Software Review – ChannelWave
|Name: ChannelWave||Type: Software||Category: PRM|
|Pros: Pre-customized with most of the features you would ever want when working with resellers. Easy to modify.||Cons: It’s gonna cost some money, but it should be cheaper than doing it yourself.||Notes: I have NOT used this application hands-on, the review was done remotely.|
|Overall Rating: 4 Stars
||Comments: I could not give it five stars since I have not used it (and don’t know how well it works from a usability standpoint).|
There is a breed of software called Partner Relationship Management (PRM) that is aimed specifically at Channel Partners, Sales, and Channel Marketing. One application that I have had an opportunity to review is ChannelWave at www.channelwave.com. I was VERY impressed!
ChannelWave is a Web-based portal application that allows you to manage EVERY aspect of your reseller relationships. It is a modular application available as an ASP or installed on your own servers — with a start-to-finish deployment time measured in days and weeks, not months and years like the massive Siebel-like systems. It is available in a highly tailored enterprise version, or a pre-configured modular and customizable mid-market edition.
The core product allows you to sign up resellers (with a configurable qualifier that can gather the initial screening information, and then later ask more detailed questions), explain your reseller program (by levels w/benefits and requirements), allow multiple contacts per location to sign up, take the reseller through the training process and manage all co-op and MDF funds automatically or by manual pre-approval.
Additional sales and marketing modules allow you to capture leads through Web-based forms and (using rules you setup via checkboxes) automatically assign these leads to your resellers, and even re-assign the same lead to a different reseller if the original reseller does not follow up within a pre-assigned time period. Of course, the system automatically pushes fresh lead summary information out via e-mail — encouraging the reseller to log in for additional information and follow-up. This is the way to convert leads to sales and ensure a positive ROI for the rest of your promotional efforts — especially with a pile of tradeshow leads.
The system also allows you to post all of your collateral, sales training material, sales tips, etc. in the Information Center module — even allowing users to rate the value of each file with “stars” (good for marketing feedback so you don’t create what they don’t value), and for other visitors to know where the good stuff is. Of course, you can broadcast out to everyone on their personalized home page (which the user can configure at will like “My Yahoo”) or determine what each individual user sees by group (all platinum level resellers), by type (retail or alliance partner, versus the highest level system integrator), or by individual.
Usually, this much flexibility comes at the expense of weeks of custom development. Instead, ChannelWave has thought of most of the options you would typically want and allows you to turn them on and off with checkboxes. Other items can be easily configured via data fields.
I was a pretty hard nut during the presentation, but there wasn’t a single thing that I wanted to do that wasn’t already pre-built into the system–including the ability to add a field on the fly (try that with Siebel). I was amazed! There are way too many features to review within this short section. Needless to say, you need to CHECK THIS OUT!
I received a live demo through a painless remote demonstration via the Internet while simultaneously talking on the phone. I could have gone on for hours, but we both had other commitments.
NOTE: ChannelWave was acquired since this review, so their website URL is no longer active. I left this link because of the inbound links to this page, and it is an introduction to PRMs for some readers.