Perfect Your Deal Registration Process in 7 Steps

Updated May 22, 2024
Published in Deal Registration

The deal registration process is arguably the most important component of a partner program — it’s a direct reflection of partner-sourced revenue. And often, partners are compensated heavily for the deals they submit.

So why is it so hard to get them to participate?

There could be many culprits, but most deal registration issues boil down to:

  • Poor partner recruitment
  • Misaligned incentives
  • Inconvenient deal registration intake
  • Lack of vendor-partner communication

In this post, we share seven steps to develop an airtight deal registration process (or streamline an existing one), with tips from partnership pros, Raegan Wilson, VP of Go-to-Market Ecosystems at Spur Reply, and Antonio Caridad, Head of Global Partner Operations at Tricentis sprinkled in.

deal registration process

How to Set Up a Deal Registration Process That Actually Works

1. Recruit the Right Partners

Reexamining your recruiting strategy may feel like you’re taking a big step back. But here’s the thing — you won’t get highly qualified deals if you haven’t recruited the right partners.

The wrong partners don’t have the right network, the right reach, or the right influence.

If they don’t have those things, all the training in the world may not get them to a point where they can introduce your product to their customers, sell your product directly, or co-sell your product with your sales team.

And even if they do have all those things, they still may not be a fit if they don’t have the right business model.

Raegan warns, “Deal registration doesn’t apply across all partner types. So that means you have to be conscious of your partners’ selling motions and not force them to do something that won’t benefit either of you in the long run.”

So, before you start developing or revamping your deal registration process, take a moment to review your partners and compare them against your ideal partner profile (IPP).

If you don’t have an IPP, here’s how to make one. If you’re struggling with partner recruiting, read: Partner Recruiting: What It Is and How To Do It.

2. Develop Strong Incentives

Partners have a lot going on. To get them to submit a deal registration, you have to give them a good reason to do it.

Maybe deal registrations are the way partners enter a co-selling motion with your sales team. If that’s the case, you’ll need to reward partners for bringing the opportunity to your attention — like a portion of the closed-won contract value.

Or, maybe deal registrations offer your partners exclusivity. If that’s the case, you need to keep that promise and potentially add something extra, like preferred pricing.

Whatever you do, choose an incentive that will actually motivate partners to act.

Raegan says, “Partners have to understand the benefit of your incentive, otherwise they simply will not bother. Make the incentive something they can’t refuse and stick to it.”

3. Make Intake Easy

You need information about a deal to approve it, but you don’t need to collect every detail. You’ll be hopping on a call with the partner (and potentially the end customer) for discovery soon enough.

So don’t bog partners down with an arduous intake process. Instead, make it as frictionless as possible:

  • Display a link to deal registration on your portal home page. According to Raegan, it should only take one click.
  • Limit the number of fields partners have to fill out. Don’t ask for information that doesn’t help you qualify the deal.
  • Use straightforward language on the deal registration form. Jargon or internal terms can be confusing to partners, slowing down the deal registration process.

And be sure to follow up as soon as possible. Antonio expects his team to acknowledge a deal registration within 24 hours, and approve deal registrations with their internal deal desk in 5 business days or less.

“First impressions matter. Getting a sync on the books quickly shows that you’re both committed to the partnership and have a highly organized program.”

Note: You shouldn’t have to do the work for your partners. Logging deals for them keeps them from learning to do it themselves and ultimately makes your program less scalable. If you find yourself consistently completing deal registrations on their behalf, you may want to consider recruiting other partners, or taking a deeper look into your incentives and overall deal reg process.

4. Emphasize Teamwork

It’s easy for partnerships to become a tit-for-tat game. But what you really want is for partnerships to feel like a team.

Antonio explains, “The best partnerships come from being proactive, from showing partners that you do what you say you’re going to do. From giving them as much information as possible. And more than anything, from helping the partner accomplish their goals.”

How does that play into deal registration? It’s all about framing. Antonio says:

“I try to signal deal registration as a way of encouraging transparency. The less visibility we have into their pipeline, the less informed we are, and the less we can help them. If they register deals, we can share knowledge, co-sell, and close opportunities together.”

A good way to show your commitment to teamwork is to follow their process to a tee.

Don’t be the typical salesperson scrambling at the end of the quarter and registering 5 deals with little to no information or strategy behind them. Make a point to adhere to their rules. Send opportunities early. And offer some thoughts on how to approach the deal together, taking your strengths and their strengths into consideration.

5. Stay in Touch With Partners

We’ll say this outright — it’s hard to do this step without being annoying.

Antonio wraps deal registration into his regular touchpoints.“I pull up the pipeline in every partner meeting and come from a place of‘How can I help?’”

For example, if a partner’s behind on their deals, he says something like, “‘I’m seeing some of these deals are taking longer to close than others you’ve won. What resources can I put in front of you to make sure we’re not at risk of moving this deal to next quarter?’” It’s a very ‘help me, help you’ approach.

You might also suggest having a broader strategy session with SMEs from your organization and the partner’s organization. They may point out additional joint use cases you didn’t know about or propose an alternate pitch that could push the deal over the finish line.

Another great way to get everyone on the same page is to create a robust partner business plan at the beginning of every year. Revisit the goals you set out every quarter (or even every month) to measure your progress and find ways to close any gaps.

6. Institute Internal and External Rules of Engagement

Rules of engagement outline and set expectations with partners and with your team. A good way to write up these guidelines is to go through the deal registration process yourself and set SLAs at every step.

Deal Registration Acknowledgment

After a partner registers a deal, how long do they have to wait for you to tell them you received it and are reviewing it?

Antonio tries to stick to a 24-hour SLA: “If you think that’s fast, I’ve heard of acknowledgment SLAs of 15 minutes. Partners deserve to know that you’re on top of everything and are paying attention to what they send you.”

Consider using a partner relationship management tool to help you manage the process. Tools like Channeltivity notify you and your team of new partner deals as they are submitted.

Deal Registration Acceptance

Don’t waste your partners’ time. Have a solid internal deal approval workflow that allows you and your team to accept or reject new deals swiftly.

Raegan recommends making your deal requirements visible to partners to minimize the number of unqualified deals that you get. “Talk about deal registration criteria in your partner onboarding and make sure partners can’t game the system.

For instance, if your minimum deal size is $50,000, and you get 3 new deals that day that are exactly $50,000, they don’t understand the point of a minimum threshold. Make sure the why behind your criteria is clear.”

Data Sharing and Communication

If you’re co-selling with a partner, you need to get on the phone to discuss a plan of attack. And partners are expecting you to move quickly.

But chances are, many people will have a stake in a partner-sourced deal closing. To accelerate the process, make yourself willing and available to assist during the sales cycle, and ask your partner and your team to keep deal statuses up to date — especially if you’re using a partner portal. That way, you and your leadership team have an accurate picture of partner deal pipeline at any point in time.

We’ve already mentioned this, but it’s worth repeating: remember to respect your partners’ rules of engagement, too. If your partner asks for an introduction to one of your existing customers, for example, try to complete it within a few days — even if their SLA is a little longer.

Deal Registration Commission* 

*If your deal reg program pays commissions instead of discounts on purchase price:

After a deal closes, how long do partners have to wait to receive their payouts? Where should they expect to see the money? Is there a way for them to track their payouts in your portal?

Answer all of these questions in your rules of engagement, include them in your onboarding, and make them easily accessible to partners in your partner portal.

7. Gather Feedback on your Deal Registration Process

You may build what you think is the best deal reg process in the world, but you’re not the one using it day in and day out.

Regularly eliciting feedback from your partners can help you identify areas for improvement and address them before they get frustrated.

Antonio explains, “Nothing in partnerships is set and forget. Deal registration, like everything else, needs to be an ever-evolving process. You’re constantly tweaking and enhancing to create an ideal partner experience.”

If you’re building your deal reg program from scratch and already have a few partners, consider them advisors. They’ll be the “customers” of your process, so ask them questions like:

  • What have other companies done to simplify deal reg that you’d like to see us implement?
  • What are some examples of what not to do when designing a deal registration process?
  • Going through this pre-launch version of our process, what could be smoother?

Besides giving you the information you need, involving partners as you develop your process makes them feel valued and considered.

And #8: Implement Your Deal Registration Process with a Robust PRM

There’s one last thing you need for a streamlined deal registration process: a partner relationship management system (PRM).

PRMs will collect and store deal registration information, sync deal records with your CRM, and help you monitor deal progress from qualification until close.

Channeltivity takes these features a step further, incorporating customization and automation at every step of the deal registration process. It has:

  • Flexible deal workflows
  • Fully configurable deal forms
  • Automatic deal assignment (so partner managers know immediately when one of their partners submits a deal)
  • Indicators to show which deals came from MDF-funded activities or have an outstanding action item blocking progress
  • Automatic deal registration activity notifications and expiration reminders
  • Customizable dashboards to display relevant deal data

On top of all this, Channeltivity includes all the other partner enablement, channel sales and channel marketing functionality you need to run a successful partner program.

Think Channeltivity might be the PRM for you? Book a demo to see how deal registration — and all of our other modules — can transform your partner program.

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