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Channel Management Software

Channel management (CM) software, also known as partner relationship management software (or just PRM software), tracks goods and services from the seller to the ultimate consumer. These programs are valuable for automating sales and marketing processes through indirect company channels. One might think of channel management as sales force automation (SFA) for OEM and VAR channels.

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Showing 1 - 20 of 156 products
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Showing 1 - 20 of 156 products

Zendesk Sell (formerly Base) is the web and mobile-based customer relationship management application that allows B2B and B2C sales professionals to manage sales, track leads and engage proactively with customers from anywhere.... Read more

104 recommendations

The Salesforce Sales Cloud is an on-demand CRM platform offering applications for small, midsize, and enterprise organizations, with a focus on sales and customer relationships. ... Read more

16 recommendations

Workbooks offers growing companies a SaaS platform to run their business and engage with their customers – at an affordable price. Workbooks designs, develops and implements its own software, which is targeted specificall... Read more

12 recommendations

LeadMaster is a SaaS-based all-in-one lead management solution that offers capabilities to capture, track and follow up with leads. The solution comprises of integrated modules for sales force automation, customer relationship ... Read more

4.10 (36 reviews)

12 recommendations

Quick Base is an application development platform that enables people to build business applications without coding. The platform is cloud-based and accessible on any browser or mobile device. Users can build apps on Qu... Read more

8 recommendations

Maximizer CRM is an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) solution suitable for organizations of all sizes across various industries. This solution can be deployed on both on-premise and in the cloud. Maximi... Read more

8 recommendations

Shape's cloud-based solution offers tools designed to manage online marketing and promotions, capture leads from online sources, organize sales pipelines, connect with customers and automate everyday tasks. Shape is suitable fo... Read more

4.94 (17 reviews)

7 recommendations

Pipeliner CRM delivers dynamic visualization of the pipeline, sales process and sales activities. Its visual contact management allows users to gain a comprehensive view of their customers and prospects and even map out how the... Read more

6 recommendations

Infor CRM offers a flexible customer relationship management (CRM) system for managing relationships, information and CRM. It provides comprehensive capabilities for managing sales, marketing and customer service activitie... Read more

3.60 (27 reviews)

3 recommendations

Centra Hub CRM is a solution designed to help businesses of any size streamline sales, customer service, and marketing processes. It can be hosted on the cloud or installed on-premise. With live dashboards, custom reporting, an... Read more

4.23 (13 reviews)

2 recommendations

PhaseWare Tracker is a customer support and help desk solution. It automatically notifies users whenever clients report or escalate existing issues. Flexible deployment options include on-premise installation and... Read more

4.42 (65 reviews)

1 recommendations

Aysling is a cloud-based enterprise resource solution that can run an entire business, from leads to sales, through delivery to payments. Aysling is easy to deploy, configure, use, and manage while offering ... Read more

4.00 (1 reviews)

1 recommendations

Over the past decade, V12 Group has been providing marketers with data and technology solutions to increase their customer base. In 2013, they introduced Launchpad, their web-based marketing automation platform. Launchpad helps... Read more

5.00 (1 reviews)

Gazelle by Origo Software is a cloud-based solution that connects information, communications and people on a single platform. The solution provides applications that can be customized to the needs of a business. A team of deve... Read more

5.00 (1 reviews)

CRMnext is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution that helps businesses manage customer-related processes, from lead capture to post-sale. Key features include marketing solutions, process management, ana... Read more

5.00 (1 reviews)

HelpDesk Eddy is a customer support software for any size business in a variety of industries. The solution provides a common channel to interact with customers through multiple communication points including emails, website, p... Read more

5.00 (2 reviews)

Magentrix extends Salesforce for Partner Relationship Management (PRM) to collaborate with channel partners. AppExchange's Top Rated Partner Management Portal provider. Indirect channel partners sell the most when they ... Read more

5.00 (1 reviews)

Triumph CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for small businesses. The solution keeps all information related to contacts—including interactions, deals, leads and next actions item... Read more

5.00 (2 reviews)

Bitochon CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution suitable for individuals and small businesses such as wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers and other business segments engaged in direct sales. The ... Read more

GleanView is a customer relationship management (CRM) solution suitable for small and midsize businesses. It combines account management, email and digital marketing and analytics features into a cloud-based platform and also o... Read more

5.00 (7 reviews)

Popular Channel Management Software Comparisons

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: October 08, 2020

Even in these days of Internet disintermediation, it is unusual for manufacturers to sell directly to end customers. Instead, products are sold through a complex web of distributors, wholesalers and retailers, with value-added retailers (VARs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) thrown into the mix. To manage all of these sales channels, companies use channel management software. We wrote this buyer’s guide to help buyers untangle this market’s web of solutions and conduct a proper system comparison.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Channel Management Software?
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits and Potential Issues
Market Trends You Should Understand
The Vendor Landscape

What Is Channel Management Software?

Channel management (CM) software, also known as partner relationship management software (or just PRM software), tracks goods and services from the seller to the ultimate consumer. These programs are valuable for automating sales and marketing processes through indirect company channels. One might think of channel management as sales force automation (SFA) for OEM and VAR channels. 

CM functions include partner recruiting; partner lifecycle, channel sales, territory, leads, order and account management; compensation planning; channel marketing; activity tracking; pipeline forecasting; and product configuration. Most systems will include partner tools that give visibility from the partners into the system. More advanced systems will also track cooperative advertising dollars and compliance. 

In keeping with classic supply chain design, the supplier firm (the upstream partner) and the customer firm (the downstream partner) should have systems that interact. This integration allows orders, inventory and other information to be passed securely between the partners as necessary.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Manufacturer buyer. These buyers work with firms that make goods to sell. These buyers need collateral distribution and partner and order management.

Distributor buyer. These buyers work for distributors and very large retailers. They need order management, price customization and shipping prioritization.

Wholesale and retail channel buyers. These buyers work for whole seller and regional retailer firms or retailer cooperatives. These buyers need strong integration with accounting to track dealer accounts, collateral distribution and marketing co-op tracking.

OEM/VAR channel buyers. These buyers work for firms that sell to OEMs and VARs. These buyers are seeking product branding, collateral customization, special order processing and accounting integration.

Benefits and Potential Issues

Increased customer satisfaction. There actually may be several sets of customers satisfied throughout the chain. Ultimately, it is the final consumer that matters most to the manufacturer, but it is rare that the consumer is the manufacturer’s customer. Partner management software gives each step in the channel increased visibility into the whole process.

Recall management. Should a product need to be recalled, CM gets the word to downstream partners quickly. Fast, decisive action can limit damage and minimize bad publicity.

Better inventory analysis and reporting. CM allows inventory levels to be maintained at optimum levels. Orders can be triggered manually or automatically, but in either case CM can measure downstream partners’ inventory trends and let the supplier more accurately project required inventory levels and manufacturing requirements.

Better account management. CM systems consolidate partner information, giving reps insight to increase sales and customer satisfaction at the same time. For example, when a VAR calls in an order, the rep can check to see if the customer is close to price breaks or order levels to trip co-op advertising budgets.

There are dangers in this level of integration: problems can propagate through the system. The Wall Street Journal reported, for example, that Amazon listed the book The Making of a Fly by Peter Lawrence for $23,698,655.93, plus $3.99 for shipping. Used copies were available for $35.54. The problem? Amazon has two channel partners that provide pricing information and in this case, the computer algorithms used by the two partners were competing against each other and raising the price in a loop.

Market Trends to Understand

  • Consolidation with CRM. Most channel management functions are being integrated into CRM and SFM systems or are included within the CRM applications from enterprise suite vendors. Stand alone channel management systems are increasingly rare, although CRM and SFM systems could be used for stand alone channel management if desired.
  • Software as a service. As with CRM in general, there is a strong move toward the software as a service (SaaS) model. A cloud-based model allows all partners to access appropriate information as long as they have access to a Web browser and the Internet.
  • Web integration. Even premises-based providers offer Web access to partners. This way downstream partners can check their accounts, check order status, place orders and track co-op account funds.
  • Mobile operations. Most channel management systems can be accessed by mobile devices and can provide email alerts as well as text message alerts.
  • Automatic ordering. If both partners have compatible systems, one advantage is automatic order placement, or vendor-management inventory. For example, as a retail store sells a particular model of television set, its inventory system tracks the quantity on hand. When that quantity falls below a certain threshold, the inventory system will automatically place an order with the supplier by interfacing to the supplier’s channel management system.

The Vendor Landscape

This type of buyer... Should evaluate these systems
Manufacturer buyer SAP, Oracle, GoldMine, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Salesforce
Distributor buyer SAP, Oracle, GoldMine, SugarCRM
Wholesale and retail channel buyer GoldMine, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sage ACT!, InfusionSoft
OEM/VAR channel buyer SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Salesforce