CRMs are arguably the most adopted tools in the business world today. However, for organizations going to market through partners, PRM technologies are rapidly becoming a must-have to support those go-to-market motions. PRMs & CRMs serve different purposes for organizations but ….

PRMs & CRMs are similar in many ways –
*the way they look to serve the end-user of the product
*tracking the opportunities at different stages of revenue
*exchanging information amongst multiple stakeholders
*in some scenarios aligning content and training.

The market for CRMs is already well established. Most businesses already know they need to deploy one to effectively manage their customers. The number of organizations that are even familiar with the acronym of PRM is growing. Forrester predicts that the market for PRM will continue to grow through 2023 across all industries.

What makes PRM different from CRM?

PRMs & CRMs: What they do

CRMs track many things that a PRM simply isn’t designed to do, and candidly shouldn’t be designed to do.
A CRM tracks things like-
*contact information
*history of communication
*transaction summaries
*usage data, and billing information.

PRMs, on the other hand manage –
*Partners Onboarding
*easily deal registration by partners
*partner’s certification on your products
*MDF funds request when given the option.

Having a PRM tool is nothing less than an investment towards your partner’s success.

PRMs & CRMs: Teams in Action

CRMs are designed for Direct Sales and Support Teams. They are used to track & monitor the progress of key prospective accounts, qualified opportunities, and manage accounts. On the other hand, Partner Management Software is rarely customized to support anything in the lifecycle of partner-driven revenue except the initial deal registration and in aiding to identify the initial opportunity.

While some PRM providers are still stuck in the old days of user-based license and pricing models. Modern PRM solutions have recognized that unlike CRMs, users are not in their software solutions daily. A partner might only login to a vendor’s partner portal once or twice a month, sometimes only once a year so it makes absolutely no sense to charge on a per user basis.

PRMs & CRMs: Economics of Software

CRMs require consistent tweaking & additions in order to support the growing complexities of organizations. The PRM tools deployed out to partner programs have largely remained the same over the years. Aside from tools like Vartopia, most PRM providers have remained content providing reactive environments for partners to come get things as they need them. Typically, the needs that PRM tools look to fill largely remain the same, even as channel programs change and mature.

The complexity, cost, and failure to typically deploy a CRM usually leads to a scenario where CRMs are not utilized to their fullest extent. When it comes to PRM, Partner Relationship Management tools are purpose-built and come with only the tools that a partner need. As a result, PRM implementation is typically faster, more cost-effective, and results in quicker end-user adoption than most CRM implementations.

When one considers all the factors together, PRM has a substantially lower cost of ownership than a CRM.

PRMs & CRMs: Deployment

A well-designed PRM system, with a great partner program structure, will undoubtedly lead to a profitable channel model. CRM deployment on the other hand is expensive data cleanup project with no clear attribution or impact on the overall revenue of an organization. Having a PRM tells your partners, “We value your relationship with us, we are investing in you.” Deploying a CRM to your sales team says, “We want to track everything you do, because we don’t trust you to do your job.”

A PRM system reduces the cost, and complexity at the organizational level and provides a tangible return on channel management investment.

So how can your business make sure they play well together?

The organizational architecture of a CRM MUST be taken into consideration during PRM deployment. Furthermore, organizations should remember that channel partners are not in your business day today, so language and terminology need to be agnostic to your way of doing business. For example, if your organization has 9 different opportunity stages, a partner probably only cares about the one where their deal is accepted and closed. Don’t make them pay attention to your 9 different sales stages.

Businesses are now focusing on the ROI of channel dollars. This is only possible if the architecture of your PRM application aligns with the application architecture. Take for example Salesforce, they have leads, accounts, contacts, and opportunities. HubSpot CRM has Contacts, Companies, and Deals. 3 objects vs 4 objects. If your PRM system is not taking these things into account, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Request a demo today to see if Vartopia’s PRM software is the one that you need for your business.