Deal registration is one of the most established elements of any vendor’s partner program. It is important in the channel as it rewards partners for bringing in sales opportunities. While at the same time helping to eliminate potential channel conflict. For vendors it also provides much needed visibility into the sales pipeline and partner performance.
Even before then, any potential partner first evaluating a vendor will judge them on their channel friendliness or readiness. And the deal registration terms in place can be a major factor in their decision.
“Deal registration is one of the longest standing partner programs. Therefore, it’s really table stakes to be in the marketplace as a vendor. How you differentiate from the other players is going to be key,” said Channel Mechanics’ VP of Sales, John McArdle, on our recent webinar, “What Modern Deal Registration Programs Look Like”.
Along with McArdle, Channel Mechanics’ Head of Business Development John Bird chatted with A.J. Tedesco, VP Channels, Securly and Kate Price, Channel Operations Manager, Extreme Networks about why deal registration plays such a crucial role in partner engagement.
Balancing Reward and Protection
For Tedesco, deal registration was an important part of his plans to scale channel operations at Securly. One of the first things he discovered is that there is a big difference between rewarding and protecting the partner.
“There was this important balance between protecting the partner that uncovers the opportunity and preserving their margin… Some large organizations, which aren’t as reliant upon partners to go out and uncover new opportunities, just reward the deal registering partner with a little bit more margin as opposed to protecting them. So our goal is to first and foremost protect the partner that uncovers the opportunity. Then we give them enough margin where they feel it makes sense to lead with Securly. But at the same time provide some margin for the larger partners that are going to have an expectation that they can bid on anything all the time.”
As a smaller company, Securly relies on partners to go out and drive business, and therefore Tedesco noted that “we don’t want them to worry about not being able to make enough margin on those opportunities that they find for us.”
Visibility is Key
As a 100 percent channel sales company, Price said protecting partners is extremely important to Extreme Networks, “so deal registration is really a fundamental part of our partner program.”
She stressed the importance of linking deal registration with a modern channel enablement platform like Channel Mechanics with your other sales systems. This provides not only a better experience for partners, but also greater visibility and continuity as to the registered opportunities.
“Channel Mechanics is highly integrated with our Salesforce CRM tool, and it helps to drive partner loyalty and also ensures that partners are protected on deals in which they are heavily involved. It also helps us to limit channel conflict. And it’s beneficial to us as a vendor to get early visibility into our partners’ Extreme pipeline. So we always encourage early deal registrations,” she said.
“Since our deal registration is linked directly with our CRM tool, Salesforce, we immediately have visibility into the pipeline. And then we can manage it.”
McArdle agreed that deal registration is important for providing visibility. As a leading indicator for revenue, visibility can often be difficult to secure in business.
“Encouraging your partners to register deals very early in the cycle and building up a historical base of how successful they’ve been in closing those deals will give you good metrics and insights around how you can rely on your pipeline from each of your partners,” he said.
Delivering the Partner Experience
With the partner experience never more important, deal registration has an added benefit. It facilitates the vendor stepping in to help partners close deals.
“The benefit – particularly as we see a lot of companies transition to multiple partner types and new partner types around services – is that you can start to see what deals your partners are registering. Then you can get in the trenches with them to decide if they need help closing a deal,” said McArdle.
“If you’re pivoting from a traditional on premise business model to a SaaS model, and your partners are registering large deals, you can use that deal registration visibility to say: ‘thank you for registering. Now is there anything more we can do, as a vendor, to help you get those deals over the line?’ So, there’s lots of intelligence that allows you to plan your sales better internally. In addition to how you plan your partner resourcing and partner support teams.”
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