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 95 products
Showing 1 - 20 of 95 products

Lodgify

Lodgify is a cloud-based software system designed for vacation rental owners, property managers and bed and breakfast innkeepers. With Lodgify’s software, users can easily build an optimized vacation rental website in multiple l...Read more

eviivo

eviivo Suite™ is an award-winning, cloud-based booking and property management platform powerfully built to optimize all reservations, guests and properties — whether a single room or multi-property portfolio — for hospitality own...Read more

Hostaway

Hostaway is a unique vacation rental software that offers deep channel integrations and support. Hostaway provides property managers with the flexibility of the most advanced solutions while being easy to use. The dashboard and ...Read more

Cloudbeds

Cloudbeds is a cloud-based hospitality platform suitable for small to midsize hotels, vacation rentals, hostels and B&Bs. Key features include front office management, central reservations, housekeeping management, online booking ...Read more

iGMS

iGMS is an all-in-one vacation rental software for busy hosts and short-term rental managers. It automates the majority of daily vacation rental management tasks and helps to increase occupancy rate. iGMS enables users to connect...Read more

DataFeedWatch

Optimize your feeds for Google Shopping, Facebook, Instagram and 2,000+ more channels in 60+ countries. With DataFeedWatch you can easily optimize your data feed and let you advertise on 2,000+ shopping channels, marketplaces and...Read more

eZee Centrix

eZee Centrix is a channel manager application for hotels. Through a single online dashboard, operators in the hospitality industry can manage 5 to 1000+ rooms and bookings from various sources. Motels, hotels and resort chains can...Read more

Guesty

Guesty is an end-to-end solution for short-term property managers looking to save time, increase revenue and grow their businesses. The software allows users to manage listings across multiple channels, such as Airbnb, Booking.com...Read more

Little Hotelier

Trusted by more small, independent properties around the world than any other provider, Little Hotelier is the hotel platform that lets you easily attract more guests, take direct bookings online, understand how your business is p...Read more

Rentals United

Rentals United is a cloud-based channel management solution, which assists vacation rental managers with management of online reservations and guest communications. Key features include room bookings, pricing analysis, messaging a...Read more

Software pricing tips

Read our Channel Management Software Buyers Guide

Subscription models

  • Per employee/per month: This model allows you to pay a monthly fee for each of your employees.
  • Per user/per month: Users pay a monthly fee for users—normally administrative users—rather than all employees.

Perpetual license

  • This involves paying an upfront sum for the license to own the software and use it indefinitely.
  • This is the more traditional model and is most common with on-premise applications and with larger businesses.

Rated best value for money

Smoobu

Smoobu is an online vacation rental solution designed to help businesses streamline processes related to reservations, communications, guest experience and more. It comes with a channel manager, which lets users connect the platfo...Read more

OwnerRez

OwnerRez is a powerful and flexible system for managing vacation rental properties. OwnerRez provides booking and maintenance management, payment scheduling and collection as well as insightful reporting. OwneRez allows prope...Read more

AvaiBook

AvaiBook is the all in one Vacation Rental Software leader in the market from the Idealista family. Our platform is responsive and it includes Channel Manager, Booking Engine, PMS tools and integrated Bank Gateway. Channel Man...Read more

4.43 (90 reviews)

PartnerStack

Designed as a full-stack solution, PartnerStack is a cloud-based partner relationship management (PRM) platform that assists SaaS-based companies, marketing agencies, and resellers with building and managing channel partner progra...Read more

4.89 (82 reviews)

Your.Rentals

Your.Rentals is a cloud-based vacation rental management solution that helps property managers and homeowners to list their properties on various short-term rental websites such as Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, TripAdvisor and more. ...Read more

4.31 (77 reviews)

Sellbrite

Sellbrite is a cloud-based inventory management solution designed for small and midsize companies. It offers order management, product management, channel analytics and inventory control functionalities within a suite. Sellbr...Read more

4.63 (75 reviews)

SabeeApp

SabeeApp is an all-in-one, cloud based hotel management software for modern hoteliers. From your account you can manage sales, reservations, pricing, administration and more. All your data is synced 24/7. We provide PMS, Booking E...Read more

4.80 (69 reviews)

Beds24

Beds24 is a cloud-based solution that helps businesses automate the processes for booking and billing of hotels, inns, guest houses, cottages, hostels, campgrounds and more. Key features include built-in accounting, vacation renta...Read more

4.80 (66 reviews)

Uplisting

Uplisting is a cloud-based hotel management solution that helps small to midsize vacation rental businesses manage bookings, customer support, housekeeping, commission, payments and more. It allows users to import bookings from va...Read more

4.92 (62 reviews)

ChannelAdvisor

ChannelAdvisor (NYSE: ECOM) is a leading e-commerce cloud platform whose mission is to connect and optimize the world’s commerce. For two decades, ChannelAdvisor has helped brands and retailers worldwide improve their online perfo...Read more

3.82 (55 reviews)

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: July 02, 2022

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