Implementing Your Channel Strategy
You have decided you want to sell via distributors, or you have revised and realigned your channel partners to better meet the needs of your business objectives and customers. Now, you need to implement the strategy so that your channel partners are successful. You need to give them the marketing and sales tools that they need. You need to continue to talk and support them. Finally, you need to be open and honest about the relationship. If you do this then you are likely to have positive results from your Industrial Sales Channel partners.
Summary of Actions:
- Analyze your channel strategy – does it align with your business objectives and your end users’ needs?
- Determine whether your channel provides the coverage you need geographically and by industry
- Investigate alternative or non-traditional channels for distributing your product
- Conduct annual relationship planning meetings with channel partners – review & revise mutual objectives
- Revise / renew channel partner agreement – define relationship
- Rate your channel partners Monthly / Quarterly based on criteria that are important to your business – communicate results and reward, encourage or realign goals
- Choose the best partners to continue working with and eliminate non-performers
- Realign pricing as needed to encourage / discourage actions and to maximize profits
- Evaluate current marketing programs and budget for supporting channel marketing programs
- Implement new marketing programs or provide sales tools to support channel partners
I have learned a great deal regarding distributor relationships over my twenty plus years of industrial marketing. Much of this came from my experience of working for and with distributors, reps and integrators, and some from individuals that I have worked with along the way like our Distributor Sales Manager when I was at Reliance Electric, Wayne Huron. If I can pass on my experience and assist you in growing your business through channel marketing, please let me know.