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Vartopia Update Helps Resellers Register Vendor Deals Without The Headache

An update to vendor deal registration network Vartopia helps resellers grow gross profit and cut back on headaches by streamlining the deal registration process.

The network is designed to ease some of the headaches involved with client deal registration through individual networks and help resellers grab hold of missing margins, Vartopia CEO Michael Reilly told CRN. Reilly said that, while many of the VARs he talked to said they assumed their sales team was registering seven to 10 deals a month, they were actually only registering an average of 1.9 deals a month. Considering the average deal registration brings in approximately $5,000 in gross profit, that gap is significant to the bottom line, Reilly said.

"Deal registration is such a critical component to the overall channel program; a significant portion of overall profitability is tied to participation in registration," Reilly said. "From a reseller perspective, I was looking at the margins that were being left on the table."

[Related: Dell: Simpler Deal Registration Program Is Coming ]

The product is picking up steam with partners, with 100 resellers on board as well as 11 major vendors, including Cisco, Citrix, Dell, EMC, HP, Microsoft, NetApp, Symantec and VMware. The latest 4.0 update to the system, announced Thursday, adds the ability to test out the waters of the system to see if it fits with the rest of the business before plunging in.

"You don't have to change anything you do yet. We take a crawl, walk, run [approach]. It's a journey to 100 percent," Reilly said.

The product is available through a web portal or can be integrated through an existing CRM system, including Salesforce and ConnectWise.

Reilly said the problem now with vendor deal registration is that there are simply too many transactions involved, with little visibility after submission. On top of that, there is an immense amount of training involved because each salesperson needs to be trained on a whole slew of systems.

"Every vendor system is different, the data sets are different, the organization is different, so unless the reseller has an army of people dong spreadsheet Olympics, it's pretty challenging to stay on top of this," Reilly said. "And you can't manage what you can't see."

Harry Zarek, CEO of Ontario-based Compugen, a Vartopia customer, said that the network helps to lessen the administrative burden involved with vendor registration. He said Compugen has three full-time employees that are dedicated fully to tracking registrations, which is very expensive.

"While ... our vendors love it, they have no concept of the administrative burden it puts on us to try and register and submit registrations, get it approved, then track opportunities until we win, then file for payment," Zarek said. "It is a brutal process and very time consuming, and vendors sort of wash their hands of it."

Reilly said Vartopia appeals to vendors because it provides them with pipeline visibility and insights into partner profit, and it allows the vendor to work more cooperatively with partners. Zarek said that if enough VARs and solution providers jump on board of this trend, it can act as a "competitive weapon" to get even more vendors to commit to the single-pane-of-glass system for deal registration. In fact, Reilly said that 15 percent of his resellers refuse to say they are using the product in any form because they don't want to share the tool with their direct competitors.

The key aspect of the product for resellers, Zarek said, is its ability to help the sales team work smarter, not harder, as their company fights falling margins. Zarek said that instead of selling more software volume to compensate, it makes more sense to get the fullest possible margins on existing deals instead.

"The reality is, there's gold in those opportunities if you can, for the same opportunity, increase the margin quite a bit ... working smarter is they key way to do that," Zarek said.


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