Channel Sales Strategy: Getting Your Product to Market
Channel Sales is a strategy that utilizes third-party distribution avenues to sell products. This can include but is not limited to affiliate partners, resellers, and external retailers. Success ultimately depends on the partner relationship and building that strong connection. Utilizing a CRM can make this process a bit easier for an organization.
A channel sales strategy relies on partnerships to create additional distribution opportunities. And we all know that distribution is one of the most important aspects of product development. So how do you get your product to market using a channel sales strategy?
- Affiliate partners – Affiliate partners are third party individuals or companies selling products to customers for the product manufacturer, developer, or creator. They usually get a commission for product sales.
- Value-added resellers – Value-added resellers are third-party partners specializing in selling product types to customers and adding services that complement the purchase.
- Third-party Retailer (online/offline) – Third-party retail channels can be online websites where consumers buy products or offline locations like stores or showrooms where they can also buy products. These channels are not owned by product creators.
A few sales channels include:
- Retail (online/offline): Retail channels can be online websites where consumers buy products or offline locations such as stores where they can also buy products.
- Inside Sales: Inside sales is where you have an internal or external team selling products by phone.
- Outside sales: Face-to-face sales. They can be a third party or internal sales team.
- Direct Marketing: Direct marketing includes a variety of channels from telemarketing to direct mail where the company sends mailers to get sales from customers. The main difference is that the company creating the product owns these channels vs a third party owning it.
Now just like with any other marketing plan, you need to create your strategy. The strategy creation process comes in steps. First, you need to figure out if a channel sales strategy is the right fit for your company. Ask yourself, does a third party solution fit your industry needs?
Next, the obvious. Research your target market. Do a thorough analysis of your competitors as well as potential customers. What do they look like? What are they buying and how are they buying?
Once that is figured out, you can then determine which channel sales option you want to use. Look into the most commonly used channel for your industry. Make sure what you’re choosing fits your needs, and if you’re feeling bold you can always try a non-traditional channel sales option. For instance, if there are potential channel sales partners serving your target market with complementary products but they are not currently selling products in your product line. Try our P2P Ecosystem – we’ve been highly successful in implementing them.
- Sit down with your team and write out what your strategy looks like and how it’s going to be implemented.
- Recruit your partners. Make a list of all the potential partners that could be part of your overall strategy and reach out to them.
- Finalize and sign partner agreements.
Since your strategy is written out and you and your partners have a signed agreement, the next phase is to roll out your product.
Now, this is all very tedious, but it’s necessary if you want to be successful in bringing your product to market. But in the meantime, if you have questions about how to bring your product to market or interested in looking at a P2P Ecosystem, give us a call!