Distributors and Reps can have a huge impact on your business by helping you reach a larger number of people and increasing sales. One of the key challenges with developing strong channel partners is that often the manufacturer is only a fraction of their overall business. It can be very difficult to gain mind share. Especially if your overall sales potential is much lower than other suppliers. Ensuring that you maximize the time they spend with you and making their sales process as simple as possible will be important. The old saying, “sales guys sell what they know” is important to remember. The easier you can make it, the more productive they will be. To maximize their impact to your business there are a few steps to consider.
Make it easy for them to communicate your value propositions to the end customers
After elaborating the content marketing proposition of your products be sure to share this content with distributors so they can easily share it with end users. This includes slide decks, case studies and white papers.
It is important to have the latest information regarding pricing and technical specifications readily accessible to share with distributors in a timely manner. This can be achieved using an intranet or a partner portal.
Provide Support with Education & Training
Providing educational content to distributors can help them better educate their staff and their customers. Remember distributors are not just trying to sell products, they are trying to do so in a way that meets the needs of the customers better than the competition. For this purpose, high-quality, up to date information on the products is essential.
Whoever trains their partners the best will have an edge in the mind share game. Training simplicity is key. Simple messaging, simple content, delivered in bite sized pieces. Good thing to consider is how you can limit their calorie burn in understanding your value proposition to the customer.
Create and constantly update an On-boarding Kit
Whenever a new partner joins you want be sure to present them with an on-boarding kit that contains the necessary information they need like pricing, sales playbooks, cheat sheets, competitive selling info, training resources and contact information.
You can deliver this kit physically or digitally; the latter being preferred. Providing this information will have the added benefit of boosting the distributor’s confidence in their ability to sell your products and showing how organized and responsive you are as a partner.
Distributor section on website
In addition to a customer log-in portal you can set up a distributor portal to provide all of the content the distributors need to educate themselves and customers on the products and be able to drive sales.
On this distributor portal you can provide material such as pre-recorded webinars, training resources, etc. for them to access themselves when needed. Ensuring you are also available quickly when needed.
Listen to feedback and adapt
Keep in mind that your partners contact your customers directly. They have their attention and direct feedback from your end users. You can make better decisions by listening to the feedback your partners provide. This can range from content marketing to what kind of slides and case studies have the best impact on driving sales.
Source: GETIT, itagroup, Mezzaninegrowth