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Is the juice worth the squeeze?


Putting in the work on PRM tools pays off.

fresh oranges and juiceYour PRM, known as the Partner Portal to your partners, should hold all the sales tools, automated processes, and enablement necessary to help partners sell your joint value proposition (and deliver on it). That’s easy to write, but in reality, it’s more complex. Anyone who has been through the experience of solution evaluation, implementation, change management and ensuring post-launch success has at some point asked themselves whether “the juice is worth the squeeze.”

That sentiment was shared in our recent Channel Chief roundtable. Experienced partnering leaders debated whether the effort of implementing a Partner Relationship Management tool is truly worth it. There are challenges on both sides of the argument.


Why PRM is worth the effort.

  1. Increase your internal efficiency. – With a robust digitalisation of your partner program and engagements, you ensure automation and governance of partner-facing processes. This not only assists in tracking and making data-driven decisions in the future but also increases the efficiency of your partner-facing people. By automating repetitive manual tasks, your reps can focus on more impactful actions such as driving strategic alignment and go-to-market approaches with your partners.
  2. Add scale and reach.With the automation of your partner processes, you gain more hands-off partner engagement. The portal allows you to embrace the power of partnering by identifying those partners who are truly impacting the bottom line. Instead of hiring more partner-facing reps, you can invest in your engaged partners and widen the net of prospects. By leveraging your partners’ existing industry knowledge and connections, you can expand your reach and tap into new customer segments.
  3. Meet partnering expectations. – Having a partner portal is essential. Gone are the days when a centralised hub where partners can access key resources (such as opportunity registration and marketing materials) is considered ‘nice to have.’ Partners expect to find everything they need in one place. Streamlining operations and ensuring partners have the tools for success is as basic as having a company website. The absence of proper partner management tools is a major roadblock to growing your partner ecosystem not only because it hinders your ability to support existing partners but also because it limits your ability to recruit new partners.

Where PRM can go wrong.

Get the juicer out and the glass at the ready. In most cases, we believe implementing a PRM tool can significantly enhance your revenue growth, streamline processes, and empower your partners. To overwork the metaphor, sometimes the juice tastes sour. Here are some lessons learnt from our Channel Chiefs about the headaches that make you question whether PRM is worth the effort.

  1. Get it right from the beginning. – Our attendees shared their battle stories of incorrect, incomplete, and downright incompetent implementations and configurations. It’s important to spend time before configuration working on aligning your PRM to deliver on your strategic channel goals. Ensure you plan a phased launch, giving you time to do it properly. Prepare a communication plan on the helpful features for your partners as you roll out enhancements in life after launch.
  2. Simple is beautiful, but basic isn’t. – Some of our Channel Chiefs lamented PRMs and portals with great futures that never came to pass. These once important projects lost momentum, budget and/or internal support leaving them with a very expensive opportunity registration tool. Investment in the pre-planning phases, gathering a group to offer portal governance, and a continuous improvement plan are critical to ensuring your digitalisation of partner engagement doesn’t become your partners’ inside joke.
  3. Maybe the answer isn’t one, but many. – Most of our roundtable attendees didn’t have one partnering automation tool, but a collection of several (the average was three). These were a range of more traditional PRM platforms combined with specialised tools for marketing automation, learning management and more. Avoid functionality limitations by shopping for ecosystems of vendors working together to offer you (and your partners) the right fit. Vendor consolidation isn’t always the answer. By acknowledging one solution may not have everything you need, you can open yourself up to on-point expertise from a variety of integrated vendors and deliver a great experience to your partners.

Contact us to learn more about how PartnerPath partner automation services can help accelerate your partner vision. We offer consulting at every level of your PRM lifecycle. Whether it’s evaluation of tools, planning, implementation, ongoing management or enhancements, we can offer best practices and hands-on help to ensure you’re making the most of PRM.

Download: What is the total cost of Salesforce PRM?

Amy-Roberts-2023-120Want to geek out on PRM over a virtual coffee with Amy? We would love to hear your partner automation stories, opportunities, and challenges ahead.

Amy Roberts is the EMEA principal and PRM lead at PartnerPath. She is based in York, UK. 


Topics: Partnering Tips, PRM

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