Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Why Channel Development

In a sales environment, buyers are reached at different times and in different ways. The idea that direct sales is your only avenue of reaching customers, building relationships, and driving sales is no longer true. Customers can be reached through many different channels while still preserving loyalty and brand. By developing the proper channels, you can reach more customers, gain more exposure, and ultimately drive more sales.

A true channel sales program is an extension of your current sales model. You want to establish a channel program that rewards, motivates, and supports your brand. Here is a list of effective ways to build your channel program:

• Establish a competitive reseller program
a. Commissions
b. Recurring revenue
c. Bounties
d. Exclusive Offers
• Develop Channels / Recruit resellers
• Prepare the proper reseller collateral
• Create reseller kits (sales sheets, product slicks, catalogs, reseller pricing distribution part numbers, contact information, reviews, etc.),
• Manage reseller database and Partner Relationship Management (PRM) software
• Invest in market development (MDF) and Co-op funds to increase channel sell-through.
• Education programs for your products
• Sales contests and rewards
• Create a Channel Management Team

It is also important to stress quality over quantity! An effective channel program is one that is manageable. The better you are able to manage your channels, the more effective the channels will be for you. Putting together a team that can help drive the channel and support their needs is essential to your success.

As your channels grow, your sales strategy may change. Your direct focus might be more vertical or heavily defined while your channels go after a broader reach of the market. An effective channel sales program gives you the freedom to test new strategies and go after new markets. Enabling you to further grow your business.

No comments: