Pipeline Management is a fundamental best practice in predicting future revenue and profitability.  It also helps management assess the effectiveness of products, sales reps, and current marketing and sales campaigns.  While Pipeline Measurement is common for any World Class direct sales force, channel partners are absent from the equation. 74% of vendors who receive over 40% of their revenue from partners have no pipeline tracking for this group.

 

Indirect Channel Management Channel Partner

 

“My channel partners don’t share that data with me,” One CM explained to us, “their reps don’t have the time or resources to track their sales opportunities”.  He’s right. Most Channel Partners don’t track their opportunities because they see no benefit.  As a Channel Manager, your job is to make it worthwhile to your channel partner.

 

One of the best solutions we’ve seen for Indirect Channel Management forecasting is Deal Registration.  Deal Registration occurs when a Partner notifies the supplier of a lead and receives priority to close that lead within a set amount of time.  The supplier is notified of a potential opportunity, and in exchange grants exclusivity for limited time to the Partner. The Partner doesn’t have to compete with other channel partners on the deal, who would inevitably hone in and turn the opportunity into a pricing war.  With a well-executed deal registration model, Channel Managers get a much better view of their pipeline, and eradicate much of the channel conflict that comes with overlapping territories.  Also, the Vendor can provide resources to increase the Win rate, such as Sales Engineers or Marketing Materials. 

 

Key Takeaway: An effective Deal Registration program is a win-win for any Vendor with a large amount of revenue deriving from partners.  The Partner gets more revenue from increased closed rates, and the Vendor get more transparency. 

 

Indirect Channel Management Process

 

Here’s the criteria to look for when choosing Partners for Deal Registration rollout:

 

  • They are in the top of your 10% of Partners.
  • You represent over 35% of their revenue.
  • They are competing against other partners and need/want exclusivity.
  • You have a valuable and trustworthy relationship

 

 

Channel Managers, have you implemented a Deal Registration program with your vendors?  What were effects?  I’d be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

 

If you’re not sure about who would be best to participate in a Deal Registration program, you may need to look for some new channel partners.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Drew Zarges

Helps small business owners overcome their biggest sales and marketing challenges to accelerate revenue growth.

Prior to joining SBI in 2011, Drew worked in the intermediary investment sales world. During that time, he worked his way up the ladder from client service representative to leading and coaching his former company’s sales team on the west coast. At SBI, Drew has served some of the company’s most prestigious accounts as a consultant. For these clients, he successfully executed everything from sales process and lead generation projects to highly technical account segmentation work. He now serves as the General Manager of SBI OnDemand, a unit dedicated to applying the firm’s battle tested concepts and projects to the small business community.

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