BlueRoads Offers Relief for Channel Management Woes

Latest version of partner relationship management solution provides tools for engaging individual reps in indirect sales, marketing processes

Latest version of partner relationship management solution provides tools for engaging individual reps in indirect sales, marketing processes

San Mateo, CA — April 19, 2004 — Partner relationship management specialist BlueRoads today rolled out the latest version of its flagship channel management solution, offering an application designed to help companies understand and manage complex channel networks in order to actively engage partners in indirect sales and marketing processes.

Intended to assist companies in marketing and selling more effectively through their indirect channels, BlueRoads 5, available now, provides a methodology for mapping processes down to the individual salesperson.

BlueRoads contends that the indirect sales channel is growing increasingly important in various vertical markets. For example, the provider cites a report from market research firm IDC that indirect sales revenue in the high technology industry exceeded that of direct sales for the first time in history in 2002. Research from Gartner Group suggests that figure will reach 65 percent by 2010.

As companies rely more on indirect revenue to achieve corporate financial goals, the demand for channel predictability and management increases, BlueRoads asserted. As a result, companies need to manage deeper in to the channel and engage their partners more than ever.

This has always been the promise of partner relationship management (PRM) solutions, but the technology to date has not enabled the broad channel-side participation required to realize that promise, according to the solution provider. BlueRoads is trying to address this challenge through what it is calling its "Active Participation Network."

The network is designed to enable process flow between vendors and thousands of independent partner organizations and their individual reps. BlueRoads said that, unlike traditional PRM systems, the provider's solution allows channel partners' sales teams to actively participate in closed-loop sales and marketing processes while providing vendors with essential feedback at each step.

"In this environment, businesses that actively engage with their partners are generating more revenue," said Axel Schultze, president and CEO of BlueRoads. "BlueRoads 5 is the first partner-centric system focused on business processes and not aggregate data. As a result, BlueRoads generates measurable results for vendors and channel partners alike."

The BlueRoads solution offers process modules such as dynamic partner profiling, campaign management, lead and opportunity management and guided selling, among others. Version 5 also provides a set of channel performance metrics, including sales cycle and point-of-sale analysis.

New modules in BlueRoads 5 include Account Registration Manager, designed to motivate partners to proactively register accounts by keeping deal details confidential and ensuring matching registered account leads are directed to them in the future.

A Market Development Funded (MDF) and Co-Op Manager links co-op and MDF campaigns with resulting leads, opportunities and closed deals. And a Contract Renewal Manager initiates renewal process upon closure of sales opportunity and automatically notifies partner when renewal date approaches.

DeMarie Malnar, director of Americas channel marketing at BlueRoads customer Sophos, said that the solution has provided her company with a system for gauging how its partners are moving prospects through the sales cycle. "Partners were asking for a better way to interact with our direct sales force on deals," Malnar said. "By enabling us to work more closely with our channel, BlueRoads is helping Sophos increase partner satisfaction and partner loyalty in our highly competitive market."

BlueRoads 5 is available immediately in two editions and eight languages. An Extended Enterprise is architected for complex, multi-tier channel structures, and this solution can be deployed onsite or in a hosted environment, and licensed either on a subscription or perpetual basis. An Express version offers a hosted PRM solution scaled to suit the needs of organizations with less complex channels, and this version is licensed on a subscription basis.