PRM a tool to identify next gen partners

Gut feelings might have helped channel managers make decisions in the past but technology should make it easier and more precise

Resellers are being told constantly by vendors to go back to existing customers and get more out of those existing relationships but the same mantra could be applied to the way that channel partnerships are run.

With the emergence of partnership relationship management tools the options for those vendors looking to improve their grasp on their reseller has increased and the chances to segment the channel into much tighter categories is possible.

Many channel programmes have worked on a 80:20 rule and rewarded those that continue to generate decent revenues with gut feeling largely guiding attempts to identify where the next generation of potential top-tier partners are coming from.

Dave R Taylor, CMO at Impartner, which has added a segmentation tool to its latest release, said that the more details of partners a vendor had the greater the chances that it could activate a deeper relationship.

"How you segment your programme [using PRM] means you can be so specific and chart any attribute so you can treat different parts of the community differently," he said.

"It can change how you allocate resources and you can get more revenue returned on investments made in partners," he added.

There is now the potential to fast track those that meet specific criteria set by the vendor to provide them with MDF and the sort of resources that might be available to gold partners but not to those that are emerging lower down the channel ranks.

He said that although there was still some work to be done the message about using PRM was getting across and more vendor channel managers understood that using the technology could give them the opportunity to make better decisions.

Given that the average lifespan of a channel manager is 18 months the pressure is on to make a difference quickly and Taylor said that more were viewing PRM as a means of improving their chances of success.

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