How to Evaluate Channel Management Tools: 3 Common Downsides to Avoid

Organizations around the world are overwhelmed by the frustrations of building and growing their indirect channel. Countless hours have been wasted looking for a solution to bridge this gap. While the goal is to make your channel an easy program to integrate for your partners, the result is often a proliferation of disparate tools and processes that only complicate your partners journey. Choosing the right PRM (partner relationship management) software will simplify every aspect of your partners journey.

You want to grow and optimize your channel, you have decided it is time to implement a tool – but you aren’t sure where to start. We put together a few common pitfalls to avoid when making this important decision for your business.

  1. Spreadsheets are a thing of the past – well, not fully. At the start of growth, sometimes your only option is using spreadsheets. Be cautious not to let too much time pass, as this tool will largely inhibit your growth. Spreadsheets, by nature exist in a silo and depend on a human element for accurate data. It is simply not a scalable option.

  2. A Homegrown Solution is another temptation businesses consider in an effort to improve their channel performance. A business will create an in-house PRM solution, but what they are actually creating is an IT nightmare. Like any other business, PRM must be maintained. When a business grows, so should its solutions. The maintenance of in-house operations can take away resources from other profit-making areas, making it a burden for the entire business.

  3. Partial Solutions are also common when evaluating tools for your channel. Tools that can only do some of what you need. Much like using a butter knife when you needed a swiss army knife, these partial solutions will only serve as a temporary solution and are likely to cause more mayhem down the road. You may think you can get by with a partial solution, and try to fill in the gaps using your marketing automation platform or CRM, but much like spreadsheets, you will be left frustrated – and so will your partners.

Your business needs are clear and you don’t want to make any mistakes. Now that you know how to avoid some of the common pitfalls when choosing a channel management solution, how will you move forward? There have been a lot of advances in channel tech, PRM software has become an essential piece in your sales tech stack, rendering many of the old tools obsolete. Knowing your options and choosing wisely can make all the difference in the growth of your indirect sales channel. To learn more about PRM software solutions, check out The Secret Sauce for Accelerating Indirect Sales.

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