I’m looking for stories and case studies to add to the International Distribution and Channel Partner Sales programme, maybe you have a tale to tell?
Have you got something you could share around any of the following topics?
- Stories about lack of product readiness: a domestic product that wasn’t ready for international markets (could be regulatory, could be product design, could be market appeal, could be language, packaging, marketing literature, etc.)
- Lack of people readiness: situation where a company started exporting but the people weren’t ready – could be didn’t have skills, didn’t have bandwidth, made thoughtless decisions. Maybe story of how a distributor took advantage of company because internal people weren’t communicating or weren’t aligned
- Lack of process readiness: situation where a company started exporting but the company didn’t have the necessary processes in place – maybe didn’t get export compliance right, didn’t think about warranties or returned goods, etc. Perhaps where company did have processes, but they were terribly unrealistic or unreasonably burdensome
- Why it’s easy to get fooled if you’re not prepared: stories about:
Distributors that sounded great, but never matched their hype and why.
Distributors that had problems you didn’t find out about until much later/too late.
Distributors who were not what they seemed when you checked them out, or were unethical
- How suppliers and distributors can work together to achieve something amazing: could be new product idea, new market developed, new ways to sell etc
- How to get internal team aligned: maybe story of how boss or senior management finally understood the challenges and became supportive; or how one support function wasn’t really on board with helping international distribution or didn’t really understand the challenges but ultimately became a supporter
- How communication/training/support/other helped distributor: story about how communication or different approach turned distributor results around
- How managing fewer good distributors is better than having lots of underperformer: maybe story of how cutting legacy distributor(s) resulted in better results
- How thinking about/treating your distributor as a partner (or not) had consequences: story of how effectively building a partnership delivered great results, or how a company’s failure to treat the distributor as a partner resulted in disappointment or another bad outcome.
- How expecting distributor to do all the heavy lifting had negative consequences: stories about how poor translations, inability to sell product, poor product servicing, distributor’s ability to hold supplier hostage because of regulatory issues, etc.
- Stories about how keeping information or decisions as ‘tribal knowledge’ was harmful to distributor or your partnership with them
- Stories of miscommunication with distributors
- Examples of how supplier behavior costs distributors
- Examples of ways bad distributors cost suppliers
- Examples of ways suppliers have effectively encouraged engagement with distributors (newsletters, job shadowing, distributor conferences, partner councils, etc.)
- Tips for negotiating contracts and/or business plans with distributors
- Examples of how more effective training and on-boarding helped increase distributor engagement and/or productivity
All that is required is a short interview that can be included in the online material, so if you think you can help please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org