PRM pitched as channel management solution

Vendors are being urged to use technology to help manage their increasingly complex channel bases

Vendors are being encouraged to use technology as a way of plugging account management gaps to get more out of their existing channel relationships.

The growth of partner relationship management (PRM) tools has increased the possibilities for stretched channel management teams and could provide some of the answers to current problems.

With most vendors looking to increase the amount of business driven through existing resellers the need to get a clearer picture of the channel has become more important.

PRM player Impartner has been using its stand at Cloud Expo over the last couple of days as an opportunity to encourage more vendors to use the technology.

Dave Taylor, chief marketing officer at Impartner, said that vendors had become more familiar with PRM and most were looking for a way of helping them get more out of their partner base.

"I spoke to one vendor that had about 100 to 150 partners but only really understood what was happening with the top 10 because that's where they could focus on the relationships," he said.

"People are looking for one type of competitive edge. Making the most out of the partnerships you already have is such a no brainer," he added.

Impartner has exposed some of the problems that vendors have experienced hiring sales staff, increasing the pressure on its channel organisation, and has warned there are other challenges looming.

The channel has already moved beyond traditional VARs and SIs to include more managed service players and born-in-the-cloud consultancies and that will continue.

"This is already very complex and there is a growing complexity and vendors don't have enough sales people to fill that gap," said Taylor.

Research carried out for 360insights last year found that channel marketeers were using limited analytics and the majority accepted that they only had limited visibility into their sales activity.

“Channel marketing has matured beyond demand generation and the focus is shifting to data driven decision-making. The ability to identify not just what was purchased and when, but why is transforming the industry and will give program managers the ROI they are seeking," said Jason Atkins, founder and CEO of 360insights.

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