9 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Partner Relationship Management System
Choosing the right partner management software for your company—or any software tool, for that matter—isn’t easy.
While industry research giants like Forrester and Gartner have long held sway over executive decisions, all too often a gap exists between what the CMO might believe, what the analysts write, and what the users actually need.
That information gap is bridged by G2 Crowd, a Chicago-based company that sources real-time user reviews for thousands of software solutions across the industry.
While customers and users would once just tell their colleagues about their experiences with software solutions, it’s now easier than ever to share those opinions with a wider audience online. Consumers also trust these reviews inherently—a study by BrightLocal found that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Hosting more than 250,000 unbiased and transparent user reviews, G2 Crowd helps CMOs and other decision makers objectively assess what is best for their businesses, bringing clarity and simplicity to the evaluation process and ultimately leading to better purchasing decisions.
Here at Allbound, we’re both honored and humbled to be rated by our users as the best partner management software provider—but we aren’t here to brag. Instead, we want to help you make the most of G2 Crowd, utilizing their user reviews and data to choose the right PRM solution for your partner program.
Each of the following nine questions has been drawn from G2 Crowd user surveys. Answering these questions should help guide you in your search.
1. How Easy Is the Software to Use?
With so many different groups contributing to and using your partner management software, it’s important to make it easy for your employees and partners to use. Sales and marketing staff should be able to quickly register new deals as well as update content and landing pages without waiting on IT. Partners need to quickly find the material they need on your portal without having to dig through dozens of irrelevant pages.
The best partner management tools offer intuitive and efficient interfaces for both employees and partners. Can reps access the tool on their mobile devices? Can partners log in, get their tasks done, and log out quickly? Is extensive training needed before new users are up to speed?
Ninety-four percent of Allbound users on G2 Crowd rated Allbound as easy to use. “The Allbound design is simple and intuitive,” writes one G2 Crowd user, “making it very easy to get partners on-boarded and leveraging the portal features quickly. . . . You have a lot of flexibility to get creative with all the ways you can use it.”
2. Is the Setup Straightforward?
The best partner management tool should be easy to implement. Look for a system that doesn’t require IT support or expensive consultants to roll out and can integrate quickly with your CRM solution. Additionally, make sure the PRM company you select provides training resources for your internal staff and partners, to help them get up to speed before they begin using the tool.
Allbound users on G2 Crowd enjoy how fast and easy the tool was to set up, with 92% of them rating their experience as positive. “Our company was searching a partner portal solution that would be quick and easy to implement: Allbound was all that and more,” writes David B. of Generali. “With a price point that can’t be beat, Allbound has helped our company create a sleek interface, customized to the specific needs of our industry and our business.”
3. How Long Will It Take for Your PRM to Go Live?
Without an accurate idea of how long your implementation might take, it’s difficult to estimate what internal and external resources might be needed to make it happen. Will the program be up and running in days? Weeks? Longer? A fast rollout means less risk for your organization, faster access for your partners, and a quicker return on your investment.
We spend a lot of time making sure Allbound can be integrated into your partner program as quickly as possible. This is reflected in G2 Crowd: Users report an average time to go live of one month with Allbound, compared to 5 months with a leading competitor. “The entire Optimizely implementation took less than 4 weeks, including this custom build,” mentions Hiliary Robertson, senior director of operations at Optimizely, in her G2 Crowd review, “and we were able to launch quickly and without any issues.”
4. Is the Product Well Supported?
High-touch support is critical when rolling out a new partner management solution. Whether you run into setup issues yourself, or your partners are having trouble accessing the system, you need to make sure you can get knowledgeable support staff on the phone quickly.
It’s also worth checking that the company has systems in place for collecting and managing customer feedback on the product and is working to incorporate that feedback into their solution.
G2 Crowd users rate Allbound’s Quality of Support 9.3 out of 10. “One of the best things about Allbound was the sales process has been consistent with the support,” states one Allbound user in their G2 Crowd review. “I was blown away by the responsiveness of the sales team and was curious if it would continue into support and it truly has—I really feel like I am important to the whole company.”
5. Is the Tool Easy for Our Team to Administer?
It’s important to think of your partner management software as a living entity. You and your partners will be managing content, registering deals, and updating documentation nearly every day—you certainly don’t want to be waiting on IT every time you need to make simple changes.
Make sure the PRM system you select is maintainable by you. Sales and marketing managers should be able to maintain and update the system on their own.
Allbound’s partner management tools make it easy for sales and marketing teams to administer without IT support, with 93% of Allbound users on G2 Crowd rating the software easy to administer. Avery W. of HOSTING appreciates the intuitive interface in Allbound: “It’s pretty, simple, and easy to use,” she writes. “With just a few additions of content, our portal was already looking like a custom-built website. We always get compliments on the aesthetics of it, and everyone from our sales team to our executives to our partners is excited to use it.”
6. Does the Tool Meet Our Requirements?
There are two top concerns when choosing a partner management tool:
- Can I integrate with my existing CRM?
- How much will costs increase as I scale the number of seats?
Your CRM, whether you’re using Salesforce, HubSpot, or another solution, should be the system of record for all customer and deal information. When choosing a PRM, make sure the tool you’re considering allows two-way integration with your CRM provider. Keeping these tools in sync from the beginning will ensure that your executive team, your sales organization, and your marketing staff stay coordinated and efficient.
When considering pricing, try to choose a program that doesn’t charge more for each new user. Although your partner program might start small, it can quickly expand to hundreds of users in a few short months. Keep your costs in check by choosing a PRM with a flat monthly fee for unlimited users.
Looking at G2 Crowd reviews, Allbound’s pricing and integrations meet the requirements of 86% of Allbound users. “The largest benefit to our team has been scale,” writes Optimizely’s Robertson. “We can now support a larger number of Partners through the portal and our Community Partner Program.”
Another user found the integration with Salesforce to be a huge time saver. “I don’t have to hand-hold every single salesperson out there. . . . They don’t have to email me with leads—it goes straight to our Salesforce and that’s amazing.”
7. Is the Company Easy to Do Business With?
The best PRM providers value their customers, providing exceptional customer experiences across the board and making it easy for their customers to do business with them. After all, your success is their success.
Does the company’s support team respond quickly to requests? Are there customer-success team members available to help make your experience better? Does the company go above and beyond to make your experience as easy as possible?
Ninety-seven percent of G2 Crowd reviewers agree that Allbound is easy to do business with. Ben S. from Promethean writes, “Allbound’s solution can work for anyone out of the box, but working with Allbound’s customer success team is what makes it stand out. We’ve had 2 different customer success managers over the last 12 months and both have been top notch, responsive and helped find solutions to our objectives.”
8. How Quickly Will We See a Return on Our Investment?
A unified partner management solution lets you do more with less. By making it easier for your partners to sell, your revenue will grow more quickly, and you’ll see a positive return on your investment in the tools earlier. When comparing PRM tools, consider how quickly your company will begin seeing a return on your investment, and prioritize the solutions that provide a faster return.
As part of the review process, G2 Crowd collects estimates from users on how long they expect it will take before their company sees a positive return on their investment. Eighty percent of Allbound users estimate that it will take less than 12 months to see a positive return after implementing Allbound as part of their partner program. David B. of Generali writes, “Our partner marketing team is small, and Allbound has helped us do more with less.”
9. Is the Product Headed in the Right Direction?
As the partner management space continues to grow and change, you need to know that your chosen solution can keep up with the market. Switching platforms can be costly and time-consuming, so it’s important to understand whether the product is heading in the right direction.
Is the company taking into account customer feedback when they make changes? Do customers have access to a product road map? Are product updates communicated effectively?
Our development team here at Allbound spends a lot of time working directly with customers and partners to ensure our product is heading in the right direction, and it shows—92% of Allbound users on G2 Crowd found that the product is moving in the right direction. Chelsea S. from HOSTING agrees: “The team works very hard to connect with their clients to prioritize features and development that are the most important.”
Choosing the right PRM solution—one that meets your requirements, is easy to implement and maintain, and, most importantly, provides a positive return on your investment—isn’t easy. While objective reviews and data from sites like G2 Crowd can help you make the right decision, always keep your channel partners at the top of your mind.
Great partnerships are built on great relationships. Your PRM tool should help your partners not only make more sales but also build stronger relationships between you and your partners.
Interested in seeing how Allbound compares to Impartner? Download the white paper.