Partner relationship management

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Partner relationship management (PRM) is a system of methodologies, strategies, software, and web-based capabilities that help a vendor to manage partner relationships. The general purpose of PRM is to enable vendors to better manage their partners through the introduction of reliable systems, processes and procedures for interacting with them.[1][2][3] Web-based PRM systems typically include a Content Management System, a partner and customer contact database, and the notion of a partner portal which allows partners to log in and interact with a vendor's sales opportunity database and obtain product, pricing, and training information. There are a number of solution providers who offer PRM software to manufacturers who rely heavily on channel/indirect sales.[4]

Vendors who implement a PRM solution are typically motivated by a need to reduce the financial overhead and hassles associated with maintaining a direct sales organization. They rely on regional resellers to find, educate, and sell to end-customers. Partners may also be integrators or managed service providers.[5] Unlike CRM systems, which are tailored toward getting an end customer to purchase from you, a PRM system is focused on getting a partner to sell on your behalf. As a result, they commonly offer web-based self-service tools, information, and resources to partner resellers. Tools often include:


In The Forrester Wave™: Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Platforms, Q4 2013, the research firm identifies trends that lead to the adoption of PRM, including: “partner loyalty is waning;” today’s collaborative buyer behavior; new business models for channel partners; the mobile needs of channel partners and partner performance management.[6]

Gartner reports that PRM solutions have mainly been adopted by companies banking, brokerage, high tech, insurance, life sciences and manufacturing.[7]

In March of 2015 Gartner reported, “Opportunity management and lead management are two sub-segments that will continue to grow faster than the rest of the PRM segment.” [8]

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