IT vendors are facing some tough economic headwinds in 2023. Consequently, more companies will lean on the channel as they recognize its cost efficiency as a route-to-market. Their partner programs will become the cornerstone of this engagement, with deal registration key to securing relationships.
VP and General Manager Americas, JD Helms was joined recently by CEO Kenneth Fox on the Channel Mechanics webinar, ‘Winning Partner Mindshare with the Right Deal Registration Program’. There, they examined five of the top key requirements for setting-up a deal registration program in today’s channel ecosystem.
5 Best Practices for Setting-Up a Deal Registration Program
1. Think About Form
The first thing to think about is how you want to execute your deal registration program. Will it be form-based, or via a shopping cart? Most vendors opt for a form-based registration system to make it easy for partners to log a deal.
Fox explained that it’s important to spend some time thinking about what questions you want to ask partners.
“The forms are easy, it’s the questions that are hard,” he explained. “You really need to sit down and think about those questions. Most people can boil that down to less than 10 questions that you need to ask a partner to figure out if this is a proper opportunity in the making.”
He also advised program creators to use dropdowns and multi-select options instead of text-based answers.
“Simple things including is there a budget? Have you spoken to the right people in the organization? They might not know the products, but is it their cloud offering or a traditional on-prem offering? It’s a heck of a lot easier for the partner – they’re just picking from dropdowns and multiselects and they can submit their deal registration really quickly.”
When setting-up a deal registration program, keeping it short and sweet is key, added Fox. A long page of questions can be a real turnoff for a partner, considering most work with multiple vendors. Making it easy to work with you is a must-have.
2. Design For Different Partner Types
The channel ecosystem, as we all know, is now a lot more complex than in the past. Vendor have to deal with up to 12-15 different partner types, including an alphabet soup of VARs, SIs, GSIs and MSPs to cloud service providers, referral partners and distributors – and all might need to be treated differently.
So while your deal registration form should be short and sweet, it should also be dynamic. This is to ensure it accommodates all the different partner types and can prompt them with different questions and dropdowns.
3. Remember End Customer Validation
Fox said it was also important to build end customer validation out to the front end, to avoid errors with their data.
“Don’t ever let your end customer data on your CRM system get messed up, because it’s a very common thing that happens. How many times have we seen the same customer name in 10 different shapes and forms? So one of the first things we always do is validation of the end customer right at the front end. It helps clean your end customer data right at the front door so it never, ever gets into your CRM system until it becomes an approved deal.”
This, he said, enables vendors to mine data such as end customers’ total value, and which partners brought in those end customers, as sometimes different partners work with the same end customer across multiple opportunities.
4. Drive Behaviour With Incentives
Most vendors today have a strategy to migrate from on-prem to the cloud. Deal registration is an important tool to drive cloud adoption, so you might build an accompanying incentive into your deal registration. You could offer, for example, an additional 5% discount or a rebate incentive for take up of cloud offerings.
5. Send Leads to Partners
Finally, when you have leads for partners, you can send them through the deal registration pipe in reverse. You can create a deal ‘shell’ where the partner can pick up leads through a portal, and either accept or reject it.
“If they accept it, they go ahead and work with the customer and register that as a deal,” said Fox, who said it is easier to see how lead generation campaign dollars are being spent.
“You can track everything. For example, which campaign did that lead come from? What tag is on it? How much did it cost? For those hundred leads I paid for, how many turned into deals? How many turned into opportunities? How many of those opportunities closed? That’s something people struggle with. But, with automation, you can measure that and report on what lead gen campaigns are working and which ones are not.”
Is Deal Reg on your radar for 2023? If so, schedule a demo today to transform your channel tomorrow