Channel Partner Strategy is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a strategy that you employ to ensure best returns from your channel partners. These channels include all the avenues where you can sell your products, whether it is retail or online.
In the pre-internet era, it was easier to formulate these strategies as you could simply focus all your resources on the best channel partners in the local markets. However, now we have so many options that manufacturers aren’t limited in how far they can spread their product.
That is why it is important to keep the majority of your focus on selecting the right partners. Since investing in the wrong channels can lead to more losses than you would want, and no one even dreams about losses in their worst nightmare.
You can do it right by conducting market surveys beforehand. This will tell you a lot about the kind of market you want to reach, the players that can reach that market, as well as their ability and willingness to put your products above all others.
This also gives you an insight into the workings of your competitors in the market. You can use this data to strategically determine the pricing and discounts on your products. This way, not only you undercut the competition, you also make it easier for your channel partners to sell your items.
An important thing to keep in mind though is that just because you are signed on with a particular channel partner doesn’t mean that your job is over. In fact that’s when the hard part kicks in. As you now have to worry about making sure that they have the right tools for selling your products.
These tools can take the form of a lot of things. The most common being hands on training provided to the sales staff of your channel partners. This is an herculean task, but yields a lot of benefits in the long run. Since the easier it is for them to understand the product, the easier it will be for them to sell it as well.
The training period directly depends on the complexity involved in the development of the product and the number of stock keeping units you carry, which is why you should also ensure that the literature provided on the products is easy to understand and obviously labeled as well. You might think that these little things don’t matter. But often times the final sale can be influenced by how easy it is to read the specifications.
If you don’t want to get involved in such lengthy operational tactics too early, then you can always substitute it other incentives. These incentives can come in all shapes and forms, with the end goal of motivating the sales people to reach a bit higher.
However, the more your business spreads so will the final burden of these incentives on your pocket. So be careful with how you value the work that your channel partners do.
That’s all it is, assigning value. The better you understand the value, the more you have to gain.