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Webinar Spotlights Steps To CRM/PRM Integration

Organizations leverage CRM platforms to better track and manage interactions with customers, clients and sales prospects. While this is a vital asset to optimal sales and marketing strategies and results, PRM is helping vendors and OEMs track partner qualification, success and progress in sales and marketing efforts.

More organizations are recognizing the channel-wide value of integrating CRM and PRM, according to Craig DeWolf, VP of Client Solutions for hawkeye channel. During the webinar, titled: Extending CRM For PRM Functionality: Best Practices To Help You Avoid Costly Pitfalls, DeWolf and Dave Hafermann, SVP channelCRM Technology Solutions for hawkeye discussed the key benefits—and common detriments—of attempted CRM/PRM integration.

“Our studies show that the desire to integrate PRM functionality with CRM is of growing importance among channel marketers,” DeWolf said. “The whole concept of integration is growing in importance because I think we’re really entering into the 2.0 version of CRM.”

CRM 1.0 seemed “out of reach” for small and mid-size organizations, and oftentimes were “cumbersome,” making it difficult for organizations to meet their unique company needs and integration, DeWolf explained. However, CRM 2.0 is vastly different. Because these solutions are stationed in the cloud, CRM 2.0 is easier to access, is more affordable, and can be more seamlessly configured and integrated.

Key benefits of integrating CRM and PRM functionality, according to DeWolf, include the following:

  • A common records system for partner and customer information.
  • The ability to leverage common communication platform.
  • Reporting tools that span direct/indirect channels for full 360-degree view.
  • Ease of access/use for internal stakeholders to access channel partner campaigns and customer behaviors.
  • A streamlined systems environment. 
  • Easily scalable solution allows organizations to adjust features and capabilities as needs change.
  • A single source of the truth makes reporting more insightful. 

However, there are multiple risks for organizations striving to integrate CRM and PRM, such as:

  • Force-fit legacy systems into CRM: A lot of legacy systems can be fine on their own, but may not work in integration.
  • Trying to create new applications on a platform that wasn’t designed to support those applications and ready-go solutions are available.
  • Limited flexibility to adapt to regional or future needs.
  • Adding external applications to environment without understanding system impact. Can impact data quality and reporting. 

To help channel organizations “have their cake and eat it, too,” DeWolf and Hafermann unveiled a top-10 list of best practices for CRM and PRM.

1. Field the right team
2. Know your channel requirements
3. Keep it simple
4. Build your roadmap
5. Understand technology choices
6. Build 360-degree view of partner data
7. Profile-enable your partner portal
8. Apply a standards-based integration framework
9. Harness plug-and-play channel tools
10. Invest in a consultant who understands both channel and technology needs

Click here to obtain more information on the top 10 list of best practices for CRM and PRM integration. 



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