Today, there are many software tools designed to manage various aspects of a business.
One of the most commonly encountered business software is a CRM.
What is CRM?
CRM, which stands for customer relationship management is a type of software that is widely known and used by many companies. It can be more specifically defined as a database of a company's customers – one that maintains up-to-date information, such as their latest interactions with the company, and provides unified visibility of such data for a CRM's multiple users.
What is PRM?
PRM, or partner relationship management, is another type of software used by companies with partner programs, which are established for facilitating the execution of their channel sales. They would use a PRM to manage all the data they have on their channel partners (i.e. data on sales activities being carried out by those partners) as well as for training and certifications for those partners, enabling partners with information, providing support to partners and more.
How are PRM and CRM different?
Both are common software tools used to assist in managing a business and with such close abbreviations, many people are unsure of how the two differ.
In a nutshell:
- Customer Relationship Management, CRM, is for managing the data you have on your customers
- Partner Relationship Management, PRM, is mainly for managing your activities with partners (channel sales partners)
But, we’re here to break it down for you even further:
The main difference between PRM and CRM technology is their functionality. They are two different types of software not intended to be used for the same purpose. CRM is concerned with a company’s relationships with their customers while PRM is concerned with managing a company’s relationship with their indirect sales teams aka their channel sales partners and the sales efforts those partners produce for the vendor (aka company).
Is PRM similar to CRM?
Similar but it has a different purpose. A PRM system enables vendors to exchange information and transact with their partners. Although they are definitely not the same thing, you could say that a PRM is a specialized version of CRM – focused on channel sales optimization. PRM software is built for vendors to assist channel partners in progressing towards making a sale, with several tools at their disposal to unify, streamline and facilitate the whole process. Tools for onboarding partners, training partners, sharing leads with them, registering deals, motivating them to be more engaged, tracking progress and much more.
“Sales-focused partner relationship management (PRM) applications are designed to improve an enterprise’s ability to market, sell and service end customers through channel partners. This category includes many of the traditional elements contained in a direct sales solution (opportunity management), but the solutions are configured for supporting a partner-driven environment. These applications consolidate data and transactions; set business rules and track activity; are typically used to manage channel partners, distributors, alliance or strategic partnerships; and often include a portal to enable bidirectional information flow and communications between partners.” - Gartner
In recent years, PRM applications have been integrated with CRM solutions to eliminate data silos and extend the functionality by introducing an integrated data source of record. Pulling CRM data into a PRM allows integrated processes between a vendor's partners and channel management team to benefit from a centralized database.
Maximize your channel sales with a PRM
Want to know more about PRM? Check out this great article, The Ultimate Guide to Partner Relationship Management (PRM), or simply ask us!