So far in this series on Partner Relationship Management (PRM), I have only focused on what Sales Cloud allows you to do when it comes to managing your working relationship with distributors, resellers or any other 3rd party that acts as an external extension of your sales organization.
As a brand owner, selling through your partner network, you also want to enable your partners: you want them to manage your customer, follow your sales processes and want to reward them for their performance. The Oracle Customer Experience Suite of Cloud applications has it all !
Warning: Too much to talk about, so I will be brief: Lots of hyperlinks ahead !
In my opinion, implementing solutions to support all 4 core sales processes is a must to run a successful partner network:
- As highlighted before in this series, Partner Relationship Management is all about managing your partner relations e.g. by agreeing on partner programs or business plans
- Partner users can use Sales Cloud to manage their accounts and contacts, pursue leads and opportunities and basically use Sales Cloud in almost exactly the same way as your inside sales organization would.
- CPQ Cloud (Configure, Price & Quote) adds value when managing partners by enforcing your standardized sales processes. Just like you do not want your inside salesrep to sell one product without combining it with an additional service, or not combined with another product, you want to make sure your partners cannot make these mistakes either. Just like your inside salesrep can only give a higher than normal discount to a customer after management approval, you do not want your partners to promise too much discount without that same approval either. But these are just a few examples of what CPQ Cloud could do for your partners.
- Sales Performance Management Cloud enables you to motivate your partners according to your go-to-market strategy. SPM is a fantastic tool to make your partners understand that they can earn more compensation by selling those products or services that you want them to focus on rather than products or services they are used to selling, to focus on the industries you want them to focus on instead of industries that are familiar to them.
But there is more !
Oracle CX for Partners
Other cloud applications can provide additional functionality to support your partners too!
Sales Cloud Enterprise Contracts
When the partner programs functionality as part of PRM is too light-weight for you, if you want a more formal official contract based solution to agree with partners how to approach your market, check out what Sales Cloud Enterprise Contracts can do for you !
Why not support your partner network with a partner portal. A portal where new partners can register or enroll in a partner program, where they can find product information and stay up to date with your marketing activities. Sites Cloud would be a great platform cloud service to build such portals.
Partner Relationship Management allows you to share leads with partners. But where do those leads come from? Check out Marketing Cloud and the amazing Oracle Data Management Platform and check out how it can help you spot opportunities for your partners!
Why not go Engagement Cloud all the way and allow your partners to log service requests whenever they have questions or need help when pursuing their opportunities. Whether those are pricing questions, product questions or process questions, once your partner network grows to a reasonable size, you will want to handle such questions in an organized way.