The 9 Most Important Channel Sales Tips
What Are Channel Sales?
Channel sales can be vital to the success of a company. What are they? They’re key to the process of getting your product on the market. This is usually done by dividing up your company’s sales operations. This allows management to focus on various selling methods. For example, a shoe company could use channel sales to sell their shoes by way of:
-in-house sales teams
Channel sales include 3rd parties that sell your product/service to their customers. Using a network of channel partners can boost your company’s revenue. Here are the three main channel sales partners:
All three provide a wide reach for companies. Each will go out of their way to get your products in front of the right prospective buyers. Here’s another benefit of channel sales. They serve as a cost-effective platform to expand into new markets. This saves your company the cost of having a local operation.
The 3 Main Benefits of Channel Sales
Channel partners already have an established presence. This means they’re well-known and respected by local customers. Thus, they’re already marketing their brand and showing off their value. This will allow your company to reach new customers. When doing so, the initial cost will be low. This will make it easier for you to expand into new markets and regions.
This will be the case as long as you have an established channel model. That model should feature:
Scaling improves when you add more channel partners. It will give you some relief when you know a partner manager is taking care of many partnerships. This will give you revenue that otherwise would have come from an in-house sales team.
It’s essential that your company connects with the right network of local partners. They will assist you in establishing presence in new regions/markets. The initial investment is usually cheap. Think about all the things that you WON’T need to do:
-You won’t need to manage new offices.
-You won’t need to do local advertising.
-You won’t need to incorporate new companies.
-You won’t need to manage new companies.
-You won’t need to hire people in remote locations.
9 Most Important Channel Sales Tips
Here are the key tips that will benefit your company.
1) Offer resources that clarify your brand’s message.
It’s important for your company to create a sales toolkit. This toolkit should get distributed to all your partners. It will serve as a reference when they state your value proposition. It should also help speed up sales growth. Here are the main resources to include:
-platforms for messaging
-white paper access
2) Make your company’s content smartphone-ready.
You’ve got to break information down into simple terms. This is about more than people being able to read information on their phones. This also applies to sales reps. They don’t have time to read fifteen pages of information. Their experience should be like your customer’s experience- practical. This will help them integrate concepts into their daily work at a quick pace.
3) Open the lines of communication 24/7.
Make the effort to contact channel partner sales reps almost every day. This will help the reps understand how to make more sales. Sometimes ask if it would help for your reps to make the sales for them. But be sure you let them know that your goal isn’t to take business away. That’s why you’ve got to make an effort to build trust with channel partner reps. Consistent collaboration will lead to the improvement of sales numbers.
You must make sure to always honor your commitments to your channel members. If you find yourself making promises you can’t keep, adjust your strategies. And do it fast. Your company’s reputation is at stake. The better your company’s image is, the more support you’ll receive. That support will come from your channel clients and connections. Remember, it’s your responsibility to resolve conflicts. Don’t let them linger. Find solutions so you can spend more time on sales solutions.
4) Create a network and expand it.
Geographical territory is what channel sales are usually centered around. One territory might feature tons of channel dealers. Those dealers can represent anywhere from one brand to dozens of brands. Networks of channel members are important. They can get used at any time to benefit a company in many ways. The more channel members in your network, the more success your company should have. And it’s all because of the likelihood that channel sales will increase.
When you network with channel partners, using social media is important. Have your company featured on all the major social media apps and sites. This will allow your partners to have daily interactions with prospects and customers. More partner interactions will lead to more channel sales.
5) Keep in mind which channel relationships are working and which aren’t.
This is for two reasons.
Always keep in mind that your distributors are entrepreneurs. They deserve your respect. UNLESS they violate it! Keep your focus at an even 50-50 when it comes to interacting with retailers and distributors. They’re both of equal value when it comes to to your company’s success.
6) Maintain strong motivation.
Your channel must stay motivated at all times. And what should they get motivated about more than anything else? Doing business with you! Keep the three R’s in mind when it comes to keeping channels motivated:
-Respect. This comes from the channel sales executive.
-Recognition. This comes from both managers and senior staff in the organization. They should recognize the hard-working efforts of channel dealers. They can convey how much they the dealers’ efforts mean to the organization. This can get directed through certificates and awards.
-Rewards. Many channel dealers get provided with a percentage or a value-based reward. These serve as key incentives to keep them motivated. Show interest in distributors on a regular basis. Compliment the growth of their business. This is prime motivation for them.
7) Marketing matters a lot.
Your marketing team must make a consistent effort to focus on the four P’s of marketing:
This will play a strong role when it comes to channel sales. Strong marketing keeps channels motivated. The more motivated they are, the more control you’ll have over them. What happens when your marketing efforts are lackluster? Your channel will lose customers to competitors. This will make your channel lose motivation fast.
The price of your product can’t be too high. It must get promoted in a great way. And- it can’t have any technical difficulties. Not following the four P’s will make your channel’s order numbers decrease.
8) Resolve conflicts fast.
Again, conflict resolution is crucial. Never assume you can operate conflict-free. Disagreements come with the territory when it comes to running a business. Channel conflict often revolves around one of two issues. It’s either price competition or territory demarkation. Both of which often stem from a bad apple. You’ve got to determine who that bad apple is and resolve your differences fast. If you can’t control the person, you may need to stop doing business with him or her. Otherwise, your channel might collapse.
Try not to overreact when conflicts occur. In fact, conflict can sometimes be a good sign when it comes to channel sales. It means your product or service is getting a lot of traction. But recognize the difference between healthy conflicts and those that are toxic.
9) Collect payments on time.
Sales is one of two key aspects when it comes to channel sales. What’s the other? Collecting payments. Here’s why doing so is important. Manufacturing companies are often centered on a profit-center-module. This means interest gets applied when payments aren’t collected. The interest goes straight to your profit center. That’s when you run the risk of your margins getting brought down. That’s why you should attempt to provide a turnover target to managers. This might save you more money than a margin-based target. Do your best to make sure that your dealers are collecting payments on time. Otherwise, issues centered on liquidity will take place. This will lead to the dealer having to pull out loan money from banks. Next thing you know, there will be a lot of interest. That interest will hurt your profit margins.
Your company may be missing out if it’s not participating in channel sales. Consider getting involved in them so you’ll be in a position to increase your revenue. You’ll expand into new territories and dominate the competition. Don’t hesitate to contact Billions in the Bank if you have any questions about sales. Be sure to check out our other articles about sales techniques and advice.