Building a Channel that scales means having your systems, processes and people working together in harmony; and true scalability means eliminating as many manual steps as possible in your Partner journey. Most Vendors recognise this early on and invest in technology to drive this.
2021 saw Vendors spend $575 million on PRMs, accounting for 20.5% of all Channel software expenditure, but all too often the true ROI potential isn’t realised or isn’t measured. PRMs are critical to success in today’s Channel but, as with any tool, they only work if used effectively. Getting the most out of your PRM doesn’t just mean using all the features though, you need to have a PRM strategy that aligns with your overall Channel goals.
So how do you define your PRM strategy? Ultimately it should be entirely focussed on driving adoption, be that initially engaging with your platform or adopting specific features within. Higher adoption means greater ROI from your platform, better stickiness with your Partners and a superior Partner Experience.
So, if you’re asking yourself how to get the most out of your PRM, then follow these six steps:
- Define the KPIs that matter and set milestones
- Keep it simple
- Educate your internal teams first
- Create a PRM marketing plan
- Find your biggest evangelists (and critics)
- Analyze, analyze, analyze
In this blog, we’ll dive into each of these to help you shape your PRM technology so that you drive the best possible Partner Experience and realise the full potential of your investment.
Define the KPIs that matter and set milestones
Key Performance Indicators are the lifeblood of any business and PRMs are no different. To make sure your PRM is driving value, you need to define the KPIs that matter to your business and set milestones for each.
There are several KPIs you could track but some key ones to consider are:
- Activation rate: The percentage of new Partners who are actively using your PRM
- Engagement rate: The percentage of existing Partners who are actively using your PRM
- Feature adoption: The percentage of PRM users who are using specific features
- User satisfaction: How satisfied your users are with the PRM (measured through surveys or NPS scores)
Keep it simple
PRM platforms are becoming increasingly sophisticated but that doesn’t mean they need to be complicated. In fact, the opposite is true. If you want your Partners to use your PRM, then you need to keep it simple. The platform should be easy to use and intuitive so that Partners can find what they need, when they need it.
Educate your internal teams first
PRMs are only as good as the data that’s entered into them so it’s important to educate your internal teams on how to use the platform and what data to enter. This will ensure that the PRM is populated with high-quality, accurate data which can then be used to drive decision making.
Create a PRM marketing plan
Once your internal teams are up to speed, it’s time to start promoting the PRM to your Partners. Create a PRM marketing plan that outlines how you’re going to increase awareness and usage of the platform. This should include everything from webinars and e-learning modules to dedicated PRM communications and on-boarding support.
Find your biggest evangelists (and critics)
No PRM strategy is complete without input from your Partners. Find your biggest evangelists and get their feedback on what’s working well and what could be improved. Likewise, reach out to your most critical Partners and find out what they're unhappy with and how you can improve things. This feedback will be invaluable in shaping the future of your PRM strategy.
Analyze, analyze, analyze
Data is your friend when it comes to PRMs. Make sure you’re analyzing usage data on a regular basis so that you can identify patterns and trends. This data will help you to make informed decisions about where to focus your efforts and how to further improve the PRM.
Get more from your PRM
Vendors have long struggled with getting the most out of their heavy PRM platform investments. All too often we hear about poor utilisation, lack of visibility, clunky processes and the big one; not seeing the promised delivery of ROI.
When it comes to PRM integration and optimisation, we've not only seen a whole host of engagement and activation challenges, but we've also partnered with Vendors to solve them.
For a decade, Sherpa has developed expertise in the leading PRM platforms; from a deep understanding of the core features and values of each system to intricate knowledge on how to best integrate each solution within any channel tech stack.
This is why we've put together our top tips to help you get the most from your PRM platform. By following these best practices, you can avoid common mistakes, maximise efficiencies, improve Partner and Vendor engagement and see real ROI.
PRMs are a big investment so it’s important to get them right. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to PRM success.
If you need help with your PRM strategy, our team of experts are on hand to help. Get in touch to find out more.