A good partner programme benefits everyone involved. Manufacturers and distributors can gain access to new markets and customer bases, and partners get the benefit of working directly with product experts.
This blog looks at ways to make relationships across the channel more efficient, so everyone gets maximum value from their partnerships.
It’s easy to look at resellers, distributors and manufacturers as separate and distinct, but to maximise efficiency everyone needs to work as cohesively as possible. And that's where education comes in.
Resellers need to be in a position to offer end users the best advice and to communicate the value propositions of the different technologies.
They should be an extension of the pre-sales and sales teams, and be equipped with the training to represent the product comfortably.
This puts them in a strong position to sell more quickly and easily - while boosting end user satisfaction.
How many sales are lost because resellers don't have the right information about a product?
Introducing effective communication between parties means resellers are confident talking about the latest technical specs and innovations. Monthly or even weekly updates (depending on the category) gives resellers the ammunition they need.
An efficient pre-sales system where the reseller and distributor teams can work out a spec helps keep the momentum in the sales process. And giving parties an easy way to view pipelines, stock availability and order progress supports better customer service, forecasting and reporting.
Resellers often have specialised knowledge of a particular sector, such as healthcare or legal. Working together on marketing campaigns, for example, with co-branded whitepapers or sponsored events, can help to improve everyone's reach in these niches.
Plus, sharing resources can save everyone time and money, and can ensure end users receive effective and consistent marketing messages.
There are also opportunities to collaborate on the delivery process. For example, if the product involves remote programming before installation, can distributors do this and ship direct to the end user? This speeds up invoicing and payment in addition to improving the customer experience.
Manufacturers and distributors should regularly review their partners, benchmarking them against each other to identify who's excelling and who's struggling.
Taking the time to understand what's driving performance will save everyone money in the long run by focusing investment on the appropriate support and training.
More efficiency leads to more sales and happier end users.
Ultimately, improving efficiency in the channel is about working a together to drive sales. With the right approach, everyone can boost profitability while delivering a better service to the end customers.
- When manufacturers, distributors and resellers collaborate and communicate efficiently, the entire channel benefits.
- Investing in training helps resellers promote products and manufacturers promote their value propositions.
- Pre-sales systems and order tracking help everyone manage the pipeline, forecast and deliver a better service.
- Coordinating simple things like remote programming can knock weeks off invoicing processes, increasing efficiency and helping with accounts receivable.
- Benchmarking with accurate data helps manufacturers and distributors review partners and provide the best support.