By Sean Blanda, Director of Content, Crossbeam
For such a touch-and-go relationship, it’s funny we call it “channel partnership.”
Most partner relationships are a bit of a dance. We want to help one another, but there’s a bit of a mistrust at play. In a perfect world, you and your partner would both share all of your CRM data, you’d only use what was actionable and ignore the rest.
But we all know that’s not what happens—and for good reason. Partners often have relationships with competing parties, vendors are reluctant to share competitively sensitive customer lists, and embarrassing channel conflicts can result from giving resellers too many opportunities to pursue.
And even if you and your channel partners were BFFs, what then? What is the best way to share data, make sure it’s current, and act on it appropriately?
For decades the answer has been: “swap spreadsheets and do a lot of manual checking and cleaning.” Each partner has their own sales workflow, with its own set of SaaS tools to manage. The Rosetta Stone that can connect them all is the spreadsheet. Sorta.
This practice is common, but there are several issues:
And if we’re not limited by our data, we’re often limited by our imagination. Account mapping can definitely help mitigate channel conflict. But with the correct up-to-date data sources, there are other opportunities.
In a true partner ecosystem, your partners would be able to…
The upside to implementing a platform that makes data sharing between partners secure and precise and eliminates spreadsheets that give away the farm is massive. A sort of “data escrow,” — what we’re calling a “partner ecosystem platform” — works in concert with your PRM, enabling you and your partner to securely house data about your customers and prospects, only sharing information with each other when there are overlaps (and only the details you select).
It’s a Venn Diagram of sorts. And where there are overlaps, there are shared relationships that need to be managed in order to avoid conflict.
Using a partner ecosystem platform you can:
In each case, you’d get the exact list you need without sharing unnecessary info. No more spreadsheets, no more conflicts, and thankfully, no more VLOOKUPS.
If you’d like to kick the tires on data escrow, sign up for a free Crossbeam account.