Salesforce Vendor/Supplier Management: Building Efficient PRM System in SFDC

10 min read

If your business relies heavily on external vendors or suppliers for goods or services, implementing vendor management becomes crucial. Effective management ensures that your business maintains a healthy relationship with its suppliers, reducing the risk of disruptions in the supply chain.

Managing vendors and suppliers can be a challenging task for businesses of all sizes. From keeping track of contracts to ensuring timely deliveries, the process requires meticulous organization and oversight. However, with the right tools and systems in place, this aspect of business operations can be streamlined and made more efficient. One such tool that perfectly deals with all above is Salesforce, a powerful customer relationship management (CRM) platform that can also be used for partner relationship management (PRM).

In this blog, we’ll explore Salesforce supplier relationship management concept and show you how businesses can use Salesforce CRM to build an efficient PRM system specifically tailored for supplier and vendor management.

Explaining PRM in Salesforce

Let’s start with clarifying what PRM is within the context of Salesforce. PRM, or Partner Relationship Management, refers to the process of managing relationships with external partners or third parties that work with vendors, such as suppliers, distributors, third party vendors, and resellers. We use PRM term when talking about anything related to channel sales and partner relationships. Imagine you’re running a software company that develops and sells productivity tools. Your products are sold not only through your own website but also through online marketplaces and partner stores. In this scenario, you would need a Salesforce partner relationship management (PRM) to manage your relationships with different partners involved in selling your software.

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What is Salesforce vendor management? How Salesforce CRM can be used for PRM processes?

Great questions! Salesforce vendor management is about using Salesforce CRM to manage relationships with your external partners, like suppliers, agents and distributors. Imagine it as using the same tools you use to manage relationships with your customers but for your partners instead.

When it comes to PRM, Salesforce CRM has all the features you need to make managing partnerships smooth and efficient. It extends the functionality of CRM to your partners, allowing them to track deals and collaborate with you on leads and opportunities. For example, just like your direct sales team uses leads and opportunities to manage sales deals, your partners can do the same. In Salesforce, you as a vendor can assign leads to specific partners, and your partners can log deals that they source, helping to prevent channel conflict (two partners going after the same customer) and making the entire sales process much easier for both parties.

Benefits of using Salesforce for partner/supplier relationship management

  • PRM integration with Slack – a new feature introduced in Salesforce Summer ’23 Release. The app connects vendors and partners directly within Slack, ensuring seamless communication, information sharing, and collaboration, bringing everyone onto the same page. The PRM for Slack app simplifies crucial processes like deal registration and lead distribution through automation using Salesforce Flow and global actions. Learn more in our blog post below.

PRM for Slack App: Key Considerations

The latest Salesforce Summer '23 update is here, and it's packed with fantastic features that will revolutionize how sales teams work! One of the highlights of this release is the game-changing PRM for Slack app. Read this article to learn more.
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  • Experience Cloud portal. Salesforce offers a customizable partner portal where partners can access resources, training materials, and support documentation. This portal serves as a central hub for partner collaboration, communication, and information sharing.
  • Salesforce handles the entire partner lifecycle. From onboarding and lead/opportunity management to deal registration, collaboration, marketing, and real-time reporting – you get all you need to ensure efficient supplier/third party vendor management and boost channel sales in your organization.
  • Integral part of Salesforce. Sales Cloud PRM as a cloud based solution and being a part of the Salesforce platform, seamlessly integrates with numerous other Salesforce products such as Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud Engagement, Tableau CRM, and Revenue Cloud.
Salesforce PRM

Introducing Salesforce Sales Cloud PRM

At the heart of Salesforce PRM management lies Sales Cloud – a cloud-based solution that is an integral part of the Salesforce ecosystem. Sales Cloud PRM, powered by the Salesforce platform, provides everything you need to establish an efficient vendor management process in one place and manage third-party vendors, agents, distributors, resellers in one secure and centralized location. Manage your partner onboarding, track supplier performance, control costs, and ensure seamless coordination throughout the supply chain process. Get all you need to boost channel sales in your organization.

How Sales Cloud PRM facilitates vendor management processes in your company:

Automated onboarding

Efficient supplier management starts with recruiting and onboarding. Salesforce Sales Cloud PRM in place enables vendors create structured partner programs with personalized learning journeys, set performance goals & KPIs, and monitor partner training – all in one centralized place. Onboarding processes will be much easier Learning Management Solution (LMS) apps integrated into Sales Cloud.

Accelerated channel sales

  • In Sales Cloud PRM, leads are automatically directed to the appropriate partner.
  • Salesforce consolidates all data into a single system of record, allowing you to monitor lead activity in real-time.
  • Sales Cloud PRM empowers your Salesforce user partners to register deals they bring in, reducing conflicts by logging the time the deal is registered and and detecting duplicates. This stops other teams or partners from making the same deal with the same customer.
  • Using Lightning reports and dashboards, you can watch your partners’ leads and deals, see how long it takes for deals to close, and measure closure rates efficiently.

Amplified marketing

Vendors can engage in both types of partner marketing: to their partners and through their partners. By using To-Partner marketing, you attract new partners to join your network and inform current partners about the latest products and updates. Through-Partner marketing is what ensures that the brand message is consistently communicated to customers and helps partners drive demand. You may adopt both marketing approaches depending on your supplier/vendor management needs.

Partner self-service

With Salesforce, vendors can provide self-service capabilities to their partners investing into better supplier relationships. By embedding Salesforce Knowledge and filling it with useful articles, vendors enable their partners to get answers to common questions whenever they need. With the help of AI, partners also receive suggestions for related and trending articles. Additionally, partners can easily ask for help or report issues by submitting cases through Case Management. This ensures that any questions about starting up, problems with products, or anything else get sorted out quickly by the right people.

The best way to provide your partners with great self-service tools is through the Salesforce partner portal. Just imagine having a central hub for partner collaboration, communication, and information sharing – all integrated with your Salesforce CRM data. This is where the Experience Cloud PRM portal comes into play, providing a shared space for efficient third-party vendor management.

If you are not satisfied with the out of the box Salesforce Knowledge functionality, you can always integrate third party app into your Salesforce org and use it on your Experience Cloud site, just like AC Knowledge Management Enterprise app. The app empowers you to centralize and modernize your knowledge system on Salesforce improving your service and delivering experience your partners expect.

Salesforce knowledge

Experience Cloud partner portal

As an extension of your Sales Cloud, you can benefit from building a stunning PRM portal right on top of Salesforce, connected to all your CRM data. This is what you need to establish efficient supplier management and beneficial vendor relationships, making your partners a true extension of your internal sales team by providing them with a one-stop shop for everything they need:

  • Guided third-party vendor/supplier onboarding process
  • Access to product resources and sales records
  • Prebuilt marketing assets
  • Market development funds
  • The ability to log service cases and get help
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Real-time collaboration on leads, opportunities, and deals.

The Experience Cloud partner portal is a fully customizable solution that can be easily built with clicks, no code required. You can start with a prebuilt partner portal template containing a bundle of components, apps, processes, and templates, all designed to work together seamlessly. Once selected, you can add apps, modify the design, and connect to third-party systems. And again – all with clicks, not code.

salesforce partner portal

Use AC Partner Marketplace app and AC Partner Co-Branding app for Experience Cloud to create a partner directory on your site and team up with your partners for co-branding.

AC – Your trusted Salesforce PRM implementation partner

If you need assistance with establishing an efficient agent/vendor management system on Salesforce powered by a fully-fledged partner portal, the Advanced Communities team is here for you.

We’re an official Salesforce partner and provide professional implementation and managed services, along with custom apps for Experience Cloud for a better experience. Let’s discuss your needs and we’ll find the best solution that truly meets yours and your partner’s needs.

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    What is Salesforce vendor management?

    Salesforce vendor management refers to the process of using Salesforce CRM tools and features to effectively manage relationships with external vendors, suppliers, distributors, and other business partners. It involves utilizing Salesforce’s customizable platform to track and manage vendor-related information, such as vendor profiles, contracts, performance metrics, and communication logs.

    Can you use Salesforce for procurement process?

    Yes, Salesforce can be used for procurement process through customization and integration with other systems. While Salesforce is primarily known as a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform, its flexibility allows businesses to adapt it to various needs, including procurement.

    What does PRM mean in Salesforce?

    In Salesforce, PRM stands for Partner Relationship Management. It refers to the process of managing relationships with external partners, such as distributors, resellers, suppliers, and other third-party existing vendors, using the Salesforce platform. Some key PRM features in Salesforce include lead distribution, deal registration, training and certification management, collaboration tools, and analytics & reporting. Salesforce vendor management means having everything in one system, well-organized, and delivering real business value to your organization.

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