Anyone who has ever worked in a sales environment knows the frustration and disappointment that comes when a big sale falls through — especially when a competitor swoops in and seemingly snatches the customer right out from under your nose. Despite your anger, though, there’s usually not a whole lot that you can do about it.
Unless, of course, you registered the deal that you were working on. In industries that rely on channel partners and resellers, such as IT, some vendors engage in a process of deal registration that protects their partners from losing sales to other resellers and even the vendor’s own sales team. Registering a lead is essentially “calling dibs” on it, at least for a period of time, and has a number of benefits to resellers.
Removing Competition and More
As mentioned, the most obvious benefit to deal registration is that it keeps a lead exclusive to your company. Most vendors establish deal registration programs as a way to reduce conflict within the sales channel; without such controls in place, there is nothing to stop one channel partner — or even the vendor itself — from undercutting the competition and offering the same equipment and/or service for a lower price, or otherwise “sweetening the deal.” By seeking priority on a lead, a reseller can focus on working with the customer and providing the best possible deal without worrying about what others are doing.
However, exclusivity isn’t the only reason that resellers should consider working with distributors that offer deal registration, such as a Cisco certified partner. Deal registration often comes with additional benefits, including:
- Increased profits. Most vendors offer partners between 8-15 additional points on the margin in exchange for registering deals. In addition, most offer other bonuses and other opportunity incentives to encourage deal registration.
- Assistance with the selling cycle. Because the registration process protects the deal for your company, the vendor is in a better position to provide assistance and can help you give the best possible service to your customers.
- Insight into your performance. As a channel partner, you probably already have a great deal of insight into how your company is performing, but with deal registration you can gather more detailed information about your performance with a specific vendor, and identify areas in which you need to make changes to processes or improve.
In short, while deal registration is technically another step in the sales process, it’s a valuable one.
Not a Perfect Solution
With the clear benefits of engaging in the deal registration process, why is it that only about 30 percent of qualified transactions (among all vendors) are actually registered?
With most vendors, deal registration is not mandatory. Because it’s an extra step — and the process isn’t always streamlined, and deals may take some time to be approved, many partners opt to skip the process in favor of making the sale faster.
Although it happens only in very rare cases, and usually because a customer requests to work with a different partner, there is always a chance that a deal registration could be denied, and some partners are reluctant to take that risk. In addition, deal registrations come with expiration dates, after which the prospect becomes fair game again, and partners that aren’t confident in their ability to close deals within the designated time may be reluctant to register right away.
Another reason that deals aren’t always registered is that partners are always in the loop about the incentives available to them for doing so. While many vendors do maintain effective communication with their partners to ensure they are aware of all current promotions and incentives, there are communication breakdowns, which in turn keep partners from registering all of their deals.
Other common problems reported by channel partners in regard to deal registration include inconsistency, in terms of adherence to registration rules and partners engaging with customers, and technical issues in using deal registration portals. That being said, though, those partners that do consistently use the deal registration process report increased earnings and smoother sales processes, which generally outweigh any issues.
The bottom line is that the deal registration process was created to help channel partners work more effectively with both vendors and their customers. Protecting your leads by officially registering them not only helps you manage competition, but it can also help you run your business more efficiently and effectively.