represents a tangible investment in their success, a way to intelligently generate and distribute sales leads, a tool for making partners more effective sellers, a collaboration platform for coordinated marketing campaigns, and a powerful data analytics machine that helps partners understand customers better.
Simplus is expertly positioned to help tech companies implement PRM solutions that optimally leverage their channel partners. To learn more about how Simplus can help tech companies tap into their partner networks to grow sales opportunities, please reach out to Simplus today. We can’t wait to help you build and strengthen lasting relationships with your channel partners.
Steve is VP of Sales, West at Simplus.