Today, there are many software companies releasing software tools designed to manage a business.
One of the most commonly encountered business software is a CRM.
CRM, which stands for Customer Relationship Management is a software that is widely known and used by many companies. PRM, or Partner Relationship Management, is another type of software used by companies with partner programs. 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. But, we’re here to break it down for you.
The main difference between PRM and CRM technology is their functionality. 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 and those partners’ customers. You could say that PRM is a specialized version of CRM focused on channel sales optimization. A PRM system enables companies to exchange information and transact with their partners, as well as assist them in activities such as training, providing technical support and after-sales service to end customers (Varadarajan & Yadav, 2002).
“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 of an integrated data source of record, Integrated processes between partners and channel management now benefit from a centralized database of customer data.