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Channel Sales Strategy: Support and Motivation for Channel Partners

B2B or Business to Business channel distribution consists of a different kind of business relationship. Vendor and reseller are of equal standing and generally have the same objective and that is profits. Resellers are not dependent on vendors because they can ally themselves to other parent companies without batting an eyelash.

Vendors have the responsibility therefore to provide support and motivation to their channel partners in order not to lose their loyalty. This should be a part of their channel sales strategy. Support and motivation need not always be financial although majority of motivation is the incentives attached to the partnership.

How can vendors offer motivation?

Open Communication
Just like in every relationship, open communication is key to addressing issues that could breed increasing damages. Informal communication line is recommended and encouraged to build rapport. Using web 2.0 tools like social networking sites, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. are channels of communication that are now acceptable in the business world. In having open communication, resellers can open up about issues they encounter and through efficient channel management, questions are answered as soon as possible.

Channel Auditing
Regular check up and evaluation of the channel partners ensures that goals and objectives are being reached and that the organization is right on track. Questions to ask are: Are the sales teams reaching their quotas? Are the products meeting sales expectations? Are competitors’ sales greater than their own company? How much time is spent on sales? Is the price or margin too high or too low? Etc. This is a great channel sales strategy to prevent future conflicts and problems. Of course after auditing, the vendor has to provide solutions and recommendations to resellers on better improving their sales activity.

Channel partners are given a contract before they represent the vendor’s products but the recruitment is just the start of a hopefully long and productive relationship. Vendors are responsible for fast and easy turnover of incentives. In today’s high tech world, vendors use partner portals to facilitate a lot of channel sales activities including incentives distribution.

How can vendors offer support?

Product Development
While the product is meant for end consumers, the reseller should also have inputs on future product development. Their experience with different customers offers a bird’s eye view of the overall customer response and not just a limited perspective. They can represent the customers and offer valuable feedback on possible improvements or add-on features.

Sales training for new products is important for the success of a channel sales strategy. For VARs or Value Added Retailers, this is especially true since they deal with vertical market products or products that are highly specialized that only a niche market of which are mostly business institutions as well have the ability or necessity to buy the product. Sales teams have to be especially knowledgeable if questions come up.

For more information about channel sales strategy, visit us at www.channeltivity.com

A graduate of Computer Engineering and loves to travel. Reading current news in the internet is one of his past times. Taking pictures of the things around him fully satisfies him. He loves to play badminton and his favorite pets are cats.