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 55 products
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Showing 1 - 20 of 55 products

RMS Cloud

RMS is a global provider of innovative, cloud-based technology solutions for the hospitality industry. By offering business insights, best practices and user-friendly software, RMS enables hotels, resorts, campgrounds, RV parks an...Read more

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 multipl...Read more

WordStream Advisor

WordStream Advisor is a cloud-based advertising management solution that allows advertisers to manage all campaigns running on Google Adwords, Facebook Ads and Bing Ads through a single dashboard. It mainly caters to the call cent...Read more

eviivo

eviivo suite is a cloud-based booking management software designed to help small hotels, lodges, vacation rentals, and other establishments manage guests, reservations, payments and more. It offers white-labelling capabilities, wh...Read more

Cloudbeds

Cloudbeds is a cloud-based hotel management solution suitable for small to midsize hotels, vacation rentals, hostels and B&Bs. Key features include front office management, central reservations, housekeeping management, online boo...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

DataFeedWatch

DataFeedWatch can easily optimize your data feed and let you advertise on different shopping channels like Google shopping, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, eBay, Bing, Shopzilla, Criteo & more! It makes the products more v...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

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 a...Read more

Little Hotelier

Little Hotelier is an all-in-one property management and guest acquisition solution for the small hotels, guesthouses and bed and breakfasts, 30 rooms and under. At its core it is a property management system (PMS) that handles th...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

4.54 (99 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

4.35 (75 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

4.62 (73 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 (56 reviews)

ChannelAdvisor

ChannelAdvisor is a cloud-based e-commerce platform that allows retailers to share product feeds and optimize merchandise sales. The solution can also manage sales through integration with various marketplaces, such as eBay and Am...Read more

3.81 (54 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

4.91 (53 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

4.84 (51 reviews)

BookingSync

BookingSync is a cloud-based vacation rental management solution that helps hotel and apartment managers to handle multiple rentals. Key features include booking, payment, guest and channel management. BookingSync allows prop...Read more

4.50 (50 reviews)

SWITCH.CM

SWITCH.CM is a cloud-based property management solution designed to help hotels, hostels and guest houses streamline processes related to online bookings, invoicing, billing and more. The drag-and-drop interface enables supervisor...Read more

4.53 (49 reviews)

MyVR

MyVR is a cloud-based vacation rental and property management suite designed to meet the needs of landlords, property managers and real-estate professionals. The solution offers reservations management, payment processing, email a...Read more

4.85 (41 reviews)

Popular Channel Management Software Comparisons

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: June 18, 2021

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
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