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The Closed Loop Vision for MDF Put into Action

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The dream of every channel executive is to have closed loop funds management, revenue tracking and ROI reporting systems for MDF marketing expenses. It is exciting to imagine the possibility of being able to link every dollar spent on channel MDF with closed incremental revenue and measurable (e.g., 10:1+) ROI. There are so many technical, operational and systematic barriers to achieving this vision through a typical indirect channel that it seems like too daunting a task to tackle. Each vendor has its own unique constraints, including outdated technology, lack of integration into distributor POS systems, and lack of alignment of reseller incentives for reporting.

The best way to start is a map of the ideal process and supporting incentives that will make this vision a reality for your channel network. Don’t constrain yourself with your current systems and policies. Start with a process design that requires and rewards accurate real time tracking and reporting of leads, deal progression, pipeline, and closed revenues / shipment data. This process should tag and monitor these deals through all the layers of your indirect channel to be able to track deals at any stage of the sale and provide good pipeline and closed revenue reporting. This process strategy is the master and your technical systems and policies are slaves to this master. Commit to a strategy that will get you the information, tracking and performance reporting you are looking for and work to configure your systems, policies and incentives to meet your strategy.

If you are open to a fresh look at your end-to-end tracking and channel revenue recognition process, you may not be as far away from this vision as you think.

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