Salesforce's Partner Relationship Management Platform Gets An AI Boost

The platform for building partner portals and optimizing channel relationships now helps partners expand their practices with self-reporting capabilities, AI insights, and Quip integration



Salesforce upgraded its partner relationship management platform Wednesday with artificial intelligence and self-reporting capabilities that help channel managers optimize partner engagement.

The PRM, a native component of the Salesforce Sales Cloud, added features to benefit vendors building partner portals at a time when Salesforce sees three-quarters of all enterprises looking to scale sales by expanding their channels, Jason Perocho, director of product marketing for Sales Cloud, told CRN.

"Most businesses are struggling to get visibility into their partner pipeline, and most partners say their portals are too complex," Perocho said. "This release is really about helping partners find the information they need and empower channel managers to be more strategic advisors."

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The latest PRM release integrates Einstein Analytics to deliver insights to the channels of Salesforce customers. Incorporating Salesforce's artificial intelligence platform into the PRM empowers partners to do deep-dives on their businesses and recognize trends that can impact their practices, Perocho said.

Einstein Discovery, a product stemming from Salesforce's 2016 acquisition of BeyondCore, is also for the first time available for channel partners to surface trends and lead-conversion opportunities in plain English.

Discovery "will look at how leads performed in the past and call out the top few signals so partners know what they can do next to nurture that lead and create opportunities," Perocho told CRN.

Another new feature added to the Salesforce PRM is self-service reporting that helps partners mine data on their practices and segment how they see their businesses.

Finally, an integration with Salesforce's Quip allows Quip documents to be used inside the PRM, with templates provided for different use cases.

More than 90 percent of companies rely to some degree on partners to bring revenue, Perocho said.

But many channel managers still spend most of their efforts on administrative tasks, he said, when partners need them to be strategic advisors.