Reducing Channel Conflict with Deal Registration in Salesforce

By Liz Kao, Jon Paz

Salesforce can help you deal with channel conflict. Without a well-thought-out PRM process, companies often run into channel conflict when their direct sales and indirect sales forces butt heads over who found which lead first. As the channel manager, you often have to waste time arguing with a direct sales rep and her manager over who has dibs, while the prospect waits for the internal bickering to stop.

This isn’t an efficient way to close a deal, and it’s frustrating for the customer to often hear multiple messages (or even price quotes!) from what’s supposed to be a united front. In addition, if the partner loses out on that opportunity, you’ve just lost some of her trust in how supportive you really are in her efforts — so why should she reveal her pipeline data early or adopt your processes?

By taking the time to design a deal registration process, concisely and consistently communicate the status of deal registrations to partners, efficiently carry out the approval for all submissions, and then be able to measure related conversion and close ratios, you can eliminate channel conflict.

The deal registration capabilities of Salesforce Communities help provide clarity on what your deal registration processes are from start to finish, which can increase adoption of your partner program and help increase partner sales because the channel conflict inefficiencies disappear. However, this setup can be successful only if you invest the time to think out your deal registration process. If you have a hard time explaining it or whiteboarding it, how do you think your partners feel?

Here are some key questions to ask before establishing any deal registration program:

  • How would you describe your deal registration process, from start to finish?
  • What do partners get for registered deals? Exclusivity? A rebate? A different tier or status?
  • What do you think would increase deal registrations?
  • What information do you need when a deal is registered? Balance your quest for knowledge with the partner’s patience in filling out fields.
  • What’s your process for approving deal registrations?
  • What criteria do you evaluate to determine who officially owns a deal?
  • Does this approval process work the same for all partners? For which categories would it be different?
  • What metrics matter to you?