Good morning and afternoon.The three programs/tools that I will be sharing insights on today are Deal Registration, Global Payments and MDF/Coop.While there are a number of items on the agenda, our focus will be on practical best practices. These best practices are gleaned from direct interactions with partners, discussions with our clients and direct research that we undertake. Each month, we have more than 10,000 direct interactions with partners thru our help desk services and I am personally excited to share those insights today.
Briefly about hawkeye. Our focus is about improving the value of channel relationships between Vendors and their Distribution Channels. The three areas we accomplish this through is Strategy and Consulting, developing and managing Channel Programs and our most recent service offering around channel collaboration.
We have worked with technology vendors for over 13 years in supporting their channel. We started as Cohesion Marketing and have evolved, through our acquisition by Hawkeye Communications, into a global agency providing channel solutions for leading technology manufacturers.
Before touching on Best Practices, let’s step back a bit and discuss why should you consider deploying a Deal Registration program for channel partners?First off, almost everyone is doing it, which means chance are – so are your competitors.And partners use Deal Registration program to beat the competition, especially in strategic and/or big deal situations.Without going thru every bullet, there are a few primary uses/reasons for having a Deal Registration program:Reduce channel conflict – deal registration can clarify the rules of engagement and make it clear who is the deal owner that the Vendor is provided support tooEnable forecasting and early visibility into the partner pipelineGrow and win business, especially against competition and for a New customer
The vendor’s extended team needs, that includes CAMs, Finance and Distributors want, enhanced functionalities to make their life easier. This includes real-time visibility, workflow automation and business processes available in a more automated fashion.Specifically, these are the key areas we have heard is needed from these stakeholders.
Clearly defined …There are 5 key component areas needed for success.
Enforcement it important to develop trust with your partners in how to engage
GlobalizationInfluencers are an important group to consider in your deal registration program. Influencers are typically services centric with the objective to empower service opportunities, but typically do not take possession of the product itself. Resellers are solution centric, typically in a vertical area of expertise with the objective to leverage available add-on solution expertise and capabilities.Compensation – be able to match compensation to the partner role. For influencers, commission on the sale in the form of back-end rebates. For Resellers, aim for a point system where points can be used for reinvestment activities.
Let’s touch on a Client Success Story.
Solution providers – especially those that provide key links between vendors and SMBs – are still struggling in the current economy. Everything Channel reported just last year that ONE-FIFTH of North American Solution providers have gone out of business since 2007. Global payment systems certainly won’t solve all the economic challenges in the channel, but an efficient cash flow can certainly help many struggling businesses through difficult times. Let’s take a deeper look at global payment systems, their challenges, and one success story that saved money for the vendor and helped its partners “...Cash flow issues in the channel are coming up as a growing problem... ...for solution providers the trick to remaining solvent during the six to 12 more months it is going to take to see real improvement in the market is going to revolve around cash flow and managing costs.”
Primarily because joint campaigns between partners and vendors grow business.Joint campaigns extend the resources and budget of the partner, for your brand, to reach new customers thru that partner.Like we discussed with Deal Registration, your competitors are doing it. Nearly 60% of vendors spend at least 5% of their marketing budgets on MDF/Coop programs.
Both MDF and Co-op can be an effective use of channel support dollars if they are used correctly with the right kind of partners. MDF is most effective for partners who help create – or “push” – a product by specifying brand. Providing MDF funds allows these partners to spend ahead of sales, to enable them to grow the market. Typically the range of activities that qualifies for MDF is wide and manufacturer support is often discretionary.Percentage-based co-op programs are appropriate for partners who “pull” product through the channel. These kinds of resellers provide a predictable sales volume that lends itself well to a percentage-based model. With co-op, the advertising tools of these partners become essentially an extension of the vendor's own demand generation campaigns. It can be appropriate, however, to use MDF for “pull” partners when introducing a new product without a revenue run-rate until the flow of revenue is established.
Vendors should leverage co-op and MDF programsbased on the partner’s business model and the product or service life cycle. Services partners are good targets for MDF programs, for example, while co-op works best with fulfillment partners. Of course, partners who offer a mix of both service and sales can benefit from a mixed funding model. New product or service launches are an excellent use of MDF.
The point here is to establish metrics and measure to those metrics to understand the success of your program. There are six areas that should be measured, Program ROI, Program Utilization, Claim Activity, Fund Utilization, Approvals and Efficiency. I won’t go thru every suggested metric here, the presentation will be available for download, but do want to spend time discussing Program ROI.
Whenever discussing MDF with Vendors, the two questions that invariably get asked is how do I actually go about measuring ROI and what are some of the industry benchmarks that will give me a starting place to benchmark?Let’s first start with ROI measurement and there are 3 operational ways to measure ROI. The first is Ask. Ask the partner upfront when the request for Funding for a project is made on what the expect to do, aka Projected Results and ask the partner to provide results after the project has been executed. Of course the information is only as good as what is being provided so reserve the right to audit activities directly.The second is Data Analytics. Between Sales data, an understanding of the average product sales cycle, and typical MDF project information, we can compare sales after project execution, plus the average sales cycle over previous sales from a prior period without a project. There is the age old issue of external factors affecting the results, which could be mitigated by comparing “like” participating partners with “like” non-participating partners. The bottom line here is that data analytics can be used to measure, and is both an art and a science in how data analytics is executed.The last is executing “pre-approved” campaigns for partners. If execution is controlled, there are many mechanisms to automatically track and record results, which should be offered as part of the execution package.The following is a list of industry benchmarks to consider …
Because Un-used Funds equal lost opportunities for additional business, hawkeye is adding a service to it’s portfolio to enable vendors to increase utilization of funds thru a combination of direct awareness outreach and pre-packaged campaigns.
A lot can be accomplished thru automation of key enablement programs, including significant cost savings, as long as 3 rules are followed:
1. May 13, 2010<br />Vaughn Aust, VP Product Management<br />Enable Your Partners with Proven Strategies<br />
6. Solutions for the world’s leading companies.<br />4<br />You can depend on hawkeye to maximize your channel investments<br />2009 Hawkeye introduces PartnerConduit and SaaS offerings<br />Why hawkeye?<br />Channel focused. Strategic, experienced minds. Rare insight into emerging channel trends with a quest for game-changing opportunities.<br />Results driven. Flawless execution in translating strategic concepts into real channel solutions with a laser focus on results.<br />
9. What do partners want?<br />Deal Registration<br />A fast, responsive deal registration process supports the relationship of trust between partner and vendor that deal registration programs should help enhance. <br /><ul><li>Fast turnaround – no more than 24 hours
10. Online registration process
11. Simple & uncomplicated – no more than one screen of info
12. Vendor to monitor process and restrict use for “deal squatters”
13. Allow for longer sales cycles on some products without having to file for multiple extensions
14. Enforce the rules and protect the registrant</li></ul>Make sure the process is available online and requires the minimum amount of paperwork to verify that a real deal exists, then base future registrations on how much business is actually won. Don’t let one partner just list all the big opportunities, without working the deals.<br />Partner<br />
15. What do vendors want?<br />The vendor’s extended team needs enhanced functionalities.<br />Deal Registration<br /><ul><li>Sales territory mapping
16. Automated routing and status updates
17. Routing option for Special Pricing deals and standard Deals
18. Online review and approval available for all stakeholders
19. Mobile approval available, especially for the CAMs
20. Status updates and Routing emails are easily available in history
21. Financial compliance controls
22. Opportunities associated to distributors
23. Upfront discount processes linked to Distribution
24. Link final payment/sales data back to deal application