Deal registration continues to be the number one reason that we see our customers implement Partner Communities. Several years back, my colleague Jason Dickinson wrote an excellent blog about three different ways that you can implement Deal Registration in Salesforce that still rings true today. Here, I will focus on three deal registration best practices that we’ve learned from the past eight years of implementing Partner Portals and Partner Communities on Salesforce:
Keep your forms simple
Registering a deal should be fast and easy for partners to do. Ask your partners for enough information to validate that the partner is involved in the deal and identify which discounts they are eligible for, but not so much information that they have to wait to register the until later in the sales cycle or are filling in nice-to-have information (they won’t). If you want to encourage partners to register deals early and often, be realistic and build your deal registration form around the kind of information that partners will have early in the sales cycle, such as who the prospect is (company name and location), who you are selling to at the prospect (name, title, contact info), the approximate deal value, if budget has been allocated, what product family they are interested in and if there are any competitors. Use Data.com to populate additional information about the company.
Encourage your sales team to communicate with partners using Chatter
If your sales team is used to using Chatter to collaborate with other sales team members on direct deals, encourage them to treat the reseller like an extension of their sales team and communicate with them on the deal using Chatter. It is a great way to drive adoption of your Partner Community, allows your sales team to manage direct and indirect opportunities in the same way, and keeps the conversations related to the deal all in one place to give managers full visibility into what is happening on the deal.
Don’t count on partners to update their deals
Partners are actively managing deals inside of their CRM, not yours. Unless there is something in it for them (e.g. if your sales representative is communicating valuable information to them about the deal using Chatter), they are highly unlikely to login to the partner community and make updates. If someone from your sales team is working on the deal alongside the partner, they should be responsible for keeping the opportunity data clean instead of the partner. If your sales team is not involved in the deal, many companies will automatically set an Opportunity to Closed Lost if a deal has not been marked closed within 30 days of the deal registration expiring. A final option is to use a service like Vartopia that allows partners to create a deal registration from an Opportunity inside their own Salesforce instance and keep the two opportunities in sync.
There are certainly some exceptions to the above rules, based upon factors like the industry you are in, the nature of the sale you are involved in and the way your deal registration program is being structured but we have seen the above to ring true for the majority of our customers.
Want to Learn More?
Watch our 2-minute video on using Salesforce Community Cloud to manage your channel business, or consider downloading our best practices guide for creating a digital community to empower your partners.