PRM Vs. CRM
Customer Relationship Management as better known as CRM has been around for several decades. It has undergone many evolutions and matured to better serve the market and customer needs. Today, it remains the backbone of businesses and organizations and draws stakeholders’ attention. In contrast, Partner Relationship Management or PRM has evolved and matured more recently. Experts and practitioners are noticing and attracted to PRM as the value becomes more visible to stakeholders.
Both PRM and CRM focus on relationship management while their targets are different. PRM is business-centric (B2B) and may extend to customers evolving to encapsulate B2B2C. Whereas CRM focuses on customers or end-users more (b2c) and may extend to the business partners. While it seems, both can support B2B and b2c, but the time and effort to achieve is prohibitive.
There are several similarities and differences between PRM and CRM objectives, applications, and outcomes. First, PRM focuses on managing relationships with business partners, while CRM focuses on relationships with its end users. Second, PRM focuses on the supply and distribution side of the value chain, while CRM focuses on the demand and consumption side. Finally, PRM and CRM technologies support unique features and functionalities to fulfil the needs of its stakeholders.
PRM Bringing Partner And Customer Relationships Closer
PRM fits well in managing complex, multi-faceted, and dynamic partnerships. This is beyond the scope of CRM. PRM includes the methodologies, templates, and best practices of partnering. Since business processes in each organization differ, PRM helps support each business’s needs. The workflows may need customization as these are unique to companies. Since PRM connects, interacts, and supports the external organization, it requires scalability and flexibility.
PRM helps provide a strong relationship between businesses and their channel partners. PRM facilitates managing and developing meaningful B2B relationships with partners to explore, connect and sell products and services of manufacturers or producers.
Businesses prefer to establish B2B indirect channels that include retailers, value-added resellers, managed service providers, system integrators, vendors, independent consultants, technicians, or even freelancers. As each business and its partner network are different, PRM offers unique possibilities to engage its partner network and build lasting relationships.
The Emergence Of B2B2C Engagements
Furthermore, PRM helps extend the B2B relationships to the next level by assisting partners in connecting with their customers via their own b2c relationship networks. New generation PRM programs have started incorporating the entire relationship network for businesses through B2B2C relationship management as an extended role.
B2B2C relationship management has triggered a new breed of relationship marketing and loyalty management frameworks. Those frameworks are inclusive, and holistic to address the complex business environment of the future. Technical definitions aside, PRM functions as a unifying hub, where partners access brand guidelines, product details and service offerings, and program terms and conditions. PRM programs offer different partner functions specific to presales, sales, marketing, post-sales support. These functions provide relevant content, tools, and promotional activities to keep the partner engaged, incentivized, and motivated. These partner programs attract, nurture, and engage with channel partners to function as an extended arm. A well-designed PRM programs support partners throughout the partner lifecycle and help develop positive experience.