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Diligently Updated, Deal Registration is a Data Goldmine

Properly set up, deal registration can sweeten deals for both reseller and end-customer, and help edge out competing vendors.

Relayware Partner Relationship Management

Diligently Updated, Deal Registration is a Data Goldmine

Deal registration is now an accepted practice in more than 90 percent of B-to-B vendor organizations. It's one of the first features listed in any channel program, since prospective partners want to know that they can stake claims to specific opportunities in exchange for their sales calls and other marketing efforts. Deal registration builds vendor-partner trust and helps encourage channel growth. But it can do more.

Properly set up, deal registration can sweeten deals for both reseller and end-customer, and help edge out competing vendors.

Not just high-volume, low-margin, phone-based channels, such as CDW or Insight, but all high-tech vendors should encourage their channel partners to register deals. Vendors should offer their channel partners incentives not only to register deals, but also to update them periodically through the sales cycle. Points-based rewards for these updates can help establish good habits at a reasonable cost.

Who did you beat to make the sale? Who did you lose to? Why?

Deal registration forms, accessed via your partner portal, should include fields beyond company contacts and deal size. Further details can provide intelligence useful to marketing and product development. Instead of predicting customer demand based on previous years, sales teams should use this information to tease out precisely why and how a deal was won, by whom, what was purchased, with what promotion, and even which companies and vendors were competing for the business.

Make it easy, incremental and as painless as possible for your channel partners to add these details. Hook data entry to a content rich databases like Relayware offers. Offer drop-down choices wherever possible as well as pre-populated fields for customer data and promotions, and clone-able orders so partners can simply make changes to fit each deal. Sell channel partners on the process by showing how the information can be leveraged to devise persuasive cross-selling and financing offers.

Also make sure your PRM integrates with your CRM, which Relayware’s CRM Connector provides, so you have deeply connected information.

Deal registration can also give you earlier notice of shifts in customer preferences and priorities. They can serve as a reality check against trade media and trade show hype: Is virtualization actually impacting network hardware yet? Have education-related deal registrations picked up or dropped off, and if so, where and why? There's potential opportunity in the purchasing factors or obstacles you uncover; has a school system won a grant? Are retail customers defecting from dedicated hardware to cloud-based POS?

By the same token, a detailed description of a registered deal can alert you to attempts to make unauthorized sales. This could be, for example, because a partner may lack training or certification on that product, or be working a market segment that's reserved for direct sales.

As partner relationship management systems grow in scope, vendors and partners should learn to see deal registration as more than protection against channel conflict. It's also a way to keep each other updated and equipped to capture the largest possible share of your market.