Deal Registration Program Rewards Lead to Happy Partners
A deal registration program rewards channel partners for bringing new leads to a vendor with the exclusive opportunity to sell to the registered lead. Other resellers and the vendor’s direct sales teams are not allowed to compete.
Normally, the deal is registered online, the vendor then checks the lead against predetermined criteria and it is either approved or rejected. If approved, the partner has a set period to close the deal before it loses its protection. It’s common for vendors to offer support to partners during this time to help them close the deal.
3 Reasons Deal Registration Is Important
Establishing and supporting a deal registration program will benefit vendors, partners and the customer. Here are three reasons why:
- A shift in focus improves the customer experience. Protecting a lead shifts a partner’s focus away from getting a deal signed as quickly as possible; they no longer have to worry someone else is going to beat them to the punch. Instead, there’s a bit of breathing room where a partner can focus on finding the right deal for the customer, not just the quickest one.
This shift benefits the customer because there is less urgency and a greater focus on providing value, and they don’t have to deal with multiple partners vying for their business. This can confuse the sales process.
- Registration increases partner satisfaction. A deal registration program is an important step in reducing channel conflict. If your direct sales team takes leads away from your partners, you will reduce trust and may start to lose partners. Protecting deals shows your partners that you value their contribution to your sales process, and ensures they are rewarded for their hard work.
This is particularly important in complex sales processes, such as with software-as-a-service (SaaS) security products, where a vendor might expend significant resources working toward closing a deal. Losing this opportunity to the vendor’s direct sales team or another partner will leave them out of pocket and unhappy.
- Registration increases efficiency. Channel conflict isn’t just bad for business relationships, it’s also inefficient. Deal registration programs ensure excess resources aren’t expended on one lead; by spreading your focus, you’ll receive more leads.
How to Set Up Your Deal Registration Program for Success
Despite the benefits, SMBCEO reports that less than a third of qualifying transactions are registered through the appropriate deal registration program.
The problem is that most businesses haven’t set up their deal registration program to be effective. Sales teams don’t like to be held back by slow processes; given a choice, they’d rather avoid using a poor deal registration program than delay a sale.
To ensure your deal registration program is a success you should:
- Communicate effectively – Some partners don’t register deals because they’re not aware of the benefits they will receive for doing so. Regularly communicate with your partners and keep reminding them of the benefits.
- Offer appropriate incentives – The incentives you offer must outweigh the extra time and effort your partners must expend to register a deal. In addition to protection, it’s common to provide partners with a higher commission when they use the deal registration program.
- Provide enough time – If the protected period doesn’t give partners enough time to close a deal, there’s no incentive for registering. Track the length of your sales cycle and ensure this period is right – you may need a different time for different products or markets.
- Provide an efficient process – Sales teams don’t like to wait – and neither do customers. It’s essential that applications for deal registration are received and assessed as quickly as possible.
In the end, when you offer a fair and easy-to-understand deal registration process, you’re not only reducing the chances of channel conflict, you’re also giving your business the opportunity to run more effectively and efficiently.
As senior director, head of worldwide channels and partnerships at Flashpoint. Ayesha Prakash leverages her extensive experience driving business development and marketing efforts in the IT sector to build Flashpoint’s global channel program. Follow Ayesha on Twitter @yoursocialnerd and @FlashpointIntel.