The deal registration program is currently available to Gold and Platinum members of Xerox's reseller program. Resellers register deals on an online portal. After Xerox approves the registration, partners make the sale and are then eligible for new rebates from the company.
"It shows our commitment to the channel. Lots of channel vendors are doing this, why not on the printer side?" said Tom Gall, director of value channel marketing for Xerox. "No one else [in the printer space] has really been doing it so we hadn't felt the pressure. I would expect that now that we're doing this and promoting it, that potentially could change."
According to VARBusiness research, 76 percent of vendors in its Partner Program Guide had deal registration programs. When participating in deal registration programs, partners most often cite beating the competition and increasing margin opportunities as reasons why they participate in deal registration programs, according to data from Everything Channel's IPED division.
Deal registration will give smaller Xerox partners a level playing ground with its larger resellers and direct market partners, Gall said. "Once they register a deal they're protected. We're not going to offer that support whether its rebates or other support to any other partner. The intent is that folks take the time to promote Xerox at their account, we want to reward them for bringing that deal to Xerox," he said.
While a competitor like CDW may still win the business after a partner has registered a deal, if the partners has done a lot of the back-end work like product demos and sales calls, the registered partner will still be eligible for the rebates, he said.
"If you're a small partner and you do all that work, CDW comes in at the last minute, they win the deal and you're left with nothing. We're saying if you do the work we're going to reward you for that. We want you to bring incremental deals to Xerox -- new customers or new opportunities within a customer," Gall said.
The enhanced margins available through back-end rebates should also appeal to partners, he said. "There's margin pressure in the imaging business and resellers look at all kinds of ways to maximize their margins and here's another way to do it. Folks that are promoting Xerox and generating demand for Xerox are going to be rewarded."
For Kevin Morse, senior partner at Questing Hound Technology Partners, Deerfield Beach, Fla., the program is a wise move for Xerox.
"I think really its about time Xerox came to the partner channel with deal registration. We're excited about it. I think it really rewards the partners that are out driving the Xerox business. We've been really loyal to Xerox in the printer and multifunction market. The last thing Xerox wants is channel conflict and this is one way to put this to bed," Morse said.
His company has a few pending deals that he intends to register, and he said that in what's becoming a tighter market, programs like this can help Xerox maintain reseller loyalty.
"It's just another way to let the partners know that they're supported and that they support the channel," Morse said.