Effective Channel Management
Are you managing the channel or is the channel managing you?
In many industries the path to the market involves other companies who provide services as an extension of your company’s sales offering. In some cases these companies are true partners who reflect the same values and services that you expect from yourself. In other cases they may be actual customers who view you as only a supplier of products or services to fill out their shelves or portfolio. How is your relationship with the channel defined? Are you the influencer in the relationship or does the channel drive the ultimate sales relationship with the downstream market? Effective channel management requires a fundamental understanding of these relationships by both parties, and appropriate actions must be taken to drive the performance of channel sales.
Determining the relationship with the channel starts with an objective analysis of how products and services flow to the market and where the influence lies. Slide 3 illustrates the Market Edge approach to analyzing channels by considering how channels are selected, how they perform and the policies required to track performance.
Through a combination of market research and our proprietary analysis tools we can graphically illustrate the size and influence of potential channel partners. Once channel relationships are agreed, leading and lagging indicators should be tracked to measure the performance and corresponding actions (e.g. offers, incentives, etc.) to be taken to drive desired performance. Having a clear understanding and agreement of the influence, values and performance expectations of each partner in the relationship can lead to improved sales and performance of the channel.