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It’s natural to expect that the dealers who sell your company’s products will compete with each other for the same customers, isn’t it? After all, sales is by nature a competitive endeavor and the most successful sales organizations get that way by going after every opportunity they can discover. For companies like yours, however, that market their products partially or entirely through a network of independent dealers and resellers, the law of the jungle should not necessarily apply in the indirect sales network. This is because when channel partners compete, your company loses. Let’s take a closer look at what happens when multiple channel partners go after the same customers:
The “honeymoon” period with channel sales partners doesn’t last very long. At first, they might be excited about the opportunity to sell your products and they foresee a profitable relationship with your company. But, as the relationship progresses, if there are barriers in place to new channel partners reaching their customers with your products, they will quickly get frustrated and start to wonder if they made a mistake choosing to sell your brand. This is a classic case of lost channel partner mindshare. Because your company is difficult to work with, channel partners naturally turn to competing brands with easier processes for communication and collaboration. There are ways to get them back (by optimizing the indirect sales channel for increased sales) but how can you avoid losing channel partner mindshare in the first place?
For emerging growth companies, developing and maintaining a smoothly functioning and profitable indirect sales channel is critical for achieving business objectives. It’s the “growth” portion of that phrase where the channel really makes an impact. Often, indirect sales through a network of dealers, resellers, or VARs are the quickest and most efficient way to grow a business. For companies looking to grow from medium or small sizes into major players, with an eye toward going public, success in the channel is dependent on their ability to:
LogicBay Corporation, a leading provider of Partner Relationship Management (PRM) solutions and the cloud-based Performance CenterTM partner portal technology, is pleased to announce an agreement to launch and deploy their Performance Center technology as the training and development solution for Hewitt Equipment Co.
The indirect sales channel is especially critical for emerging growth companies. Because emerging growth companies (the term usually refers to companies with annual gross revenues less than $1 billion) need to scale quickly, the channel is often an ideal solution. For emerging growth companies, the indirect sales channel represents a way to expand their sales into new territories without expending the resources to build the sales infrastructure necessary to deploy an internal sales team. But selling through a network of sales channel partners brings with it certain challenges that don’t exist in the indirect sales model. There are two basic types of indirect sales channels:
Partner relationship management (PRM) software is a cloud-based system that optimizes the working relationship between a company and its indirect sales partners. By indirect sales, we mean the independent dealers and salespeople who partner with a company to market its products or services. They may also sell other brands, including products and services that compete with each other. That’s what makes the relationship so complex. Indirect salespeople are not your employees – they have their own individual agendas and motivations – so communication and collaboration require special management tools, such as PRM. Since indirect sales partners are generally an integral part of your sales force (in many cases, your only sales personnel), effective partner management is essential for success.
LogicBay Corporation, a leading provider of Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Partner Relationship Management (PRM) solutions is pleased to announce the deployment of the Performance CenterTM technology to manage the learning and development needs of the employees of Daimler Trucks North America.
In today’s computerized age, most companies make use of customer relationship management (CRM) software to manage sales and keep up with their competitors. CRM has been proven to be an effective – although not always all-inclusive – tool for organizing sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support. Most CRMs, however, are designed to work in the direct selling environment, a company’s internal sales force and sales managers. Many manufacturers and other companies use indirect sales partners to augment – or replace – their internal sales team. Can CRM systems handle the indirect sales process as well as they do direct sales?
LOGICBAY’S CLOUD-BASED PERFORMANCE CENTER PRM TECHNOLOGY TO DELIVER A GLOBAL DISTRIBUTOR TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM FOR UK MANUFACTURING BUSINESS
One of the main components of effective lead management is clearly setting the boundaries for all sales channels. This is accomplished by requiring internal as well as your partners’ sales personnel to register new leads and provide updated information about their progress in converting these opportunities. In this way, dealers can protect their “turf,” eliminating the possibility that another dealer will try to sell the same product to the same customer. Such a scenario can cause big problems: channel friction, not to mention lost profits.
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