Product Marketing Manager
“…when you start talking about PRM, it’s a discipline within itself. We think about the customer journey, let’s say, from a marketing perspective… Well, what’s the journey of someone, who’s within becoming a partner? From recruitment, to measurement and all that stuff and empowering them.”
That’s a great point because you have done so many of these implementations across different industries. You are able to see around corners a little bit. You’ve got more data points, to help guide folks or avoid hurdles, as they are making this transition, into maybe this different way of marketing.
Absolutely, and that comes down to when we are doing an exploration of what they want, we can ask them these questions. Because we’ve actually seen, “Hey, we’ve seen this with a specific company.” Or we can even make suggestions, “Hey, is this something you’ve maybe thought of, with your strategy?” Then they are like, “Oh man, no, we didn’t even think of that.” So we can definitely do that, and that’s a huge part of who we are as a company, being able to provide that insight.
What would you say are some of the most important considerations when employing this software?
Wow! There are a lot of them. I would say looking at it from a challenge perspective, and thinking about it in problems. That’s a good way to think of what… So you think about these problems, in order to have a solution. So it’s essentially at every step, there are so many steps within the partner process. Really what we do is, and when you start talking about PRM, it’s a discipline within itself. So you start to look at well, “What are the stages?” We think about the customer journey, let’s say, from a marketing perspective. But you start to them say, “Well, what’s the journey of someone, who’s within becoming a partner? From recruitment, to measurement and all that stuff and empowering them.
So I like to think of it from, certain problems. And again, there is really not enough time to go through every aspect of what you are going to encounter. But I would say so, thinking about problems. So one example, let’s say, so you have recruited people, and they are actually working for your company and things are going fine. But then there is an instance where, you have a couple different partners who are talking to one potential client. So you got to think of it as this level. So now they are talking to one of your potential clients, but they are getting them for you, of course. So you have two partners who are talking to a potential client. So how do you figure out, who should get credit for that?
So a simple way to solve that, is by having deal registration — that is basically whoever signs up for it first, gets credit for it. But at the same time, they are signing up through your interface, within the PRM software, that is then linked to your CRM. So then you have all of that easy linkage and all of that information flowing from one to the other. So you don’t have any issues to where one of your partners is calling and saying, “Hey, I should get credit for that,” and you are like, “Well we can see here that partner A, actually signed up first.” So that’s the process. Of course you’ve explained this to them, through other features of, let’s say the software to where you can send them emails, you can send them notifications. You can provide them with information, when they first sign up, when you are onboarding them, all of that stuff. So these are steps in the process, but that’s one problem.
The other one is empowering your partners. I’d say maybe a little bit of a next level. You get people enrolled and they are selling for you, but it doesn’t have to be, particularly if you are a larger company. Having the ability to empower your partners, because in most cases, your partners aren’t necessarily as large as you. So you’ll have people who are very large, multinational companies, the biggest in the world. However, they have partners who don’t have the ability to let’s say, do marketing campaigns.
So something you can use in order to empower them, as an example, is what’s called TCMA through channel marketing automation. This just allows you, essentially we as marketers, like marketing, of course, and we understand the power of marketing. So this allows you to empower your partners to do marketing for themselves. A great example of this within what we have is, running Google ads. So Google ads for the channel is one thing that we offer. So a situation you might run into is, you want to empower your partners to run ads on Google — so, how do you do that? You just provide them with some money. Now we have a way of doing that as well, but in this case, you actually want to run the ad campaigns.
So you are going to be running all the ad campaigns for these, let’s say, regional partners. With this particular solution that we have, you are able to run these, you are able to use big data, and you are able to utilize all of the information from all of these campaigns, to make informed decisions, within the ad campaign. Now, another thing that you’ll run into, is what I call, inter-partner competition. So essentially you know how Google ad campaigns run. So let’s say that you’ve got, one partner who is benefiting in this region from a Google ads campaign, but then you have another person and then you are another person, and if you are making bids on these, you can drive the price up. And so what we’ve been able to do, basically we have a preferred relationship with Google. We are able to make it so that there is no competition, in between all of these people, so that you are not artificially driving up the price of the ad bids.
So we are able to utilize that feature, through-channel marketing automation, TCMA, to ensure that isn’t happening. But that is an issue you might not think about, if you are going into these, you are like, “Well, we want to empower our partners, because if we can empower our partners, they are able to sell more, they are able to sell more effectively.” But then you run into these issues of, “Well, do we have to have these ad campaigns, as separate campaigns? Are we driving up the price?” That price could just skyrocket, if you are all competing against that same campaign.
So this is a way to solve that. Again, this is just one issue that you might run into. But it’s a very good solution to that problem. It’s something that we’ve thought about, and we’ve experienced in the past. So we were able to solve this issue, by coming up with this, but that is a way to empower. So these are some of the issues, just thinking about the process, the problems that you will encounter and how to solve those problems, ways to empower your partners and then adoption is a critical component of this as well. Because if you are running all of this, you are devoting so much time, to try to get your partners to adopt this, but it’s so difficult for them to adopt or it’s too costly.
In the case like TCMA you are able to enable adoption, through providing this for them. Because really all they have to do is just be there and say, “Hey, that works.” And then just talk to you and coordinate things, when it comes to a landing page and so forth. So you are able to help them to adopt this, so that they can be more successful. Because that’s a critical component, to having a successful partner program is adoption. If it is too cumbersome or it is too complicated, they will not adopt it. So all of your money and your investment are wasted. Being able to have instantaneous adoption, because it’s just a seamless process, is critical to what basically managing your partners and your channel.