CRM is known as “Customer Relationship Management”, this is an application which is built for direct sales. This will help your internal teams manage interactions with potential and current customers and it compiles data from every department, store it on a centralized customer record, and drive customer retention and future sales.
PRM is known as “Partner Relationship Management”, this is an application which is built for indirect sales. It is about maintaining the healthy relationship with the partners and ensuring that the trust between a company and the partner remains intact. Partner relationship management solutions only focus on the product and its Sales to ensure long-term profits.
The difference of CRM and PRM are divided into different categories for ex: Price, Purpose-to-built, Integrated Solutions, Global Support, Total Cost of Ownership. In detail all the categories are defined below:
- Pricing – Many of the CRM solutions are sold to per-user, and with seat-based licensing. This will not work nearly as well in the partner management universe, simply because it is very hard if it is not possible then predict utilization rates. If an organization pays too much to provide user licenses to all of their partners, they may end up wasting a lot of money unnecessarily; on the other hand, if the organization doesn’t buy enough licenses and too many partners start using the product, they may get a rude awakening when the bills start coming in later on. This is why it is essential to procure PRM licenses for unlimited use so that an organization is not taking unnecessary risks either way.
- Purpose-to-Built – CRM system is designed for the customer relationship management, so in most cases, the accounts set-up is designed for a direct sales team to prospect, sell and grow existing end-customer accounts directly. Whereas PRM is fully designed for partner network management or channel management. Architecturally the two systems have a number of similarities, but functionally they are two very different applications.
- Integrated Solutions – CRM is one of the most horizontal products that exist, that’s why the market has grown nearly to the $30 billion level. Whenever a CRM is deployed through the major workflow customization is required, and if an organization wants to add additional functionalities, they will either have to build them by using professional services resources (usually expensive) or procure additional applications from the marketplace. This adds quite a bit of complexity and cost to the overall CRM deployment, and as a result, most CRMs are not utilized to their fullest extent. PRMs, on the other hand, are purpose-built and come with all of the necessary applications needed for partner relationship management. As a result, PRMs tend to be very easy to use, and rates of deployment and partner adoption happen faster.
- Global Support – Most of the largest CRM providers allow global support because they generally support only the product and provide very little deployment or domain-specific knowledge. Whereas leading PRM providers, for ex: ZINFI, can provide tailor-made global support via a channel marketing concierge solution that can ensure deployment, adoption, and utilization of PRM solutions is significantly higher than what we would normally get with CRM.
- Total Cost of Ownership – When we combine the differences from four of the above, it is clear that PRM has a significantly lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than CRM, because of its lower licensing costs, integrated purpose-built application suite (with no additional cost surprise down the road) and global support to drive adoption of PRM across the larger partner user base.