First, a confession. I have always had mixed feelings about home-grown partner relationship management (PRM) tools. In my mind, for any reseller or VAR nurturing more than one relationship with a high-tech vendor (i.e., um, most of you) they represented an incredible investment in administrative resources. Imagine having to keep four or five of these things up-to-date. Especially if they all looked and acted different.
Now that I have grown wiser (and I guess older, too, ugh), I have a different opinion about what used to be called the PRM category, especially for any VAR that has tied themselves closely to just a couple of key high-tech suppliers.
For one thing, the growing acceptance of Software as a Service has made the user interfaces to these applications a whole lot more logical to use and easily accessible for both the partner’s and the vendor’s field sales personnel when they need it in real selling situations. Plus, the smarter high-tech companies have chosen to tie them more closely to the “real” data stored in their sales pipeline management systems. Rather than locking their partners out.
The best tools in the category have really morphed into what you’d call Partner Information Management solutions. These applications offer value to both sides of the high-tech channel, both VARs and vendors. The new Channeltivity 3.0, developed by SWOT Management Group’s partner company Channeltivity and being launched on June 11, demonstrates what I’m talking about. Disclosure: This software is obviously sold by the company that I work for, so I have a vested interest in making sure it’s successful. The feature set was informed and conceived by several executives that have bona fide channel field sales and management experience, including Channeltivity COO Gary Grimes, the former head of channel programs for Sun Microsystems.
What makes Channeltivity different from other software in the Partner Information Management category is its focus on engagement and execution, with features that span a partner’s lifespan with a particular vendor all the way from initial recruitment and onboarding, to business planning and the subsequent management of a sales pipeline.
All of this can be managed from a single place: you don’t have to go to five different places to get a grip on important data points. Channeltivity 3.0 is, in essence, a collaboration tool one that links a vendor channel team with a partner’s sales and marketing team.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so For a demo of how Channeltivity works, check out this link. Or e-mail email@example.com to talk to someone about specifics. You’ll have to listen to me blab on some more about specific features, but I promise it will get you thinking. More important, Channeltivity 3.0 will help your channel team get a better grip, across individual partners, specific regions or your entire channel. It’s your choice.