Working with distributors creates a whole menagerie of animal-like selling and buying behaviours.
‘Pure partnership’, ‘consultative selling’ and ‘key account’ principles do not always apply quite so neatly in the world of the reseller and a different perspective must be taken to ensure sales success.
Working through distributors and wholesalers is one of the more complex sales scenarios. However it is also one of the least understood and so poorly catered for in the training world (as a result of the difficulty in identifying and modeling the success factors).
At brindis we have a training programme which has been developed with the most up to date thinking from our extensive experience working with distribution networks in both the UK and Europe.
Designed around applied best practice, the session will encourage participants to take a new look at their approach and develop a working template and business plan for developing sales.
The two-day session is aimed at distributor managers and sales managers who have a ‘distributor’ channel and wish to build on their existing experience and skills.
Managing distributors is often seen as a matter of ‘servicing’ the account, and this can put the distributor manager in a ‘one down’, supplicatory relationship with their customer. Yet the modern way of looking at distribution networks is to see them as partnerships rather than customers, and as an important part of the overall sales and marketing strategy for your company.
This course looks at the detailed and often complicated relationship between marketing, motivation and sales management to really drive the business through the distribution channel.
After training participants will have the ability to:
– Understand the three key aspects of Channel Management: Marketing, Motivation and Sales
– Recognise the key elements of the distributors mindset
– Apply marketing principles to create a powerful business proposition
– Motivate distributors through management of main business drivers
– Formulate an account plan specific to the distributorship and business – circumstances
– Define and use elements of a contract based ‘Development Matrix’
– Empathise more with the distributors both from the point of view of the Distributor ‘Principals’ and their sales team
An internal programme to assist Export Managers in the drinks industry helped maximise business through applying a structured and logical approach. Implementation of the ‘Matrix Plan’ along with a bespoke ‘Marketing Plan’ meant that meetings were more focused and productive and increased time spent in the market allowed more support to be given to the Distributor’s sales team with a positive impact on sales
Several Business Development Managers with a large engineering company benefited from using a methodology that allowed them to deal with a larger number of accounts. Specific skills development included those associated with building relationships, particularly those required with ‘internal’ or subsidiary customers.
Regional Managers of a drinks manufacturer were able to identify and work with distributors/wholesalers for the launch of a new brand in a competitive market. Better initial selection procedures and the use of established planning techniques meant the launch was successful and market share immediately won.
Already faced with a complex sale Relationship Managers for a materials handling company were able to focus on business winning activities with their resellers rather than being distracted by politics and administration issues. The improved relationships derived from a more transparent and structured approaches are reported to have a positive impact on the division’s sales.
Distributor Managers in the hair care industry were able to improve market penetration using more effective sales process. Improved relationships are also believed to have contributed to an increase in more secure contracts.
An automotive manufacturer used a number of the techniques aligned to distributor management to equip team members to work more effectively with their dealers. Clarity and the combined sense of purpose developed between the two parties had a large impact on the initiative’s success.
What is Channel Management?
Definitions and application
Distributors, wholesalers, resellers
Trade and retail
Profit Parity – business for everyone
Winning ‘Brainspace’ – internal competition
Black Widows and Vultures – supplier and customer mindsets
Mushroom Effect – use and abuse of information
Marketing – 4 Ps and beyond
Motivation – Paying EXTRA attention
Sales – 2 Page Plan and ‘Development Matrix’
Managing the Marketing Mix
Introducing the 4Ps
Product – Understanding the whole offer
Place – Investigating all routes to market
Price – Adopting the right policy
Promotion – Maximising all the elements
Extended Marketing Mix
Adding the 7Ps
People – Sales, customer service (and customer!)
Process – Appying the Marketing Mix
Physical Evidence – Dealing with intangibles
The 8th and 9th Ps
Packaging – First contact
Philosophy – Organisational ethos and introduction rationale
‘Managing’ the Distributor
Effecting direction and control on a separate entity
Manipulating main business drivers
Attention to EXTRA elements
Raison d’etre of distributor
Establishing ‘fair’ profit balance
Avoiding investment ‘double counting’
Principles of Negotiation
‘If You… Then I…’
Basis of strong Communication
Promoting Brand and Image
Joining the Family
Ensuring optimum sales effort
Product knowledge and process efficacy
As a PR opportunity
‘Reverse Training’ – educating Internal teams
MBO – Management By Objectives
Setting targets – minimum standards to stretch
Using ‘dashboard diagnostics’
Planning and implementing Incentives
Progressing and encouraging sales activity
Implementing appropriate promotions
Considering the importance of effective Product Management
Nurturing and developing the Product Manager
Searching for ‘Ambassadors’
Using the ‘2 Page Plan’
Setting SMART Objectives
Plotting the Organisation structure
Conducting a SWOT Analysis
Surveying Competitive landscape
Elements of the ‘Contract’
Defining scope of criteria vs sales activity
Scoring and developing action plans
Reviewing and rewarding top performers
Applying focus of internal promotions
Mixing tools and incentives
Considering distributor, sales person, customer
Putting it All to Work
Designing and owning your Personal Development Plan
Prioiritising action points
Maximising input from others
It starts now!