It's important that we're all on the same page with definitions and what we mean by channel management, channel sales strategies, direct vs. indirect and other terms we'll be using in this course.
- Before we go further in this course, I want to talk about management in general. Each of us has our own style that we believe in or if we're new to management, we have some general direction with how we want to lead people or develop sales strategies. There are many great books on the subject, seminars you can take and also courses right here in the library for you to watch. There are some pretty effective and time-tested guidelines to follow for successful sales management. However, I believe it's important for you to take what you learn from many sources and customize it to fit your specific leadership technique.
Although I've been in sales management for many years, I'm constantly looking for new ideas and new methods to lead better or analyze businesses I oversee. So with this course, everything you may hear may not be exactly how you want to follow it for yourself, but it's my hope that it triggers you to think more, evaluate how you're doing things currently, and enhance your existing methods. The terminology we're going to be using in this course is pretty straightforward. However, there are a few words that I want to make sure we're all on the same page with before we continue.
I use businessdictionary.com as my resource and customize the definitions to add a few thoughts. Sales channels are the various ways of bringing products or services to market so they can be purchased by your customer. Distribution channel. A distribution channel is the delivery mechanism through which goods and services travel from you and your company to the customer. Everybody confuses this, but don't get hung up on it. Simplifying it, this course is on sales channel management, which candidly, is linked so closely to distribution.
This is management of how we develop the best strategy and sales plans for getting our products or services to the most customers we can in the most cost effective and profitable way. Here are a few other channels that I feel need clarification. Indirect sales. Indirect sales refer to the sale to an end user of a product or service by a third party such as a partner, retailer, wholesaler, et cetera, rather than a company staff.
Direct sales. This is the face-to-face presentation, demonstration and sale of products or services, usually at a home or corporate office, of a prospect made by direct sales representatives. B2B, business-to-business selling, also called corporate sales. B2C, business and direct-to-consumer sales. VAR, value-added reseller. These are companies that combine, modify and repackage a product or service and then resell it.
You'll often see this commonly used in the training and technology space. The underlying message is the importance of communication. Whether it is me telling you about my management style, or making sure your teams and other departments are aware of what various terminology means, if you think there might be a question, a need to clarify something, or potential for misinterpretation, as a sales manager we need to be aware and ensure that everyone gets on the same page. Effective, and regular communication will help everyone have a smoother and faster path to success.
- Surveying the marketplace
- Reviewing channels
- Managing channels and investments
- Developing a go forward plan
- Working with other departments and teams
- Handling channel conflict
- Forecasting sales
- Creating a channel marketing structure