We believe that brand loyalty for your product or service at the channel rep level makes a big difference in reseller sales. If setting-up your indirect sales channel to prioritize your products or service - and sell more of them - is a priority for you, then you have to get the mindshare of the selling rep.
If you're forging great relationships with the executive management of your distribution channels - resellers, agents, distributors, value added resellers, etc. - and you're not seeing an increase in channel revenue and market share, then it's likely that the sales reps are leading with other brands - your competitors.
Your value added resellers represent many manufacturers. Each one wants the channel rep to lead with their own products. Indirect sales reps want two things.
- Reps want to sell products that they can competently present and be confident that the products will meet or exceed customer expectations. If they are not comfortable talking about the products, you won't get the air time.
- Reps want to make good money selling the products.
We address confidence and competence through a strategic approach to training both direct sales and inside sales teams. Ensure your sales reps are well trained. Track training. Reward success. Provide them with the tools and resources they need to win, every day.
And yes, great salespeople want to make great money. Spiffs work. But sometimes you need scale. And any system has to be easy to use, so again, reps can focus on selling.
Some salespeople won't adopt a vendor's spiff programs because they are just too cumbersome. See our post '5 Reasons Why Your Spiffs are Not Working'. Do you have the scale to launch a program that commands the attention of reps? Imagine how attractive a spiff program will be in the eyes of your channel reps, when the reps realize that they can combine the rewards from multiple participating vendors. If you go to market with a solution that combines the product and services of multiple, collaborating vendors, then consider a spiff that rewards based on the sales of the entire product bundle.
And here's the most important nugget of all. Make sure you get the attention of the reps, directly! Do not rely on the management of the reseller organization to pass the info along. And you need more than just facetime on the sales floor or over a pizza lunch. You need to know that your message and offers are being adopted. You need to track engagement and success.
According to a recent Linkedin survey, reported on the Channel Marketer Report, 190 channel managers stated that the biggest challenges they faced with their channel effectiveness was capturing and maintaining mindshare of their partners. The survey went on to explain that mindshare is a broad category, and there are many factors to consider, including: Communications, trust, engagement, focus and loyalty, among others.
If building mind share is a priority for you, than let's discuss it today!