Channel Surfing, Part I: The Importance of Flotsam and Jetsam

channel surfing


Today's marketers have two main sales models: Direct Channel (Sales through staff and/or Direct Internet Sales) and Indirect Channel (Sales through Channel Partners).

Internal direct sales data are obviously key to workflow automation and long term success. You control the information from entry to analysis. The insights gained help companies understand their own products, policies and business processes.

Increasingly, as businesses realize the potential revenue and staffing downfalls of self-compiled Direct Sales Data, they have shred internally managed spreadsheets and purchased Data Management Systems from outside vendors. This is especially true for those using a Subscription or Renewals Sales Model, which requires more fluid input and analysis.

A company's ability to transparently collect, track and analyze Channel Sales Data, however, relies upon its delivery by Channel Partners. Channel Data flotsam—data lost by shipwreck or accidental oversight—and jetsam—data deliberately thrown overboard or eliminated voluntarily—make control of accurate Channel Point of Sale (POS) paramount. Not only for the all-important customer base data Indirect Sales brings, but for other, often unnoticed reasons crucial to long term revenue growth and market success.

Five Ways Channel POS Data Helps Grow Revenue

World Class organisations know that Channel Data Management is critical to monitoring sales trends, managing inventory and partners, mining their install base and meeting compliance requirements. Here are some ways it can also impact revenue growth:

Channel Sales history helps project Channel Business Trends future. The key to timely product/service delivery often lies in how well you anticipate demand. The better you are at predicting inventory, staffing and service needs, the more efficient and lower cost your sales will be. This is especially true in high demand segments. If you're not prepared with solid predictions for peak demand periods, you may not be able to service those demands. If that happens, you risk time sensitive partner sales. You may also be forced to stock up on quick-turnaround/short notice and therefore higher cost materials.
Identification and Constructive Response
Channel POS also enables you to identify underperforming segments. Instead of accepting them as inevitable, understanding what the data means can help you pinpoint and run targeted marketing campaigns to revitalize demand in those areas. That same information may also help you identify and market to untapped (flotsam) and adjacent (jetsam) markets for your products.
Higher Retention and Capture Rates for Service Contracts and Renewals
Knowing where and what products have been sold gives you the information you need to proactively follow-up with Channel Partners when it's time to initiate or renew customer service contracts. If you sell using a Renewals Model, the same information will apply to initial product/service renewal. Both can increase sales and prevent customer attrition which might otherwise go unnoticed (flotsam) at renewal/end dates without proper Channel Partner Data Management.
Successful, Targeted Cross-Sell Campaigns
Channel POS gives you the information necessary for building sales to existing customers. If your customers' entire install base is available to you, cross-sell opportunities for adjacent product lines and accessory offerings become obvious. Without an accurate, dependable source of Channel Data, you're likely to overlook new revenue opportunities within your current customer base (jetsam).
Returns and Rewards
High-performing Channel Partners are motivated by the reward system. No problem, unless your reward doesn't live up to their expectations. If desirable incentive/reward structures aren't in place, partner focus may wander elsewhere (jetsam). Accurate tracking of your partners' contributions will help you determine who the top performers are and what fair rewards should be. You can also encourage desired sales growth by using Channel Data Automation to determine where, when and how much incentive to offer in added sales kicks.

Channel Surfing can be as hit and miss—flotsam and jetsam—or as targeted and successful as your business process automation allows. With proper Channel POS Management through workflow automation of your Indirect Sales Model, there'll be no need to test the Channel waters blindly, in anything but an informed, self-generating data current.

Want more on how to maximize revenue from your Channel Partners?  Look for our upcoming blogs and publications.

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