Deal registration programs are extremely attractive to distributors. But, without a robust, user-friendly and customizable program or process in place, deal registration loses its handsome reward to distributors. So, it is understandable for manufacturers to constantly seek the best deal registration practices.
A multitude of companies today have deal registration as a core element of their channel programs. Deal registration is a tool essentially designed to protect partner deals in order to enable and motivate channel partners to invest in presale activities and focus their channel efforts. Once an opportunity is accepted as a registered deal (e.g., one that is not currently registered by your company, sales team, or another channel partner), a notification is sent to the partner informing them that their deal is protected.
Companies need to create or improve deal registration programs that send the right message: creating a positive, profitable establishment with their partners.
Companies need to employ best deal registration practices by creating or improving programs that send the right message: creating a positive, profitable establishment with their partners.
Benefits of Deal Registration:
- Enhanced communications
- partners motivated to write more business
- Increased reseller loyalty by ensuring better margins for those that initiate sales opportunities
- Larger deals priced in a more consistent manner
- Improved record keeping and compliance with government regulations and industry standards
- A better understanding of how business is trending overall
Why Have a Deal Registration Program in the First Place
The primary goals of having a deal registration program are intended to provide better visibility into the channel and effectively streamline communications to your partners. Deal registration can be an exceptional catalyst that can spearhead a profitable relationship between vendor and partner.
However, with a flawed implementation, deal registration can be an absolute nightmare for partners. Lengthy, ambiguous, and cumbersome deal registration processes can easily lead channel partners to frustration. In addition, channel conflict results in mistrust when partners fear that the information they provide to the company might be used to undermine their business pursuits.
Preventing and/or mediating channel conflict is one of the greatest challenges for manufacturers with multi-tier channel distribution strategies. In addition to energetic rivalries and competition among channel partners for their piece of the market pie, channel conflict can include collisions between a manufacturer’s own sales force and its channel partners. Best deal registration practices mitigate such channel conflicts.
These best deal registration practices hope to help you establish a program that will help eliminate the main source of channel conflict; by guaranteeing priority of a sale to the partner that registers it first.
Top 12 Best Deal Registration Practices for Overcoming Channel Conflict:
1.) Set Overall Objectives and Strategies
Commit fully to a channel sales strategy. So, if your partners are uncertain about the credibility of your deal registration process, they will be likely reluctant to share sales information. Partners don’t want to be undercut.
2.) Show Executive Support
Good intentions will count for nothing if channel partners rely on your company’s commitments. It all starts with establishing cut-and-dry standards for qualifying deals. Therefore, articulate the rules of engagement for opportunities that involve the vendor rep. Provide visibility into the approval and payment process and set clear expectations for the processing period.
3.) Set the Time Frame:
In order to ensure that an opportunity does not stay open-ended indefinitely, set a reasonable deal expiration time frame. So, allow your partners the opportunity to re-register a deal if it becomes active again.
4.) Play fair:
Avoid conflict between your direct sales and channel partners and protect partners from engaging in predatory conflict with each other.
5.) Modernize, Automate and Implement
Traditional deal registration practices have involved a set of document files used to collect data. However, moving the process to a web-based application can remove the extraneous steps. Automating the process can ultimately give you the tools to eliminate any channel conflict.
6.) Integrate Channel Programs
Market experience shows that deal registration programs are more effective when fully integrated with other channel activities such as POS data collection, opportunity management, co-op management or special pricing requests.
7.) Reward Value-Added Selling, Discourage Deal Poaching
Require partners to demonstrate competence in reselling by establishing minimum criteria for them related to technical training or verified support levels delivered to end customers.
8.) Prevent Duplicate Registrations to Reduce Conflict
In order to receive the benefits of deal registration and reduce channel conflicts, require partners to provide comprehensive information about each deal—customer details, descriptions, quantities, dates, etc.
9.) Create and Enforce Program Rules Consistently
The value of a deal registration program lies in the credibility perceived by your partners. Therefore, if they do not trust that the information they are submitting will be safe, they may not feel comfortable disclosing it to you. In order to maintain credibility and eliminate any channel conflict, maintain and follow the rules you have set up.
11.) Comply with Antitrust and Price Discrimination Laws
Moving your program to an automated deal registration software and a web-based system allows for easier monitoring and compliance with the rules that businesses may not think about every day.
Provide regular reporting on all deal registrations in progress so that your partners are in the know. The benchmarks for successful deal registration programs are sensible and straightforward.
Targeting these goals will make your company’s objectives transparent and establish greater communication with your partners. Companies that have thoughtfully carried out the aforementioned criteria end up with an improved and powerful deal registration program that not only boosts the company’s bottom line but more importantly, sets the foundation for long-term channel partner loyalty.