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Channel Effectiveness


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5 Steps to Effective, Partner-Centric Deal Registration. Driving business effectively through the channel can be a challenge for any sized company.

5 Steps to Effective, Partner-Centric Deal Registration. Driving business effectively through the channel can be a challenge for any sized company.

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  • 1. Channel Effectiveness5 Steps to Effective, Partner-Centric Deal RegistrationBy Penny O’Rourke, Bluewolf The Agile Enterprise
  • 2. The Agile Enterpriseexecutive summary white paper will provide an overview of the “An effective deal Channel Management Lifecycle for dealCompanies rely on partner channels to registration and the key building blocks to registration process canhelp them maximize profits, extend market achieve success.penetration, expand into new markets,reduce sales costs and serve customers dramatically improveas efficiently as possible. However, driving channel enablement visibility into sales, both is its own lifecycle for the vendor AND forbusiness effectively through the channel canbe a challenge for any sized company. Ascompanies try to increase volume through Typical customer relationship management the partner. It Makes (CRM) initiatives look at one, several orthe channel, productivity emerges as a all of the areas in Figure 1: from demand pipeline visibility AND forecasting much simplercritical strategic success factor. generation through sales automation, toThere is no shortage of terms, terminology customer service and support. Effective and straightforward.”and jargon in the channel enablement space: Channel enablement follows a similarsales programs, channel reviews, market process, although your partners have theirdevelopment funds (MDF), sales promotion own unique life cycle and a slightly differentincentive fund (SPIF), co-marketing, joint flavor in each sub-process.selling - the list goes on. However, there For example, in terms of a channel or partneris one area which matters most to both management program, demand generationpartners and the vendor: deal registration. considers how vendors find, recruit, andDeal registration is important because it on-board partners. The customer supportis about managing revenue, eliminating sub-process includes service entitlement,conflict, and measuring channel compliance. warranty and returns management.It is a top priority and the vendor’s Deal registration may be considered one ofresponsibility to accurately implement a the many sub-processes within channeldeal registration process that is both fair enablement, however, typically its scope wouldand transparent for partners. Additionally, touch several functions in vendors’effective deal registration allows the vendor and partners’ organizations: marketing,to understand the true merit of each partner inside sales, channel managers and executivewithin their network. This allows vendors to management. The scope of deal registrationpractically structure their overall program can be as narrow as asking your partner toand manage each channel partner to capture prospect information in a tool or it canmaximize value. be as broad as making your partner responsibleThere are a number of best practices for lead generation and qualification,involved with setting up an effective deal converting leads to opportunities, closing dealsregistration process for the channel. This and pipeline reporting. join the agile conversation contact bluewolf 1-866-455-WOLF | +44 (0) 118 937 1059 2
  • 3. CRM Customer Lifecycledeal registration: 5 steps Step 4: Determine Logical Hand-off andto building success Approval PointsLaying out a successful deal registration Step 5: Enhance the Partner’s Experienceprocess involves taking time upfront to with Advanced Quoting, Pipeline Visibilityconsider the varied needs of partners and Reportingand structuring a process that meetsboth your partner’s needs as well as yourown. Deal registration on its own is not step 1: segment your channela partner management (PRM) strategy. Segment your channel partners by keyDeal registration, however, is often the characteristics (size and role in the network,most contentious piece of a given channel geographic location, products and servicesstrategy, so correctly building a partner- they sell, success factors, etc.) and thencentric approach to deal registration can identify the unique needs (as a vendor andbe the difference in your channel strategy’s the channel partner) in the deal registrationultimate success. process. This step is critical, as companiesThe 5 steps to effective, partner-centric might find that different partner classesdeal registration are as follows: might have very similar needs, or conversely, partners in the same class and categoryStep 1: Segment Your Channel have very different needs due to variousStep 2: Define a Channel-Centric operational differences (e.g. the territorySales Process they operate in).Step 3: Identify the Partner ‘Do, One of Bluewolf’s global enterprise clientsSee, and Share’ Policy offers a great example of the importance join the agile conversation contact bluewolf 1-866-455-WOLF | +44 (0) 118 937 1059 3
  • 4. Channel Processof channel segmentation. Although they can we best support you in the selling andsegment partners into a number of unique marketing of our products?” This is not oneclasses, and the methods of administrating size fits all, so vendors should be diligentto each partner class is different, the deal about addressing the SPECIFIC needs of eachregistration process is exactly the same for channel segment.different partners within the same region. Itis a simple and short process, with only a few step 3: identify a partnerpieces of key information required from the ‘do, see and share’ policypartner. On the other hand, two re-sellers inneighboring countries who are managed by Information visibility rules. Constructthe same channel manager need to use very well-defined polices for administering todifferent deal registration processes because various accounts within your channel. Beone has exclusive rights to sell in a territory sure to keep the unique characteristicsand the other does not. of each partner segment in mind when defining policies for account setup, deal sharing and information flow, both internallystep 2: define a channel-centric with channel managers and externallysales process with partners. Can they see each other’sA clear, simple sales process is at the heart accounts? How about each other’s deals?of deal registration. Vendors should design Most vendors raise their eyebrows at thosea channel sales process based around questions but they also have to considerPARTNER needs, not vendor convenience deal sharing or two-tier selling. On theor ideas about what a vendor thinks the other hand, vendors and partners (withpartner’s needs are. To do this, start by which you share sensitive data) present aasking partners within each category, “How class of compliance and security risk that join the agile conversation contact bluewolf 1-866-455-WOLF | +44 (0) 118 937 1059 4
  • 5. organizations are increasingly required to Also, vendor specific approval might beaddress, driven by regulatory requirements required before a partner can offer a certainand standards. discount or non-standard terms and conditions. Clearly establishing a workflowVendors must also always consider the key for vendor approvals can reduce your closehand-off points in their sales process. It is time. Research shows that 80% of deals canoften the case that deal related information be approved without human interventionmoves between the vendor and the partner. by using simple business rules. Don’t makeVendors should outline their approach up the deal approval process more complicatedfront: identifying the key trigger points, who than is necessary. It is not likely that directneeds to be notified when, who receives vendor approval can ever be eliminatedregular updates, and what is necessary from any channel management terms of an audit trail. Also, determine However, establishing the proper timelinethe areas that might be better managed and workflow for hand-off and approvalmanually. For example, for a partner in points can eliminate much of the strain and/Norway who is registering a single deal once or delay of getting a deal closed.every 3 months, it is cheaper to collaboratewith them over e-mail instead of buildingand maintaining the necessary logic directly step 5: enhance the partner’sinside of your business system. experience — advanced quoting, pipeline visibility and reportingstep 4: determine logical Steps 1-4 are the foundation blocks for ahand-off and approval points successful Channel Management Experience.Deal approval is often another critical step Step 5 serves to enhance that experience, bymanaged by deal registration. Managing offering channel partners access to sharedchannel conflict is a major challenge for business intelligence. Depending on thevendors. From the vendor perspective, deal variations available to a vendor’s productregistration helps a company gain visibility and possible add-ons or services offered byinto a global pipeline and forecast. But from a channel partner, generating customer-the partner standpoint, deal registration facing quotes might be a complex process.ensures credit for a given opportunity. Common platforms and systems can make itIt also provides that there is no cross or easy to collaborate on quoting informationcompetitive selling happening by another and keep necessary documents within achannel partner or even the vendor itself. single repository. Cross channel dashboardsIdentifying the right point for partner deal and advanced reporting provide immediatelyregistration to occur helps alleviate and actionable insight into your customer andmanage this potential for conflict. channel mix. join the agile conversation contact bluewolf 1-866-455-WOLF | +44 (0) 118 937 1059 5
  • 6. close the loop with PRM applications for lead management, dealchannel partners registration and partner location (up from 5% in 2009). Gartner research also showsAn effective deal registration process can that organizations that enable on-demanddramatically improve visibility into sales, PRM will be able to capture more dealsboth for the vendor and for the partner. (more than 25%) through the registration customer highlightOnce all the steps for a deal registration process, as well as increase visibility of leads Adobe Systems Incorporatedprocess are in place, pipeline visibility offers award-winning software managed by their partners (more than 40%).and forecasting are much simpler and and technologies that have Both of these activities will help to make thestraightforward. However, just as with set the standard for vendor organization more visible to partners, communication and collaborationa direct customer sales cycle, closing create loyalty and increase collaboration for more than 25 years.the loop with your sales and marketing with partners.efforts is a critical step to any program’s challengesuccess. Vendors need to both measure Management and monitoringand manage the impact of their deal vendors cannot afford to sit idle of partner commission payoutsregistration programs and plan for sharing worldwide As outlined at the start of this whitethis information regularly with partners. • Complex product sets paper, deal registration is only a single,Vendors should also build in the ability for • Multiple disparate legacy although critical, component of any well- IT systemstheir deal registration process to change structured PRM strategy. Organizations that • Multiple Partner Portals,and adapt over time, as needs of both take the time upfront to lay out a clear, no unified processthe vendor organization and the partner • Internal resource constraints advantageous partner-centric approach tochannel change and react to ongoing deal registration are building an important strategymarket conditions. foundation which supports the entire Partner Portal structure of a channel program, but a for Deal Registration rolled out complete PRM strategy involves much more. to 300+ Partnerson-demand partner relationship A fully developed channel strategy contains • Phased by business unit andmanagement (PRM) solutions proper incentives, training, certification, product setThe channel enablement vendor market has • Integration to multiple systems communication, market development, andstruggled for years with traditional ERP/ results sales sub-strategies that all work togetherCRM providers offering overly complicated, • Provided one global partner to engage and drive loyalty from yourindustry-specific solutions, which all process and portal channel partners.require significant funding and resources to • Provided real-time, accurate data and reportingimplement. The emergence of on-demand With the recent global recession some • Enabled full auditPRM solutions has begun to capture the organizations believe the time is right compliance worldwideattention of vendor organizations across to take a break, reign in spending,different industries. According to Gartner, and stop innovating. Actually, this isby 2014 more than 20% of organizations completely inaccurate. Market slowdowns,that sell via channels will use on-demand or recessions, are not a time to stop join the agile conversation contact bluewolf 1-866-455-WOLF | +44 (0) 118 937 1059 6
  • 7. innovating; they are a time to invest in real your unique culture and organization to Call Today! 1-866-455-WOLFprocess reform. Partner channels represent develop a full range of channel solutions that or +44 (0) 118 937 1059an area for forward thinking organizations map to the entire life cycle of your partners. about us >to both reduce costs and drive growth. Bluewolf is your guide on the journey to * Partner Recruiting enterprise agility. We partner with clients to * Training Certification Management sync business and IT to create a new level ofbluewolf’s channel * Channel Compliance business responsiveness. From cloud enabledeffectiveness solution * Partner Account Planning customer life cycle innovation, to IT staffing, to agile managed services, Bluewolf knowsBluewolf has 10 years of consulting * Lead Sharing & Deal Registration how to get your business to the next level ofexperience and has helped customers * Marketing Developing Fund Tracking innovation. Our clients include Time Warner Cable, GlaxoSmithKline, ADP, Dow Jones &successfully deploy 3,000 on-demand CRM * Quoting Company, United Way, Chevron and more.and PRM portal projects. We are experts * Special Pricing Authorizationin both business process and technology * Warranty Entitlement Supportdevelopment. We offer a number of channel * Customer Supportenablement solutions and work directly with * Return Material Authorization join the agile conversation contact bluewolf 1-866-455-WOLF | +44 (0) 118 937 1059 7