Using distributors is a good alternative for selling your products. It allows you to promote your offer while keeping your time for production and development. However, using a network of resellers requires an appropriate communication strategy. Here are 5 rules to follow in order to effectively run a distribution network.
Rule 1: communicate with the entire network
When you go through a distribution network, you often tend to talk only to the shop manager or the purchasing manager. This is a serious mistake! In this way, it is the other person who receives the information and passes it on, which inevitably means that the message is altered.
To promote sales, it is therefore essential to talk directly to the salespeople, who are the ones primarily concerned. In addition to the reliability of the information, it also allows you to stay in their heads. Indeed, if you are in direct contact with them, they will most probably think of you and your product, before thinking of your competitors.
New technologies, a bonus for fostering contact
Communicating directly with salespeople does not necessarily mean visiting them every week. Thanks to new technologies, it is possible to ensure a permanent connection with your network and this very easily.
Rule 2: adapt your communication to your targets
As is already done in B2C communication, it is important to adapt your communication to your target(s). This rule n° 2 makes rule n° 1 even more important, because it is the knowledge acquired through constant contact that allows you to adjust your message according to :
- The issues ;
- The types of customers;
- The motivations and obstacles regarding your products.
In addition, being able to adapt your communication to your retailer enhances their value and demonstrates your involvement with them. This is an important point for building a relationship of trust and encouraging them to offer your products to their customers.
Rule 3: offer training
To encourage sales of your products, your resellers must be trained on your offers in the same way as your internal sales staff. Indeed, to be able to sell your products, they must be able to argue, advise and guide customers during their purchase. The more informed they are, the more comfortable they will be talking about your products, giving them the edge over your competitors.
To help sales reps, consider providing them with various tools:
- Samples or coupons;
- Advertising materials (brochures, posters, kakemonos, etc.)
- Sales pitches;
- Sample emails;
- Price lists or simulators.
Rule 4: Establish a win-win relationship
In order to engage and involve all resellers and their teams, it is important that everyone wins. It's not just about getting your resellers to win at the time of the new product launch, but about providing new opportunities on a regular basis. To be effective, your challenge must meet the following rules:
- Offer a challenge with a theme in which participants can immerse themselves in the challenge.
- Give specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (SMART) objectives. They should be consistent with the partner's sales history, results, turnover, location, length of time as a reseller, sales volume, etc.
- Add qualitative objectives to develop the skills and knowledge of network members. This can be a training objective, exchange of tips, etc.
To organise this type of challenge, the use of a sales animation platform can be effective. It enables actions to be automated and results to be monitored in real time to stimulate teams over time.
Rule 5: differentiate yourself from the competition
Just like you, your competitors are taking action to gain a foothold with resellers and end customers. This is why one of the challenges is to differentiate yourself.
To do this, you have to be inventive and creative in order to make a mark. Don't hesitate to rely on shock actions that will really make you stand out, both in the mind of the retailer and the consumer. Don't forget that if the consumer wants your product at all costs, the distributor will have to offer it to him. So think as much about seducing your partners as the end customers with your actions, you can only win.
Running a distribution network means communicating on two levels: to resellers and to consumers. By following our 5 tips above, you will be able to convince both resellers and end customers, which will ensure the successful launch of your new product.