We’ve talked about why deal registration is so important in the channel. But what does a successful deal registration program look like? This was one of the topics under discussion at our recent webinar, What Modern Deal Registration Programs Look Like.
Channel Mechanics’ own VP of Sales, John McArdle joined Head of Business Development John Bird, A.J. Tedesco, VP Channels, Securly and Kate Price, Channel Operations Manager, Extreme Networks to talk about how vendors can best establish a successful deal registration program.
Easy Does It
First and foremost the program must be easy to understand for partners, and easy to access.
“Without question. the most important thing is keeping it simple and easy to understand. If a partner gets frustrated going through the deal reg and approval process, they will look elsewhere,” said Tedesco.
The program should also provide full protection, as well as incentives – and crucially, it must accommodate different geographies, markets and partner types.
“We have a global program that applies to all sectors, but there are slight geographical nuances: rolling discounts, thresholds and so on to ensure that it fits the different categories,” said Price. “The protection piece needs to be consistent locally as that’s what partners are looking for.”
McArdle agreed that vendors need to personalize their deal registration programs.
“When I look at deal registration policy documents and programs, on average there’s typically 27 specific rules or criteria that you need to meet. On average, we see that partners in the channel, typically work with seven to 12 different vendors, and there’s 27 different rules for every vendor deal reg program, so that’s 270 rules!
“So can you serve up an easy to access deal registration portal where the partner only gets to see what’s personal to them, their partner type or their geo?”
Create a Digital Workplace
McArdle also noted that often partners receive an email from the company or a nominated contact within the vendor or a web form – and that’s the extent of their engagement when it comes to deal registration. The difficulty for partners, he said, is that the process becomes like a vacuum; they feel that they have submitted the details but it’s not an interactive way of giving them status.
“We would certainly encourage you to make sure that you have a ‘digital workplace’, where your partners can see the status of the deal reg – not just when it’s been submitted, but what happens with it when it goes back inside the vendor organization,” he said.
Don’t Give Away The Bank
Final guidance for vendors is that you do not have to offer deal registration on your full product portfolio. You have flexibility to put in rules. For instance, that transaction or run rate business is not going to be included.
Said McArdle: “If your average order value is $2,000, you can say you’re only going to offer a deal registration for deals greater than $5000 or $10,000 or $20,000 to try and drive some different behavior in the marketplace to go after bigger deals, or you can exclude renewals.”
At the same time, some vendors sometimes think that giving away lots of margin is the way to enter the market. As we’ve seen, what partners want most from vendors is for it to be easy to do business. So, don’t feel you have to give away significant margins to do business with your partners. Think about your value offering and be easy to work with instead.
Ultimately, it is important to think about the behaviors and outcomes that you want to achieve with your deal registration program. Is it more or stickier revenue? Is it new logo acquisition? A competitor take-out? You can design your program rules that are flexible but easy to understand and personalized to the partner types you’re working with.
Key Takeaways for a Successful Deal Registration Program
- Do as much upfront diligence as possible about what the market, and your partners, are looking for. Understand the specific geos in which you’re implementing any program.
- Ensure your CRM data and processes are clean and as streamlined as possible before the rollout of a new program or tool. This will eventually help you with a successful program.
- Keep the program as simple as possible. Partners are working with multiple vendors, so try to see things from their perspective and cut the complexity.
- Automate as much as possible but leave room for human intervention.
- Make it attractive and easy for partners to register a deal. But also beneficial for you as a vendor to get all the information you need to accurately forecast and support your partners.
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