A major challenge of working with an indirect sales organization is how to motivate its members to sell your products harder than the other brands they're selling. Your sales channel partners need to perceive an advantage to pushing your brand more fervently than others that distract their time and attention from the sale of your own, and this can be instilled starting at the partner on-boarding process.
Every brand a dealer represents occupies a slice of their limited time and energy they have available for selling. To increase indirect sales, your company’s goal should be to grab as big of a slice of their pie as possible. In channel management terms, this is referred to as mindshare. It can also be thought of as brand alignment. How can you secure the maximum level of attention from your dealers to sell your brand, and ensure they use that attention to generate valuable relationships with your customers? The answer is simply by gaining mindshare. More mindshare equals more indirect sales.
Engagement: The Key to Increasing Mindshare and Increasing Sales
How do you gain mindshare? Here, there is a commonality with managing direct employees: engagement is the key. Finding ways to engage your indirect sales team is one of the most effective channel partner performance improvement strategies. Engage your teams (direct or indirect), gain their mindshare, and watch your sales increase.
How to Increase Indirect Sales Partner Engagement
The following processes and tactics will aid in creating an engaging atmosphere:
- Channel partner onboarding process
- Conflict management
- Market development funds (MDFs)
- Training and certification
There is much to be elaborated upon for the above six concepts, and each are equally integral to acquiring maximum mindshare. Below is a resource that will dive in and flesh them out in accordance with the goal of driving channel partner sales.
How Can You Tell An Indirect Sales Partner Is Engaged With Your Brand?
When your channel partners are engaged with your brand, they:
- Are more effective and timely in selling your products
- Thoroughly understand your products and way of doing business.
- Feel supported in their selling efforts.
- Feel empowered to communicate with your company and collaborate to improve sales processes.
Supporting your partners is vital for a healthy relationship. Dealers, resellers, and VARs naturally choose to do business with companies that are easygoing and drama-free; and will correspondingly dedicate more mindshare to them. Supportive channel partner relationships result in a symbiotic relationship of mutual benefit and synergy from both sides.