Don’t Manage — Accelerate: Why Sales Acceleration is the New PRM

PRM is dead — long live partner sales acceleration! When comparing PRM and partner sales acceleration, we can start with the name. Would you rather manage or accelerate? That one’s pretty easy. But your intuition doesn’t tell you why PRM is inferior to partner sales acceleration.

To get a good idea of the entire situation, let’s first step backward a bit. PRM came about at a time when there was a definite need for something in the channel partner arena. Partner relationship management (PRM) filled that void well and defined a set of business practices that some still cling to today. PRM defined portals as a necessary integration into channel sales and had a system that was rigid in its implementation and inflexible in adaptability. But over time, things began to change, and the rigidity that so many had come to depend upon would be the ultimate downfall of PRM.

Customers were becoming more educated, for one. We were seeing prospective buyers seeking out the solutions that would work best for them. This flew in the face of the PRM norms, where channel sales staff would hunt down leads and hammer out deals. At the time, lead hunting and cold calling were working fine. But ever so slowly, the old way, the PRM way, of doing business in the channel was becoming inefficient. The once-revered portals were now the bane of every employee trying to work in the channel. What was formerly a well-defined and standardized system was now quickly becoming an unnavigable graveyard.

The PRM system was broken. The old way of doing things was holding us back, making it harder to do the work, instead of helping us along. In actuality, PRM was setting up barriers and roadblocks to success, instead of making the work easier and giving us a straight-line path to financial success. On top of that, we’d already been spending a fair amount of money on content. But there was no way to analyze which content was useful. Or which training materials were even being used! If we can’t figure out whether or not the dollars we’re spending are converting at all, then we need a new system. Enter partner sales acceleration.

With PRM showing itself as a broken system, partner sales acceleration had an almost seamless transition into the lead role for channel partners. Modern and flexible software-as-a-service offerings started popping up overnight, taking care of all of the needs for channel partner sales. These software offerings didn’t have to pretend to be something they weren’t. They could advertise the features they had, making them part of the new partner sales acceleration model, and they didn’t have to hide shortcomings or carry-over from the old PRM style methods.

Think “whatever you can do, I can do better” when you’re imagining PRM versus partner sales acceleration. It’s essential for all aspects of work in the channel, from partner adoption to engagement, and can assist in increasing your efficiency. Communication revolves around content that encourages engagement and helps close deals.

Now, there was a time when PRM was needed. But that time is in the past, and it laid the groundwork for better things to come. Bid farewell to PRM and welcome in the new partner sales acceleration to help in your channel partner sales.

I originally posted this on January 10, 2017 here.