NetSuite Links PRM+ to Sales and Order Management
The time has come for all those salespeople who have to deal with erroneous commissions from partners and resellers to breathe a collective sigh of relief. NetSuite today released the third generation of its partner relationship management (PRM) solution, called PRM+, and focused on bringing compensation and order management to a company's partner network by partnering PRM+ with its flagship product, NetSuite CRM+. New capabilities include partner commissions and collaborative order management for increased forecast visibility and a seamless tie-in with its CRM and back-office systems, thus breaking the barrier in making selling partners an integrated part of an organization's sales process, says Mini Peiris, senior director of product management.
The announcement doesn't come as a surprise, says Denis Pombriant, founder and managing principal of Beagle Research, because PRM solutions are gaining more importance as companies look for new ways to sell to customers. "Companies are looking for more cost-effective channels. That leads to resellers." Although NetSuite focused on improving joint lead, opportunity management, and service management with its second generation PRM solution in 2003, PRM+ concentrates on extending CRM and PRM processes through the back office for sales management, order fulfillment, inventory availability, returns processing, and partner incentive compensation management. Peiris says: "This lets companies manage distributed networks of direct and in-direct team selling to and serving customers. It's sales compensation management for the partners."
Partners can now enter orders directly via their self-service portal or one-click convert opportunities into quotes and orders with access to real-time inventory availability, giving the vendor organization visibility for sales forecasting and to minimize any channel conflict regarding who is credited for the sale. Other built-in functionality entices partners to provide the vendor organization with information regarding sales in their pipeline. With every order entered, a salesperson's projected compensation is updated as a KPI on their dashboard, along with the commission that has already been approved and is due to them in their next payment.
These new features address what many PRM solutions had been lacking to date, Pombriant says. Previously, these solutions did a good job of managing the partner relationship, but didn't understand or address the needs of the salespeople in those partner companies. NetSuite's announcement does that. "Everybody knows salespeople are coin operated," Pombriant says, "but these solutions never acted on it."
Pombriant is also impressed with PRM+'s order management capabilities. By allowing partners to gain visibility into the supply network, companies can avoid one of the biggest customer service mistakes: sending the wrong product or parts. "People get pretty upset when that happens. Combining order and commission makes a lot of sense," he says. "The two go hand-in-hand."
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