When it comes to managing your partners and brand advocates, CRM and PRMs have become the gold standard for a joint go-to-market strategy. So, what’s the difference between the two, and do you need both?
We’re glad you asked!
In short, the answer is yes, but before we dive in, let's start with some brief definitions. Although there are similarities between the two — both CRMs and PRMs have “relationship management” in their names, for one — they’re not created equal.A CRM, which stands for “customer relationship management,” is a technology or platform that helps manage relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. The goal? Keep leads and potential leads organized in one place. A CRM helps you focus on your organization’s relationships with individual contacts, whether it be your current partners or potential partners. Popular examples include Salesforce, HubSpot, Pipedrive, ActiveCampaign and others.
A PRM, or “partner relationship management” tool, on the other hand, is a web-based application that provides established partners with access to resources and services that wouldn’t typically be available, or more difficult to access, otherwise. A PRM helps increase your company’s efficiency and improve your working relationships with your current or respective partners.
Now that we got that straight, here are the 3 top reasons why you should integrate the two:
1) Better Transparency
When you integrate your CRM and PRM, you gain a bird's-eye view into all partner activity across the customer lifecycle, ensuring transparency with your partners and keeping your internal sales team on the same page.
If your company uses an indirect sales channel to market and sell products, for example, the last thing you want is for your partners to compete with each other (or your sales team, yikes!), trying to sell the same products to the same customers. An integrated CRM/PRM helps you avoid this duplication of effort not to mention the risk of potential channel conflicts.
2) Better Organization
An integrated CRM and PRM also allows your organization to bring all participants in the channels together into one virtual database, while preserving the integrity and uniqueness of customer and partner systems and tools.
Think of the countless hours this could save you and your team vs. having to toggle between multiple platforms or enter information into two different systems manually. When your systems are integrated, you can easily find the information you need in a matter of clicks. Need to quickly lookup a data point about a partner? You only have to go to one place to find it.
3) Better Automation
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, integrating your CRM and PRM improves overall automation, helping your business grow and scale. Think about it: A CRM and PRM complement each other in a few ways. A CRM’s main function is to house and manage direct sales reports and execute marketing campaigns and lead management. A PRM comes in for the win for all things channel activity, providing a laser focus on channel sales automation, channel marketing, program automation, and more.
With these powers combined, you’re on the road to victory. Our Salesforce and HubSpot integrations allow you to automatically register your leads directly into a CRM. As your deal progresses through the sales funnel, you and your partners will be able to follow along as it moves from Prospecting, Proposal, Closed Won, etc. This gives transparency between you and your partners about deals in process, and using PartnerPortal.io you'll be able to automatically pay partners when a deal closes.
Whether you currently have a partner management platform or are looking for one, we're here to help! At PartnerPortal.io, we understand that not every business has the same needs when it comes to a partner management system. That's why our product is designed to be completely customizable; you can tailor it to fit your specific business goals and partner programs.
If you need any assistance in getting started or want to learn more about our product, we're more than happy to chat. Feel free to schedule a time that works for you, and one of our team members will be in touch. We look forward to hearing from you soon!