Channel Mechanics

10 Essential Steps to Build a Convincing Business Case for PRM

Channel Mechanics

Partner Relationship Management (PRM) is software that automates specific channel processes. Thereby helping to streamline your channel operations, improve the partner experience, and empower your account managers to focus on more strategic, high-value tasks. Essentially, it is the automation engine behind your partner program.


“If you are going to go-to-market through the channel, and be successful with partners, you must have an enablement platform in place, a PRM. Because at the end of the day, that is your shop window for your partners.” Kenneth Fox, Channel Mechanics.


However, seeking investment for PRM is not always easy. Not everyone in your organization understands the value it will bring, and the reality is that you will be competing internally for budget against other vital functions like marketing, sales, finance, and so forth. Your leadership will want to see a robust PRM business case, based on fact-based research, and presented with clarity.

Channel Mechanics hosted a webinar titled “Building the Business Case for PRM.” Moderated by myself (Margaret Adam, Head of Product Marketing at Channel Mechanics), and featuring leading Channel executives including: Scott Goree, Global Channel Chief at Skyhigh Security, Dave O’Callaghan, Partner & Co-Founder at Vation Ventures, and Kenneth Fox, Channel Mechanics.

From the panel discussion, it became clear that a successful PRM business case goes beyond just showcasing financial benefits. It needs to connect with your key decision-makers on a deeper level. To explain how a PRM solves their specific challenges and aligns with their goals. Without this connection, your PRM will never get off the ground.

We have taken the learnings from the panel and combined them with our own experience in building business cases for our clients and provided these findings in the whitepaper “Building the Business Case for PRM 2024.”


Download “Building the Business Case for PRM”


Here, we summarize the 10 key steps 


Step 1: Align with Business Goals

Connect your business objectives with channel-related goals. Linking these business objectives to your channel-related goals helps you determine the PRM features to prioritize. For instance, if revenue growth is the aim, emphasize PRM features like training, deal registration, and co-marketing.


Step 2: Identify Pain Points

Recognize and evaluate challenges hindering your channel management process. This begins by assessing your current challenges. Identifying these pain points and then evaluating their urgency, potential impact, and resource availability, you can effectively prioritize the specific goals that PRM can address, strengthening your business case.


Step 3: Provide Market Context

Educating your internal stakeholders on what others are doing in the market can enhance their understanding of the value PRM can bring. Similarly, gaining an understanding of how your partners perceive your organization can bolster the investment case for PRM. Highlighting the costs of not investing in PRM can be eye-opening.


Step 4: Map Benefits and Success Metrics

Good metrics are a critical foundation for a persuasive business case. Illustrate PRM’s benefits, such as: improved partner engagement, revenue growth, efficiency gains, and measurable success metrics like an increase in partner-sourced revenue.


Step 5: Calculate Operating Costs

To assess what cost savings you could make from your PRM and the automation of manual processes, you will need to calculate your operating costs. Estimate savings from automating manual processes by calculating hourly costs and time spent across various functions.


Step 6: Calculate PRM Costs

You will need to get as accurate figures for the costs of PRM license fees, initial implementation costs, integration costs (upfront and ongoing), restrictions (e.g., number of partners) payment terms, and minimum contract terms. Take particular care when comparing costs from different PRM vendors as they can vary greatly in terms of feature, functionality, and pricing models. Beyond the technology costs, also consider impact costs, such as time required for training, the commitment of your project team, potential implementation delays, and the impact on productivity as your PRM becomes integrated into your systems.


Step 7: Calculate ROI

Once you have a good sense of both potential benefits (e.g., increase in partner-sourced revenue) and estimated costs, you are in a strong position to calculate return on investment (ROI). By dividing costs into benefits, you determine your ROI multiple. We recommend making this time-bound e.g., over a realistic period e.g., one year to give you sufficient time to realize those benefits. Our customers have seen a return in as little as two quarters.


Step 8: Outline Risks & Challenges

Set realistic expectations and show that you have thought through potential challenges and solutions. Address potential roadblocks, such as delayed returns or resource constraints, with solutions. Highlighting these risks, challenges, and recommendations, not only enhances transparency, but also strengthens your position in advocating for the most effective PRM solution for your organization.


Step 9: Futureproof Your Program

Partner programs need to be flexible to respond to changes in business priorities and shifts in market and partner dynamics. The same applies for your PRM solution. Plan for scalability. Begin with essential modules and expand gradually to align with evolving needs. This flexible approach allows you to tailor your investment according to your immediate needs. While at the same time laying a solid foundation for future growth.


Step 10: Gain Stakeholder Buy-In

Overcoming resistance and securing stakeholder buy-in is the critical last step. It’s essential to address the resource and technical challenges that PRM aims to resolve. But it is equally important to anticipate potential roadblocks from various stakeholders within the company. Educate and engage stakeholders, emphasizing ease of doing business and rapid ROI. Secure senior-level advocacy to bolster your case.


In Closing

Building a business case for PRM requires thorough research, accurate cost analysis, and strategic presentation. However, it is a journey worth undertaking, as PRM has the potential to transform your channel business. The ten steps outlined in this blog and corresponding whitepaper provide a foundational framework for successfully advocating for PRM investment. Interested to learn more? Download our whitepaper now for a more comprehensive outline.


Download “Building the Business Case for PRM”



Discover more on how Allbound + Channel Mechanics have joined forces to provide the industry’s most comprehensive PRM platform.

Stay Connected

Follow Channel Mechanics on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date on all things channel.

Schedule a demo

Discover how our channel enablement platform can transform your channel strategy. Schedule a demo today.

Schedule a Demo

Stay in touch

Be the first to get channel invites and complimentary access to content