Getting a new PRM system may seem like an overwhelming task for a manufacturing company working to improve digitization. There are a plethora of software platforms out there for businesses to choose from. To help, we’ve rounded up the best PRM platforms for building materials manufacturers that will enable more effective (and profitable) partner relationships and support annual growth goals.
We’ll compare these products on flexibility, customizability, cost, scalability, and user experience with specific emphasis on these factors in the building materials manufacturing industry.
Why do Manufacturers need a PRM?
When it comes to building materials manufacturing, partner relationship management (PRM) solves several problems that would otherwise hinder progress. For example, a PRM helps with:
- Channel sales team adoption
- Reporting and attribution measurement
- Scalability and relationship management
- Processing transactions and tracking payments
- Tracking product inventory & partner discounts
- Supporting rewards & incentives programs
- Organizing key content and materials for partners
PRM platforms can also be called Channel Partner Management Software, Vendor Relationship Management Software, or Channel Automation Software. No matter the name, the goal is the same: this software improves communication with your partners, such as your brand training materials, offering product information, and after-sales technical support. A PRM will go beyond the scope of CRMs in handling complex and multi-faceted relationships. A PRM will go beyond the scope of CRMs in handling complex and multi-faceted relationships.
Your PRM will be web-based, and you will pay a monthly or yearly subscription. There are some options for a free PRM software, but their features tend to be limited and don’t scale well; however, many providers offer free trials that allow you to explore the features and continue on if it’s a good fit.
The Best PRM Software Options for Building Materials Manufacturers
With so many options out there, it can be difficult to choose the best one for your company. Here are seven top PRM options that are fit to support building materials manufacturing.
This Unified Channel Management (UCM) platform has three core solutions—one of which is a great PRM. It offers intuitive design with time-saving communication tools. It will fit seamlessly with your existing infrastructure in most cases. It also features reasonable pricing that allows you to choose a package that fits for your business. Zinfi offers superb customer service to help you work through issues or answer questions, which can save you a lot of time during PRM setup and team-wide use.
Oracle Partner Portal
Oracle is a popular PRM for enterprise companies, but that doesn’t make it a bad small business choice, either. You will have no trouble finding the data you’ve entered, though exporting can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. Oracle has a segment specially dedicated to manufacturing, providing you with master data management, shop floor efficiency, variance monitoring, product tracking, and more. Oracle Siebel Partner Relationships Management (PRM) is where you will build up your connection to partners for improved sales, service, and commerce.
Salesforce is well known and certainly a leader in the business software industry. This PRM solutions offers a lot of options so you can upgrade or drop things as you go, essentially picking your package. The issue often runs into scalability—Salesforce can get pretty pricey when you really start adding on those deluxe line items that most manufacturers truly do need. With Salesforce, manufacturers can manage their factory complexity and distribution channels through Sales Cloud PRM. It will help drive solution selling, improve upsell opportunities, automate lead routing, and improve communications for training or warranties.
Starting at around $2,000 this PRM offers great integration. Onboarding for this platform is automated. This is a true out-of-the-box solution that will get you up and running your RPM within the month. The company offers a multi-award winning three-step Velocity™ process for getting everything in place. Impartner staff helps you improve functionality and respond quickly if you run into an issue. Aside from English, Impartner also supports Finnish, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Spanish. This ever-changing product is continually reassessed to keep it on the list of top PRM for both beginners and PRM vets alike.
Out-of-the-box solutions work well for many industries, but not often for building materials manufacturers, so be sure to assess if any out-of-the-box solution will truly have the features your team needs to thrive.
MindMatrix is great for small businesses. Pricing can start as low as $15/per user/per month, though you are likely to spend closer to $30. You may find the features are limited, but the low price tag can make this solution a great starting choice. You will have your PRM combined with asset management, sales enablement, channel marketing, and marketing enablement for both indirect and direct sales. Access to the visible pipeline helps keep you constantly in the loop. MindMatrix also offers mobile access, helping you maintain partner integrity, syndicate sales, and meet compliance regulations.
This fast-growing company was started in 2015 and has helped some of the fastest-growing companies stay focused on growth. With PartnerStack, you get a solid platform that makes it very easy to review payments and improve communication with partners. Automatic billings and options for self-serve partner withdrawals help with tracking and transparency. Pricing is a bit higher and the customer service isn’t as robust as some companies, though you do get 1:1 support with an Enterprise Account. You will have the options between Essentials, Growth and Enterprise packages with PartnerStack.
This PRM allows you to add content quickly, though some users may find it a bit confusing to navigate at first. A project manager can help get your team ready to implement the PRM Portal. It works well for small- or mid-sized businesses. The analytics partner insights package makes it easier to track your partner's progress. The account teams are extremely knowledgeable and highly responsive. Allbound PRM is an ideal choice if you are going to be sending out training or content to your partners. You can even leverage it for internal education and value sharing.
Improving Your Partner Relationships
Investing in a great PRM is an investment in the future of your company and your relationships with your distributors, suppliers, contractors, and customers. Though getting started can be overwhelming, the results are well worth the time spent choosing the right solution for your building materials manufacturing company.