Studies on How Today’s Channel Partners Really Think
- Sourcing or selection IT related products or services has shifted. Studies show that up to 90% of technology products and professional services sourcing begin with or use a search engine.
- Historically channel partners tend to spend less time, effort, resources and investment in marketing than other industries. But for the factors above, now must make marketing a higher priority, or risk failure.
- Review the vendor’s alliance strategy and help them engage with partner vendors to create a unique and compelling product offering.
- Develop a partner selection and performance measurement model to aid the partner recruitment and management process
- Tailoring channel programs is a must in order to achieve partners/vendors long-term strategic objectives, and/or addressing short-term tactical issues. A variety of different channel methodology must be applied to each specific channel situation in an ongoing basis in order to continually improve or monitor channel performance.
- Provide sales training (basic and advanced) for channel managers to improve their engagement with and influence over key partners.
- You must be able to analyze market demand and define the ideal depth and breadth of partners to achieve your desired outcome. Assess your existing or prospect sales channels across four key attributes: channel coverage, product commitment, channel commitment, channel capability.
- Customers are on average 57% of the way to making a purchase decision before they initiate any contact with a sales representative.
- According to The Challenger Sale, by Dixon and Adamson from the Corporate Executive Board (2011), the key is to teach buyers something new about their business that they did not already know. In order to win the rational and emotional side of your B2B buyers, share critical, relevant, and urgent insights about their business– before you share anything about your business. Of course, what you teach them must lead back to your unique value and proven solution.
[/ezcol_1half_end]How Suppliers Should Manage Their Distributors
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- The research also shows that measuring and managing the supplier-distributor relationship can optimize distributors’ performance. Before that can happen, though, suppliers must overcome two difficult challenges: managing their brand when they reach customers only through a third party and recruiting and retaining talented people on another company’s staff.
- Gallup found that only four in 10 consumers could name one of the supplier companies’ brand attributes correctly.
- Supplier firms can’t mandate management policy to a distributor, but suppliers can share best practices and resources with partners in a mutually beneficial relationship.
- A Gallup client found that distributors with high employee engagement delivered 1.4 times more revenue than the average distributor, and those reporting high employee engagement and high customer engagement outperformed others by more than $200,000 per distributor.