If there's one industry that thoroughly understands the term 'Targets', it has to be the Sales Industry. For people outside the industry, Sales can seem like a monotonous job, where the only thing you have to do is complete targets. For people inside the industry, it's a little more than that. Any effective Sales Strategy has to keep in mind two things - the movement of goods, and a sustainable manner of doing so. Add to that the looming specter of Sales Targets and almost everyone at one point or another asks - 'How can I increase sales in my channel?'. Let's answer that question in the context of Channel and Trade Marketing.
The basic tenet of Channel Management Schemes is simple - Incentivize the channel for selling more. It sounds pretty simple, and it is. All you have to do is launch a scheme for your channel partners, let your partners know the rules of the scheme, and incentivize them when they do sell more. Where things get complicated is from design to execution. When executed, most schemes give far from ideal results. Some of the issues that organizations typically face are - many channel partners don't even know about the scheme, some channel partners don't have enough inventory to sell, the merchandising at stores isn't proper, and then there are payout disputes. The sum total of this is that the scheme execution is riddled with inefficiencies. As a result, most schemes don't perform as good as they could have without this friction.
So how do we handle these issues? Well, as the old saying goes - 'First Things First'. In our years of experience in running streamlined schemes for our clients, we have found that taking care of these 3 issues can give the most output -
Scheme Information in Advance - Make sure your channel partners know about the scheme ahead of time. Many schemes have been spoilt because channel partners get to hear about schemes from others and our data has shown that channel partners who are onboard later, sell much less than the ones who are onboard early.
Set up a Scheme Helpline - On demand support can do more than just solve queries. In our experience, a 10-digit normal mobile number as a helpline can go a long way in establishing trust with your dealer base. We have seen the impact of a Helpline in the long-term, especially with those channel partners that want to remain loyal to the brand.
Maintain Adequate Inventory - It may not seem like it, but a lack of stock during schemes has been a major source of dissatisfaction for channel partners who actually want to do well. Having a good supply chain to fill inventory gaps quickly can go a long way in retaining the channel partners' trust and boosting sales numbers.
Organizations typically have teams that handle these Schemes manually. Those that are able to take care of these 3 issues effectively usually dominate the market. While hard work goes a long way, having a system in place, which automates a lot of the repetitive tasks can go a long way. Our solution ARMS Enterprise is an Enterprise class product designed specifically for this purpose. By automating tasks like Scheme Notifications, real-time sales data collection, tracking stock movement, etc, it turns Scheme Management into the easiest aspect of Sales, leaving the Sales team to generate real value through relationships.
A good strategy goes a long way in meeting targets. Good organizations invest a lot in building the right strategy, the right team, and the right infrastructure. When all factors work in tandem, without friction, the results are close to ideal.