Franchisee management software has to be versatile and flexible. Franchisors need to be able to deliver the type of information and applications that best drive sales of their product. It's not the same for every company. What works for one type of product or one sales model may not work for another. At the same time, there are some features that every PRM technology should have to deliver the optimal tech-enabled support environment.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when deploying channel management software or a PRM portal for your distribution partners:
- Single Sign-On Through the PRM Portal: Each individual who uses the system should have a single unique sign on and password to access ALL dealer support systems. This increases the security of your system while making it easy for individuals to use all applications necessary.
- Contextual Environment: Unique access based on user role also allows for the right content to be delivered to each user based on their job-role. Thus, the content in the system becomes relevant for each dealer employee.
- Strong Administrative Controls: Administrators for your systems should be able to grant different levels of access. This means you can publish all functions and data to the same system but restrict who views it.
- Management Dashboards: Without visibility into dealer performance what do you really have? The PRM system must provide real-time data such that the enterprise can react quickly and manage behaviors effectively.
- Ease of Use: The system should emulate familiar software environments so it's intuitive and you'll spend less time training those in your channel to access and use the system.
- A Robust CMS: The system should have a robust content management system at its core allowing you to publish multimedia content that can be searched, viewed and downloaded by the user. Without such a system, your new marketing material or product instructions will not be used effectively.
- A LMS with Certification Controls: The platform should leverage LMS best practices and workflows including certification management. You need to know who is trained and ready to sell and service you products.
- Collaboration Forums: Channel management software should allow for two-way communication with all partners. The manufacturer or lead company can push information down the chain, but they should also encourage feedback and questions as well as “zee-to-zee” communications.
In addition to making channel management software efficient for franchisees in your distribution chain, you should also ensure your staff can easily manage the data, user access and functionality of the system.
Channel management software can be a great way to tie all the elements of your distribution chain together and increase overall revenue. However, if it is not easy to use, does not provide relevant information or is too different from existing content models, you may waste time and money in development because no one will be inclined to use your portal.
Consider LogicBay to assess the current state of your franchisee channel and what the opportunity for improvement might be if a comprehensive PRM solution is implemented.