The IT channel today consists of a complex ecosystem of partners, with an ever expanding number of companies and business models. Alongside traditional players like resellers and distributors, there are MSPs, XaaS consultants and a ‘shadow channel’ of non-transacting partners. All of which necessitate the importance of a good Deal Registration program for vendors.
The Importance of Deal Registration
First and foremost, a deal registration program must account for all the different partner types, while simultaneously protecting transactional product sales. The recent Channel Mechanics webinar, Winning Partner Mindshare with the Right Deal Registration Program, saw Kate Price, Director Global Channel Operations at Extreme Networks, weigh in on the importance of deal registration in today’s complex channel ecosystem. She suggested there are two effective ways to combat this complexity. One is the effective segmentation of partners, and the second is to provide a single ‘source of truth’ to all stakeholders.
“I don’t think [deal registration] should live in a separate system. It needs to all come back to your CRM and everybody looking at the same information. It all comes down to your source data,” she explained.
Price said vendors should implement a deal registration program that enables them to monitor and segment their partners. They should leverage a tool that provides them with different options. Thereby allowing partners to register their deals in a way that differentiates them from other partner types.
In addition, Price advocates for a global framework that can be customised on a regional basis. “It shouldn’t be a tool or program that just works in one region; it should be a global framework with regional variations as needed. And it needs to fit into your PRM [partner relationship Management] or portal experience.”
Cutting Through the Complexity with Automation
The complexity inherent in the modern channel ecosystem stems from partners working with multiple vendors at the same time. This is because there has been a power-shift from vendor to partner. With the rise in customer expectations, partners now have more choice than ever before when it comes to partnering. Therefore, to win business, vendors must provide the same easy experience for all partners, she noted.
“Partners don’t work just with us. Although we’d love to believe that,” said Price. “Partners work with different vendors, they are in five portals maybe on a regular basis. So, you have to make it easy for them to not get confused. And it has to be self-serve – nowadays you can’t constantly call or email somebody, so [it needs to be as] self-serve as possible so they can submit the deal registration, get approved, then three months later, they go in, they create a quote automatically, it sends and so on. So, the beginning-to-end experience really needs to work for the partner.”
Vendors are increasingly looking to automation to cut through all the complexity inherent in the channel today. Inadequate access to data, inefficient manual processes, and ad-hoc partner management simply won’t cut it when managing a modern partner ecosystem.
As channel analyst Canalys noted: “Workflows need to be automated (end to end) and human-based partner interactions should only be focused on joint business planning, customer value creation and co-innovation – not on chasing data and putting up artificial gates.”
This means automation will be a necessity for vendors managing channel complexity and elevating the user experience for all partners, across the ecosystem.
Is Deal Reg on your radar for 2023? If so, schedule a demo today to transform your channel tomorrow