Building Channel Strategies that Win
If you fish, you know there are different ways to catch fish ranging from equipment to bait to location. Living in Michigan I observe people fishing off of docks, in streams or trolling the lakes in boats. In some locations, people use nets or even spear fish. All methods are driven by the type of fish being pursued, how they behave, what they like, where they hang out or the fisherman’s resources. Much like their angler counterparts, sales leaders need to consider their target market in determining how best to hook targets while managing the cost of the “catch”.
The factors that weigh into determining the best channel strategy include market potential, sales coverage, cost of sales and pre and post-sale customer support.
Example – Starbucks isn’t interested in the person that brews coffee at home or buys their coffee at the local gas station. Those folks aren’t likely part of Starbucks’ addressable market. Coffee drinkers at large need to be segmented more narrowly to arrive at their addressable market. The same goes for your business.
Example – If 10,000 end users fit the profile of your target market, 6 direct salespeople will unlikely provide adequate coverage to achieve your true sales potential. Build a channel strategy that casts your net wide and deep.
Cost of Sales
Pre & Post-Sale Customer Requirements
Many small and medium sized businesses have one channel strategy for all verticals and all end user types. This leads to a sub-optimal situation since different markets and end users respond to different hooks, methods and bait.
As you consider your sea of opportunity, begin to think differently about your channel strategy and align resources to drive sales success.
Included are a few slides to help readers connect to the content. I welcome your comments.