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Virtually all of our clients rely extensively on channel partners to sell, market, deliver and support their products. Some to a very high degree. Some lesser. I’ve listed here dumb mistakes we’ve seen again and again yet the converse of each of these is a best practice in disguise.
What is Deal Registration?
It’s a process whereby channel partners can “claim” a sales opportunity as their exclusive deal to pursue to the best of the vendor’s knowledge whose products they resell. In return for registering a deal, channel partners typically get 8-15% extra points of margin.
Why is Deal Reg an important process to you (tech vendor) and your channel partner?
Dumb Mistake #1 – Have no written policies governing what it takes to qualify for deal registration.
How here’s an example of a Deal Registration process that has clear policies:
Dumb Mistake #2 – Ignore or take too long to decide on a Deal Reg claim.
Quickly convey accept/reject status to the partner, as this can be one of the most common sources of dissatisfaction and distrust in a partnership. Make the decision and let the partner know if less than 24 hours.
Dumb Mistake #3 – Let’m twist in the wind by letting them deal with competitors on their own
Offer deal coaching – Deal Reg is a great way for you to coach, train, and enable a channel partner to become more effective in their selling. Provide the toll free number for easy access to channel account managers. Be sure to point to your channel portal or extranet for resources on competitive battle cards, presentations, webinars, solution briefs, and other sales tools to win business.
Dumb Mistake #4 – Make them go through a bunch of hoops
Streamline/automate the process – that means simplifying each step of the process in a way that is largely self-help online.
Dumb Mistake #5 – Don’t bother tracking the numbers
Monitor/measure performance – once the partner completes the Deal Reg form you lose visibility of the sales opportunity. Your channel partner manager must follow up on the distributed leads as part of ongoing business dealings with the partner. The Partner Relationship Management (PRM) module should be able to alert the partner manager and the partner of the impending deal closure deadline, which may be set at 90 days.
Dumb Mistake #6 – Reward your partner for not following rules
Enforce your policies – you have 3 opportunities to assert control of the process – approval of Deal Reg request, approval of Deal Closure extension request, and granting the 8-15% rebate upon closed deal. You enforce your policies by using these decision points. Allowing deadlines to elapse with no consequence only teaches your partners to disregard your policies.
Dumb Mistake #7 – Take your time on dealing with exception requests or complaints
Handle exceptions quickly and fairly – expect some friction when you find you need to reject a Deal Reg or extension request. It’s best to call your partner if you plan to reject a request so they are not surprised by your automated system response. Take the time to explain the reasoning behind your decision and stay open to changing your mind if you are swayed by their arguments. Strive to close out any exceptions or rejections within 24 hours so as not to damage the momentum in your relationship. Remember Deal Reg is about averting channel conflict and encouraging both partners to work together to win new business.
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