- On September 5, 2019
Have you heard of channel development strategy?
Let’s say your business makes jam. In order to sell said jam, you can either market directly to customers, or you can partner with other companies that can help your jam reach its target market.
You can sell to online and offline merchants that help distribute your jam to a shop, or directly to the public.
This is, a very stripped-back example of a channel strategy. You’re selling your jam through multiple channels, both online and offline, to encapsulate as many customers as possible. Unsurprisingly however, in reality managing the channel is not quite as simple as selling jam. To help you out, we’ve put together a handful of tips to help you create a winning Channel Development Strategy.
1. Know your customers
Knowing your target audience is the first step in any channel development strategy. Ideally, your product fills a void currently unfilled for your target market, and there is already a demand for your product. Many people forget to check growth potential within a target sector, so think long-term when creating your channel development strategy.
Other things to consider include knowing your customers spending habits, what channels they’re already making purchases through, and the factors that would increase their spending. Once you’re aware of this information, you’ll be able to quickly identify how your business can add value to your target market.
2. Pick your partners well, and enable them to perform
Once you’ve got to grips with your target markets, you can begin to decide on which channels to use that will help you get your foot in the door.
First of all, you’ll need to work out the size of each channel based on how many customers you can reach, and the potential revenue from each customer.
Channel maintenance doesn’t end once you’ve chosen your channels, however. A successful Channel Development Strategy encompasses channel maintenance and channel enablement – to avoid miscommunication between both parties and to create a unified sales message. Partners can’t sell what they don’t know, so ensure you’re keeping partners up-to-date with strategy calls at least once per month. Ideally, you want every partner to act as an extension of your own sales department.
3. Set realistic sales goals & establish success metrics within your channel development strategy
Once you’ve determined the size and potential of your channels, you’ll have to set sales goals for each channel. This will include both sales targets and sales pipeline growth goals.
Channel partner marketing is not one-size-fits-all. You’ll have to accurately evaluate each channel and set goals that are achievable – set goals too high and you’ll demoralise and frustrate your partners. Set goals too low, and sales partners may not be motivated enough to get the sales you’re capable of.
It is important to remember that you and your channel partners both have one ultimate goal in mind – maximise sales. It is important to communicate effectively to ensure you’re both on the same page.
Channel partner marketing doesn’t have to be a difficult endeavour when you get the right help.
Gorilla EMEA offers a range of channel marketing services, from helping you create the perfect channel development strategy to advanced lead generation. Our dedicated professionals can also bridge the gap between you and your channel partners, to ensure your channel is fully optimised.
For more information, contact our channel marketing experts here.