“I work with all of the carriers, and [none of them] will not let us sell an account just because the direct team has ‘registered’ it. They run on an ‘ink wins’ policy and the account is only protected after the customer signs up with the direct team and is then considered an existing customer. Of course nobody wants the direct team reaching out to our customers to close the deal and cutting us out, but that doesn’t mean that if the customer was registered by direct that we cannot sell it.”

I am aware of two practices: one is lead registration, and the other is “ink wins.” Before this, I’d never heard of a hybrid policy where agents could register leads to exclude other agents and direct salespeople, but direct salespeople could not register leads to exclude others from poaching deals.

When I was first planning our Channel Partners Program, I interviewed dozens of master agents. One of the key issues they identified was lead registration: they reported that some other vendors would “poach” leads that agents were pursuing, and in some cases when the agent asked for a quote, the direct staff would immediately call that customer directly to bypass the agent. I designed our program to prevent this, and to include a transparent lead registration process (our sales team and outside agents can all query against our customer and registered-lead database in real-time).

What’s your experience? Does this make sense?