Deal registrations are the key to channel visibility and, therefore, to accurate channel sales projections. The first key to getting partners to register their deals is to acknowledge this value proposition for yourself. Obviously, the better you can see what’s in your sales pipeline, the better you can forecast your partner channel revenue, and the more productive your indirect sales channel will be. So, essentially, you’re buying this valuable visibility from partners. The question is: how will you compensate them for their efforts?
Start by providing the right carrots and minimizing the sticks.
By “sticks” I mean the obstacles to registering deals. How easy is your deal registration process? Do partners have to guess what your deal registration form is requesting? The faster they can satisfy your requirements, get in and get out, the more likely they are to bother with it – and to feed you good data. Streamline the process by requiring only the essential info and ensuring your deal registration form is glitch-free.
And don’t forget about the carrots. Create the right incentives and disincentives as appropriate, for example:
- “Your deal is not protected if it’s not registered”
- “Get extra points for registering”
- “Approved deal registration = better discounts”
Communicate those carrots clearly, thoroughly and regularly.
You won’t find any VARs who like registering deals, but they do recognize the value. You can further reinforce that value for them by making sure the system feeds back their information clearly and accurately.
Be disciplined in your use of the carrots and sticks.
Vendors also have to be consistent with the deal registration rules and process. Deal registration by the partner has to be a non-negotiable requirement. If you’ve ever told a partner, “Oh, I know what you’re doing…I’ll just register it for you,” then you’re supporting partners in generating incomplete channel visibility. You have to require it, and you have to make sure you don’t help partners to not register their deals.
Increasing deal registration ultimately boils down to establishing relatively few rules, making sure those rules are easily understood, and that they’re applied consistently. If you set it up correctly, the obstacles to registering will be minimal and the rewards will be worth it.