By the last month of the quarter, our sales pipeline had grown tremendously and we experienced a sales spike of over $10 million – an excellent return on our investment in CMR. More partners were signing on to the system every day and our revenue growth was accelerating nicely.”
David Grazio, Director, Channel Marketing, Jabra
Along with its Jabra headset brand, GN Netcom is a world leader in human interface solutions for mobile computing, communications, and entertainment devices. With 4,800 employees and numerous sales offices around the world, GN Netcom develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of wireless headsets and speakerphones for mobile users and both wireless and corded headsets for contact center and office-based users.
Driven by a commitment to mutual respect, investment and shared success, GN Netcom is dedicated to building and maintaining strong channel relationships.
In 2008, the company’s channel marketing team was using a SharePoint-based Web form to enable its resellers to submit information about pending sales that they wanted to register.
“It was a very simple text form,” said David Grazio, Director of Channel Marketing for GN Netcom. “Partners would type information into the appropriate field, hit submit, generate an email to our sales group and someone would review the email and either approve or deny the request based on that basic information. But since everything was manual, we couldn’t do any tracking or reporting from an automated perspective. The process was cumbersome and not intuitive by any means.”
Grazio and his team started looking for an automated solution that would minimize channel conflict and allow them to reward partners who were willing collaborate more closely with their channel sales group.
“We had partners competing against each other on the same deals and same opportunities. We needed a way to provide competitive advantages and extra support to qualified partners who demonstrated a willingness to register pending deals with us and provide us with competitive information and granular details on their customers and their purchasing plans.”
GN Netcom managers had made a promise to their channel to implement a new, automated deal registration software and reporting system by a certain date.
“Our rollout schedule was very aggressive and we were really impressed with the response that we got from CMR’s professional services team. They did their homework up front and thanks to their ultra-fast response, it all came together on time and within budget.”
Deal Registration Incentives Motivate Partners
Partners who participate in the Jabra Deal Registration Program receive extra discounts and competitive advantages on the opportunities they have registered. They get access to additional sales resources in the form of joint sales calls and product demos, and dedicated sales assistance in closing deals.
“A lot of resellers are hesitant to share customer information with manufacturers because they’re afraid we’re going to take business direct. On the contrary, when we work together as a team, we can apply the right level of marketing or sales support to increase the chances that the partner will win the deal. Close cooperation also makes it easier for us to execute an action plan to win the business away from competing manufacturers, so everyone on our extended channel team benefits. When we help partners understand the advantages of registering an opportunity, they are more motivated to work with us and the sales process advances much more smoothly.”
Automated deal registration improves sales forecasting and manufacturing planning, Grazio explained.
“Every now and then you receive an order for a thousand units that nobody knew about it and that creates operational challenges. When we have to ask manufacturing to produce a thousand extra units, that can be difficult for them. Obviously, we prefer to have earlier advanced notice about large orders and deal registration helps us do that.”
Best practice deal registration programs offer many competitive advantages, he added.
“Most partners that do business with us either sell competitive solutions or work with other manufacturers in our industry in some way. If you want to play in our league, you need to have a strong channel support structure and strong channel programs. Deal registration is one of the critical elements and key components of that. If you have superior solutions such as those provided by CMR, they become differentiators that help you attract more partner business.”
Multi-Million Dollar ROI
“With professional support from CMR, we rolled out our new deal registration program in the summer of 2009,” Grazio revealed. “We provided training to all of our key channel partners and our channel sales team and promoted the new program through Webinars and special marketing materials. In the first month, we saw an immediate and substantial increase in registered deals that resulted in millions of dollars of new opportunities added to our pipeline.”
Within 60 days, more and more partners were having success with the program and that gave Grazio’s team more credibility and legitimacy in the channel. The program was working well and the best partners were being rewarded for identifying new opportunities. Those who didn’t participate found out that they weren’t eligible for extra discounts and dedicated sales resources, and very soon the importance of the program was solidified.
“By the last month of the quarter, our sales pipeline had grown tremendously and we experienced a sales spike of over $10 million – an excellent return on our investment in CMR. More partners were signing on to the system every day and our revenue growth was accelerating nicely.”
Management Reporting and Analytics
“In our new CMR-enabled system, the reporting capabilities are significantly deeper than what we had before. We now have detailed dealer registration reports that display opportunities across all partners or break them down by individual partner over any date range we want. We can also sort by territories and sales reps and we can do analyses by products or product lines.”
Grazio produces high-level weekly reports for senior management to monitor channel trends, and shares other details with members of his sales team to keep everyone informed on opportunities in the pipeline. This valuable management tool enables sales managers to reinforce channel programs internally and externally.
“Just as our sales directors use the system as a key management tool, our partners’ sales teams, managers, directors and vice presidents can do the same. It provides them with better visibility and management insights that clearly demonstrate the benefits of working more closely with us.”
Flexibility, Scalability and Usability
“Our business is always evolving and we often receive requests from partners about modifications they would like us to make to our programs. Fortunately, CMR’s Partner Avenue platform is very accommodating when we need to make changes and enhancements. Often, this is more about subtlety and nuance in how our programs are managed and administrated,” Grazio said.
GN Netcom has hundreds of channel partners of all types and sizes ranging from direct marketers to traditional value-added resellers, consultants and distributor sales people. In some cases, there are hundreds of reps in an organization. The Jabra Partner Deal Registration System has been configured for use by all of these different types of companies and is highly scalable.
“The feedback from our channel sales team and partner personnel has been extremely positive. They love the user interface because it’s simple, intuitive and easy to use, and because every partner has 24×7 online self-service.”
CMR’s solutions including deal registration software, are delivered as Web-based SaaS applications that are securely hosted and supported by the industry’s recognized channel management automation leader.
“This system and the channel programs it enables have helped us strengthen our partner relationships and allowed us to build greater mindshare and market traction to successfully grow our business within our partner accounts. We’ve gained more focus and loyalty from them, and we now have a greater ability to motivate, monitor and manage our future channel growth.”