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Web Global Net Web Application & Web Development Project Center  |  Business Topics  |  Channel Development  |  Topic: Keeping in touch with your channel... 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Keeping in touch with your channel...  (Read 7308 times)
Sales
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« on: June 27, 2005, 12:37: PM »

You manage a resale channel, as such you are really a sales manager and should approach your job that way.

As we all know not all resellers are created equal. As stated in the previous posting some resellers you'll need to hold their hands every step of the way during the sales process, while others don't even want you around at all.

So how do you communicate with both ends of this reseller spectrum ?

There are many effective means of communicating with your channel the most important of which are : The Phone and Email.

If you don't have email or don't check it regularly then sales is not for you. Find another job.

Using the phone is pretty obvious, depending on the number of channel resellers you have you should set your schedule to call each one every x number of days if only to say hello or ask about the family or some other personal type of topic (golf ?). And don't just call the hot sales persons only, call everyone on the list. You never know when a sales person may heat up, but you can be assured that if a sales person hasn't heard from you lately you're not going to be at the top of their list.

This also allows you to develop personal relationships with your channel. And personal relationship can help tip the balance in your favor in a competitive sales situations.

The second most under used channel communications tool is email. Yes everyone uses email in the sales process but in most cases this is being used as a reactive tool instead of a proactive tool.

Using Email as a Proactive Tool.

If you don't know how to set up an Email Group, then learn how. Setting up Email groups allow you to include multiple email addresses together so instead of having to add each email address to the list of send to's, you only have to add the group name and all individuals within that group will receive your email. Make sure to also check off the "Hide Email Addresses" option, so you don't broad cast your list of email addresses when you send your email.

When to send an Email out ?

At the very least you should be sending some type of email out to your channel on a weekly basis. This allows you to keep your name and company in front of your channel between phone calls.

But this does not mean you can not send 2-3 email out during a weeks time either. Just be carefull sending too many emails out to your channel can have a negative impact also and your channel sales people could get in the habit of deleting your emails before they are even read.

What type of Weekly Email should you be sending ?

On a weekly basis you should be sending out a weekly specials list or something similar. If you do not have a list like this then use the weekly email to highlight a product or service each week, or use it to review competitive products with talking points for your channel when dealing with their clients.

When to send out emails, other than your weekly one ?

First rule of thumb is never send your channel more than 3 emails in any given week. Second only send additional emails when you have something time sensitive or urgent to say. Save those emails you might what to send that are not urgent or time sensitive for another time.

I have found that channels I've dealt with in the past especially like competitive product information. This is ammunition they can use during the sales process, and helps to educate your channel at the same time. Remember in effect you're your channels sales manager. Don't tell them this or imply it but you are.

How long should your emails be ?

Generally your email should never be longer than one page. You should also break your emails text into short paragraphs 3-5 lines or sentences in length. This allows your resellers to quickly scan the email and read those sections that apply or interest them.

Summary

If used correctly and judiciously your channel will in fact look forward to your emails and you'll be surprised at how much information they will retain, and how effective your channel management will become. Your sales will also increase as well, which at the end of day is the ultimate goal.

Next we'll discuss other methods of staying in front of your channel

RT
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