Channel Champion Blog

by Tamra Muir

One thing we can all agree on is that certain ‘hunting behaviors’ have their place in the channel and should be appropriately rewarded. A well-designed deal registration program with a system that partners find ‘user-friendly’ can be a valuable tool to properly motivate the hunters in your channel ecosystem and provide tremendous visibility and insight into the business.

There are a number of conditions that might cause you to implement a deal registration program. Here are a few for you to consider:

  • Poaching complaints from partners:  Partner A complains that they did the solution selling and Partner B came in at the last minute and negotiated on price alone making the deal uncompetitive for Partner A.
  • Poaching complaints about aggressive vendor sales reps:  Partner C complains that a hungry (but partner unfriendly) vendor sales rep they brought in on the deal later decided it just had to be a direct deal.
  • Pipeline issues:  Visibility to pipeline is poor for the vendor and forecast accuracy levels are low but partners fear sharing deal details during the sales process. This is most notably experienced when the reward for sharing is zero/low and risk of poaching is high.
  • Farming mentality:  Perception that partners are ‘farming’ not ‘hunting’ meaning they are just waiting for the phone to ring and not actively seeking new customers.
  • Adding coverage:  A desire to undertake ecosystem expansion (like adding DMRs, e-Tail) or expanding product authorizations within the existing partner ecosystem. By adding additional partner types that make lower levels of investments and no mechanism like deal registration, there is the risk that existing partners with advanced certifications may be disadvantaged and could lower future focus/investment.
  • Understanding total partner contributions: Partners that have tremendous influence on product use but are not actively engaged in fulfillment may not be recognized for their real contributions to the vendor business without a mechanism to register their activity.
  • Reward-specific but limited behaviors:  Certain solutions that require advanced technical or sales skills may warrant focus and additional margin rewards.

A lot has changed in the channel over the past few years, but most of these business conditions have been issues for a couple of decades. Recent improvements in deal registration program parameters and tools make it easier to tackle these long-time business inhibitors.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tamra Muir
Tamra provides consulting services to help IT companies improve their channel results. By formulating comprehensive channel go-to-market strategies using benchmarking to identify gaps in best practice, her focus is on driving improvements to partner programs that in turn deliver strong bottom line results.  She has an outstanding record of achievement distinguished by driving profitable channel expansion using her keen understanding of global channel business imperatives.  As a result of holding diverse leadership roles across the channel for nearly 20 years, she built a background across hardware and software vendors in sales, marketing and operations.  Her experience includes over 13 years with a global distributor as well as extensive channel work with both VAR and LAR/DMR. Utilizing an MBA and CPA, she spent a number of years building analytical skills by working in various accounting roles including Price Waterhouse Coopers. Tamra can be reached at tamramuir@earthlink.net.