In a partner ecosystem, a distributor or (distributor partner) is a business that serves as an intermediary between vendors and resellers in a channel partnership. These sellers can include value-added resellers and system integrators. Distributors are in charge of procurement and payment between vendors and resellers.
Distributor partners are especially important for vendors who need support running their channel program, whether because they're new to the industry or because they have a very high volume of sales to manage. Aside from payment and procurement, distributors can also take on further roles in educating resellers on products, providing presale training or demos, or assisting with contract negotiations and marketing.
Example: Fireforce had a distributor to bring their software to resellers, educate them on its use, and accept payment on behalf of them. This helped Fireforce get their product to more resellers since the distributor could handle the direct management of the reselling process.
Deal registration is a formal process common in reseller programs that ensures when a partner brings forward a new potential customer to a vendor they have the exclusive rights to pursue the sale, close the deal and earn additional partner rewards. It is a way to ensure other partners (or even the vendor themselves) do not compete with other partners by pursing already active leads.
Deal registration is a benefit to both the vendor and partner. For the vendor, it serves to incentivize their program partners to bring in new business leads and avoid conflict between channel partners and internal sales teams. For the partner, it protects their time investment as they pursue a potential customer.
Deal registration programs vary from vendor to vendor. Some deal registration programs may require that the partner has already met with a potential client or set up a meeting between the client and vendor.
Example: Clark, who is part of a VAR program, finds an appropriate potential customer for the vendor. To secure the potential customer, Clark submits a deal registration form with the prospect’s details to the vendor.