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Posted by Todd Hockenberry ● Nov 01, 2016

Is it Time to Re-think Your Sales Channels?

It is easy to fall into a rut. The familiar is well, familiar.  But is it the best?  You know the answer to that question but maybe the next questions are harder to figure out.

Making a change to your sales channel is difficult. Many of you know you need to structurally change how you approach your markets and do something different in order to start growing your business.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

rethink your sales channels

Where are your customers and prospects going for information?  

  • Do you have any content created that will attract prospects to your website or is it still just an online catalog full of features and specifications?
  • Do they still go to trade shows, read trade journals, and advertise or are they moving online, to social media, sharing information in LinkedIn groups?
  • Do they want to see your order taking sales guy or are they after an expert that can understand and address their business needs?
  • Who is the recognized top expert in your field - and why isn't it you?
  • Who is the gold plated referrer in your market - the person/people everyone trusts?

How do your customers want to buy?  

  • Do they want to buy/research online or face to face?
  • Do they want to bundle your product or service with others for one stop shop buying?
  • Do they want integrators of various parts or do they want high level experts?
  • Are they buying high value or lowest price?
  • Are they aggressive in trying to grow or are they merely keeping their head above water (what are you doing)?
  • Are you generating primary research from your customers and prospects and using 3rd party interviews to ask them about their buying behavior?

Who else works with or sells to the people you want to sell?  

  • How can you leverage what others have already built (manufacturers rep, distributor, online community)? 
  • Can you find a complimentary product or service and sell along side them?
  • Are there successful new marketing models in your market or is your target market begging for someone to change the game?
  • Who is winning in your space and why?

How well is my sales channel really working now?

  • Do your customers like/appreciate your channel or do they merely tolerate it?
  • What marketing strategies does the channel employ and are they effective?
  • Does my channel actually do marketing and prospecting or are they just banging on the same old doors?
  • Would your channel adopt content marketing or Inbound marketing if you packaged it up nicely for them or would they give you a blank look and ask /why would we do that?
  • Does the channel add ever increasing, ongoing value or are they taking more and giving less (I call this phenomenon channel entropy)?

Sales channels can become a habit - make sure you are asking the tough questions to ensure that the channels you choose deliver the results you need.

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Topics: Sales