What is channel management?

Channel management is the process by which you make your products or services get to the final customer. This process can be very simple, when the manufacturer sell directly to the final costumer; or it can be a lot more complex, when it involves wholesalers or resellers, for instance. In a very simple way, channel management involves the management of all your company’s products or services distributions, which in a B2B scenario includes a partnership management.

Strategies for managing partners

Information

A good balance between your company’s needs and your partner’s needs is the foundation for a good partnership, so that both parts are satisfied and gain profit. This balance is often obtained with the sharing of information (lots of information). The more information you give your partners, the better they will be able to promote your products or services. However, it is necessary to pay attention to the kind of information that is given. Because, a lot of times, the partners receive so much information that they don’t even know where to start. So, more than providing information, it is very important to offer guidance. This way you guarantee that your partners, additional to having access to the information, know when to and how to use it. A good way to make sure that you have your information organized is creating repositories where you lay it all out, from technical guides to sales procedures. So the partner has access to everything he needs in an organized way.

Understanding the partner

The best way to understand the ideal way of helping your partner to promote your products or services, is understanding what drives their business. For example, a lot of times what brings more profit to the resellers isn’t necessarily the solution they sell, but the after sale support they provide. This is why your company needs to speak to each partner individualy and adopt the best strategy so that both parts are productive and are happy with the final results.

Lead sharing

Even though one of the reasons you start building partnerships is to expand a company’s reach by trusting a partner to sell in a certain region, the truth is in todays days, where there is so much online information, the potencial customers tend to look for it directly in the source. In this sense, a good strategy would be to triage the leads your company receives, so that the ones that fit your partner go to them. Also, your company becomes more attractive to future partners, because receiving qualified leads is, more often than not, the main request of a partner.

Sharing sales strategies

Even though each company has its objectives, reaching them is a team effort. And, a strategy that works well for a partner, ia a strategy that most likely will also work well for another partner. Having an open line of communication between everyone involved can be a serious help in increasing the relationship between the company and its partners. Besides that, it also helps the less successful partners to feel supported, by giving them the push they need to improve their sales.

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