There comes a point in time when vendors need to move from an in-house managed MDF program to one that can offer more. Automated MDF program management can reduce excessive administration time burdens, accelerate manual claim to expedite payment turnarounds and enable automatic activity and performance reports rather than relying on a spreadsheet process that has become cumbersome.
For optimal efficiency moving to an outsource service is often the way forward. You will find that you immediately benefit from:
- Faster turnaround times in MDF program management – benefiting both program administrators work hours and pleasing the partners with faster claims and payments.
- Preconfigured business processes moving everything more promptly through stakeholder touchpoints and program lifecycles.
- Centralization of information in one location with data standardization permitting seamless report recalls.
But it’s key to select the right vendor partner for your organization and in doing so you should consider these four tips:
- Requirements. Sometimes, when we start talking with clients, they don't have a clear idea of what their requirements are. This can result in specific prerequisites being unearthed later on in the solution deployment. So: pull together the rules of the road for your program. A document that you can share with your field stakeholders and channel partners to explain who is eligible for MDF, what activities can be funded through the program, how to obtain funds and the processes around it etc. 360insights provides vendors with a template to enable the requirement documentation.
- Reach criteria. Understand the geographies you want to support, the approval processes related to your programs and the steps involved in this. How your partners earn money or funds in order to apply them to MDF and finally what are the payment requirements associated with them. Again, the right vendor partner should help you map this out.
- Best practice guidance. Not all MDF programs are the same. I have managed them for companies as well as sold them for multi-providers and I don't know that I have ever seen any two MDF programs alike! I think most vendors who believe that their MDF program is like everybody else's would certainly benefit from best practice guidance. As such the vendor you choose to take your MDF program forward should base the development on your go-to-market needs.
- Regulatory considerations. MDF programs are subject to a variety of regulatory considerations from the FTC in terms of pricing practices, accounting practices and global business regulations around anti-bribery and anti-corruption. As your program grows so do these considerations. Therefore, the system and partner you choose must be able to help you conform to all required regulations.
In conclusion, I hope these four tips are useful in your consideration for moving your MDF program to a more seamless, scalable operation. But as I said before: please remember you and your MDF program are unique to your business requirements and consequently so should be the vendor partner you select to help your future journey.
By Craig DeWolf, VP Marketing Enablement, 360insights