Why Enforcing Medical Equipment Standards Is So Important — And So Challenging

Patient care teams and administrators shape so much of their patients’ experiences when they’re providing care that oftentimes medical equipment can take a back seat. But the selection of equipment throughout a facility plays a direct role in patient outcomes, practitioner efficiency, and the overall success of an organization.

Medical equipment planners can either enhance providers’ noble intentions by adhering to standards, or undermine everyone’s efforts with a haphazard procurement strategy.

Setting equipment standards is relatively straightforward, but consistently enforcing them can be a challenge for many planners. Medical equipment planning software could help you overcome these challenges.

Why Enforcing Medical Equipment
Standards Is So Important

You probably have a well developed list of equipment standards your organization needs to follow for every purchase. Unfortunately, these standards are meaningless if you don’t uphold them. Enforcing equipment standards helps:

Control Costs – If you align your equipment standards with the offerings of a specific manufacturer or brand, you can leverage your bulk purchases for better pricing.
Improve Budget Accuracy – Repeatedly ordering the same equipment gives first-hand insight into product specifications, challenges, and lead times, so you can build these nuances into your budget and avoid any surprise overages or unexpected expenses.
Streamline Maintenance – Standardizing equipment across your entire organization gives maintenance crews less variations to worry about, so they can focus on maintaining standard equipment models and maximize service contract savings.
Increase Productivity And Quality of Care – Providing practitioners with reliable and uniform equipment helps them work more productively because they don’t have to orient to a wide-array of tools. Creating consistent layouts from room to room also helps clinicians flow more smoothly between appointments.

The Challenges of Enforcing
Equipment Standards

Medical equipment planners may have to plan and procure tens of thousands of units every year, so enforcing standards for such a high volume of purchases can be a challenge due to:

Managing Stakeholder Collaboration And Feedback – Making the best equipment choice requires insight from clinicians, IT experts, facility engineers, and other stakeholders, but collecting and organizing all of this information can be overwhelming and time consuming. Details can get lost under tight deadlines and scattered workflows.
Standards Visibility – Even if all insight is gathered, organizing and presenting standards in a way that’s clear and easy for everyone to understand creates another challenge.
Identifying the Best Equipment – In the U.S alone, there are more than 5,000 medical equipment manufacturers. Searching through all of their catalogs for equipment that meets your standards could take more time than you have available.
Keeping Standards Up To Date – Medical technology is always advancing, and healthcare organizations need to ensure their standards always reflect the latest capabilities. But keeping up with the high volume of new developments every year is a Herculean feat.

Rising to the Challenge of Enforcing Equipment Standards

Revalize is an industry leading software solution that streamlines every aspect of medical equipment planning, from product sourcing, to budgeting, to actual procurement. The platform brings all equipment standards, product specifications, and budget information into a single database that makes it easy to collaborate with stakeholders and optimize decision making. Medical equipment planning is transformed from an overwhelming and inefficient process into a unified workflow that drives value throughout your organization. Especially when it comes to enforcing equipment standards.

Users have access to an integrated medical equipment catalog with more than 75,000 SKUs and 65 critical data points on every product. You can enforce your organization’s equipment standards with ease by simply entering them into the platform and filtering down to products that match your requirements. Users can even build customized room templates with their organizations’ equipment standards to easily communicate them to other stakeholders and executives.
Learn more in our new ebook, or Schedule a demo with one of our experts.

July 19, 2022

 

Revalize Expands Leadership Team with Key Hires

The new CPO, CFO and VP of Business Systems demonstrate commitment to scaling operations to support ongoing growth

JACKSONVILLE, FL. and KARLSRHUE, GERMANY – July 19, 2022 – Revalize, the worldwide leader in revenue operations software for manufacturers, their distributors, and their specifiers, announced today the appointment of three key executives to drive the continued success of the company.

David Kuhl, joining as Chief People Officer (CPO), will be a champion of the Revalize values, drive clarity and alignment across the global organization, and leverage people analytics to improve overall company performance. Kevin McAdams joins as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to drive effective planning, reporting & forecasting, implement business systems and controls, and guide the in-house legal function. Among Kevin’s direct reports will be Don Stockslager, who joins as VP of Business Systems. In this role, Don will drive internal efficiencies, enable a positive customer experience, and swiftly integrate newly acquired businesses onto the Revalize business systems platform.

“We are pleased to have David, Kevin, and Don join us as we look to steer the company towards continued growth and scale,” says Jim Contardi, CEO of Revalize. “With the creation of a Chief People Officer role specifically, we are being intentional about the importance of people and our need to attract and retain top talent. All three of these roles contribute a critical capability to the company, and I am confident that they will quickly create value and deliver on the experience we envision for our employees and customers.”

Each executive joins Revalize with extensive industry experience:

David Kuhl, CPO,brings significant experience in human resources, general management, and law. Most recently, he was General Manager of Salo, a large talent firm; before that, he served as Chief People Officer for ACI Worldwide, ABRA Auto, and Ventyx/ABB. David started his career as an employment law attorney for Littler Mendelson P.C. in San Francisco.

Kevin McAdams, CFO, is a CPA who began his career in public accounting with KPMG. Kevin most recently served as CFO of Aptean, a global enterprise software company, where he successfully executed an extensive Finance transformation while helping the company drive significant organic and inorganic growth.

Don Stockslager, VP of Business Systems, was most recently VP of Strategy & Transformation at Equifax, where he improved experiences for consumers seeking to improve their credit score or protect themselves from identity theft. Previously, Don spent twenty years at First Data Corporation driving change in technology, operations and product management.

Learn more about Revalize and its solutions, as well as employment opportunities globally, at www.revalizesoftware.com.

###

About Revalize

Revalize is the global leader in sector-specific software that helps manufacturers optimize revenue operations through design applications, engineering simulations, product selection, CPQ, PLM, visualization, and data analytics. Headquartered in Jacksonville, FL, the company serves over 15,000 customers across the globe. Revalize is a portfolio company of TA Associates and Hg. Learn more at www.revalizesoftware.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Laura Gula
Revalize
[email protected]

Aligning Sales and Marketing Can Improve Revenue for Manufacturers and Channel Partners

In a typical B2B or B2C environment, an internal marketing department provides qualified leads to its counterpart down the hall in the sales department — but that’s a lot easier said than done. The process of aligning sales and marketing teams is both a challenge and an opportunity. 

If marketing and sales isn’t on the same page, profit can fall through the cracks. On the other hand, properly aligned outreach can potentially be one of the best tools for improving business performance. When marketing and sales teams unite, they dramatically improve marketing ROI, sales productivity, and most importantly, top-line growth.

Manufacturing
a Cohesive Strategy

For manufacturers that work with distribution partners, marketing and sales teams face a divide — mainly due to the fact that they aren’t working for the same companies. Since lead generation, handoff and nurturing processes don’t take place under the same roof, strong communication between the two entities is necessary for their success. 

It typically works like this: Manufacturers generate the leads and pass them off to distributors. Distributors are then responsible for following up and nurturing those leads through the sales funnel. But, because systems and processes can vary from partner to partner, the potential for a lead-sharing disconnect is high. Your distributors are likely working with many manufacturers, including your competitors. 

What’s the current status of the lead? Did follow-up take place? When? Was it a quality lead?

How can you find out any of this information if you aren’t connected to your distributor’s sales team? These are critical questions, and the answers can have a major financial impact on your bottom line. You need digital solutions to help you answer them. 

Optimizing sales and marketing relationships with digital channel solutions can significantly improve company revenue. Companies dedicated to fostering communication and cohesiveness between the two departments with digital technologies will see success — and your business can, too. Here are three important steps you can take now to align marketing and sales so you can get the most out of the leads you share with channel partners and distributors.

1. Qualify Your Leads

Collecting business cards or email addresses at trade shows is not enough. Qualifying leads requires context and data. They need to be actionable for your distributors. Even adding industry, location, or company size (by employee count or revenue) goes a long way toward ensuring your sales partners have all the info they need.

2. Organize Your Data

Be intentional and methodical about how you share leads, and how those leads are received and organized. The best-case scenario is an integrated system that allows you to easily share leads and receive feedback on the quality or urgency of a lead.

3. Adjust Based on Context

Once you can distribute sales feedback between departments more easily, incorporate that information into both your lead generation program and revenue expectations/forecasts. This closed loop information flow is essential. It allows you to continually fine-tune and improve your lead sharing and qualifying process. Practice makes perfect. 

Incorporating these three steps into your distribution sales model will result in higher win rates, fewer wasted leads, and easier deal closing. It might even help you cultivate a better relationship with distributors and channel partners, too.

The good news is that these steps can also be implemented with little disruption, and with a channel lead management software platform like Revalize, results can be seen in as little as 30 days.
Request a Revalize demo to learn how you can bring better sales and marketing alignment to your business.

Turning Quotes Into Sales With Advanced Design

There are many phases throughout the customer journey that can make or break a sale. When it’s time to generate a quote, everything is at risk. It’s totally up to your customer to decide at that point whether or not they want to move forward with their purchase. That’s why it’s so important to nail the idea-to-cash process and give your foodservice equipment and supplies (FES) customers everything they need to feel confident about their decision. 

You can do that by implementing advanced design tools throughout product development, listing, and quoting. Providing customers with the most detailed and accurate product descriptions and specifications can eliminate any guesswork when dealers, reps, consultants, and designers are looking through your product list. 

If you don’t have these details available for your products, don’t worry. AQ has design solutions and a team of media specialists on the case. Before long, all of your products can be paired with beautiful design imagery that’s true-to-life, so you can give your customers exactly what they need to make informed decisions.

 

Accuracy Builds Trust

Try switching your perspective over to a distributor who’s looking through your products for the first time. If they are greeted with the intimate details of every available SKU, you’re starting off on the right foot. The last thing a distributor wants is to pick out, quote, and purchase products just to find that their order looks or behaves differently than they were led to believe. This could make the distributor unlikely to return to your business. 

Instead, with tools like AQ’s Design Studio, you can make sure design details are integrated into the quoting process from the start of their customer journey and avoid this pitfall altogether. AQ’s Design Studio helps you pair your products with updated and accurate CAD and Revit content, giving customers everything from the exact dimensions of each product to the plumbing and electrical data necessary for installation. Then, AQ’s media specialists can help manufacturers like you create these designs and standardize them across your product listings.

It’s All Part of the Plan

When consultants and designers are selecting the products for their next build, it helps to have trust in your product data. Layering product descriptions with CAD and Revit data gives them the opportunity to put your products directly into their plans before they have to make a decision on the purchase — another way to build trust. 

With AQ’s advanced design solutions, you can integrate the CAD and Revit data you create with your product listings and through the AQ configure, price, and quote (CPQ) platform. Then, every time you generate a quote for a customer, they’ll have instant access to your most up-to-date blueprints and product specs. 

It only takes a few seconds to transfer a design file from AutoCAD or Revit to the AQ platform, saving you time and money that can be better spent on providing personalized customer service. You don’t have to worry about getting updated product information to your customers if you already have it available on a platform they can easily access themselves.

You can also create 3D designs with the AQ Designer, which give prospective customers even more ability to visualize their order before locking in their purchase. If you don’t have an Autodesk AutoCAD license to start creating these designs, AQ will provide you with one. 

Much like how you want to meet the needs of your customers from the beginning of the quoting process to the end, AQ wants to make sure you’re on the right track from integration to implementation. 

If you’d like to discover AQ design solutions for yourself, contact a representative about setting up a demo.

Why You Need to Think Vertically When It Comes to Product Data

Data management is a cornerstone of good business. You can’t hope to grow and scale without a detailed plan for how you distribute, edit, and update product data for your customers. You need accurate data to provide accurate quotes, after all.

However, there’s a pitfall you need to avoid along the way. You can’t risk having valuable product data siloed off into one system or channel — it needs to be available everywhere. That’s what it means to think vertically about data management. When a single detail is altered at the top of the chain, that change should flow down into every other channel automatically.

If it doesn’t, you risk giving customers outdated or misleading information that can harm your relationship with them before it ever begins. Vertical data management is a solution that helps you get the right order, in the right configuration, to your customers every time. Here’s how AQ’s foodservice equipment and supplies (FES) data solutions can help you reach this goal.

Don’t Wait, Integrate

The first step toward vertical data management is to connect your configure, price, and quote (CPQ) system to product listings. Byintegrating both AQ Listing Pro and AQ CPQ into your quote-to-cash process, you can ensure that the product information you list on the AQ platform is updated for every rep, dealer, or consultant interested in your products.

There are more than a million SKUs listed on AQ CPQ already, each with more than a hundred data fields for product specifications, descriptions, and pricing. Thinking vertically with your listing and quoting data makes certain that, when a customer starts the quoting process after browsing your product listing, every data point is exactly the same. You don’t want any surprises when it’s time to quote, and vertical data management virtually eliminates this possibility.

Trust is an important part of the relationship between manufacturers and distributors. When you integrate your data vertically with AQ, you can give them everything they need to sell your product without having to worry about the details. All of the information will be available to them online and accessible at any time.

A Data Solution for Every Channel

To take vertical data management to the next level, it’s important to think about how all of this detailed product information will get to your other channels — that’s where AQ Products API comes in. This all-in-one solution helps your data flow vertically from one central platform. AQ can list and store your product content for dealers, reps, and consultants, and AQ Products API takes that data and standardizes it across every system and channel you use.

Once you make changes at the top, AQ Products API automatically updates your data uniformly everywhere your products can be found, including:

Ecommerce platforms
Company websites
ERP Systems

AQ Products API also works with most internal systems, updating your data both in-house and online. This data isn’t just numbers, either. AQ’s API solution can distribute everything from high-resolution images of your products to dense technical specifications, and everything in between. The AQ product management team will be there to help you implement this data yourself or with an implementation partner, standardizing product documentation to make integration pain-free.

When you’re working with hundreds of products and SKUs, doing this by hand becomes unmanageable at scale. It could be a full-time job to make sure product data is consistent across all platforms and channels. But with AQ Products API, the system can take care of the menial work for you, freeing up your time and money to focus on making your customers happy.

If you’d like to know more about AQ’s suite of FES solutions, contact a sales representative to find out how vertical data management can help your business.

Need Help with CAD and Revit? Our Experts Have You Covered

Whether your company is already experienced with CAD and Revit or you’re just starting to explore this 3D design format, the more life you can bring to your products, the better. Customers in the foodservice equipment and supplies (FES) industry have come to expect detailed design data powered by these tools when making decisions about the products they purchase.

A survey of AQ subscribers found the majority (67%) agree that expanding CAD/Revit content in their product catalog would create value for their businesses. The reasons why vary, but most respondents agreed that CAD/Revit designs, including drawings and models, improved accuracy during the quote-to-cash process.

So, how do you make sure you’re meeting your customers’ expectations with CAD/Revit content if you’re unfamiliar with the process? With the help of AQ, you can efficiently add this data to your products. Even if you’re already focused on building out your product content, our team can help you optimize your listings and ensure each individual product description meets industry standards.

The Benefits of CAD and Revit Content

CAD refers to any computer-aided design tool that engineers and designers use to build a wide range of products and projects, whereas Revit content focuses specifically on building and room design. Both design tools can be powerful assets to manufacturers looking to easily showcase their products for their customers.

In the past, 2D drawings were the benchmark for product and project designs. But, as our design tools have evolved, 3D images have made that approach obsolete. We’re not just saying that because it’s new technology. The benefits of these design tools are simply too hard to ignore.

Here are just some of the ways utilizing CAD/Revit can improve the way manufacturers interact with their customers:

Businesses spend less time during the design phase when they use computer-aided design tools. Each iteration and new concept can be quickly created and customized.

Spending less time on each design means product creation is more productive and more efficient.

Complex designs are easier to create with CAD/Revit, increasing the accuracy of the designs that end up in your customers’ hands. Computer-aided design practically removes the threat of human error.

Listing with Style

One of the most important benefits of creating product models with CAD/Revit is the ability to have the data you need to host these product designs on a website. More and more, customers want a chance to review your product listings before starting their journey through the sales funnel. While you’re working to build out your design content, you can add that information to your website.

With AQ’s Products API, the data you attach to products can be updated automatically, whether that’s through an ecommerce channel, your website, or an internal system. This includes marketing materials, imagery, specifications, and other detailed product information.

How AQ Can Help Build Your CAD/Revit Library

AQ’s media specialists take the CAD and Revit designs for your products and bring them up to industry standards so AQ users can take the design files and build kitchen designs straight from the AQ catalog. The AQ media team takes these files and adds embedded specs and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) information to each entry to save users’ time when they’re searching for your products and working on their designs.

Users even have the option to filter out designs that don’t feature CAD/Revit content, so products with attached design files will likely show up in more searches. The AQ media works to make sure more of your product data is seen by more customers and AQ users.

If you're ready to level up your CAD/Revit content

3 Ways to Supercharge Your Quoting Pipeline Using the AQ Design Studio

Getting better at turning quotes into cash is every manufacturer’s objective in the foodservice equipment and supplies (FES) industry, and there are two main ways of doing this. First, you can make your quoting process more efficient, honing in on each individual client and using products like AQ CPQ to collect data that will help you get better with each subsequent quote.

The second method requires you to increase quoting activity overall to surge sales even if your average quote-to-cash win rate stays the same. That’s a lot easier said than done.If you want to go down this path, you’ll need advanced design tools, like the AQ Design Studio, to attract more business to the products your customers already know and love. 

Thankfully, with AQ, you don’t have to choose between these strategies — you can have the best of both. Let’s explore the benefits of attaching high-quality product designs to listings and the possibilities this can create for your business. 

Here are three ways you can boost quoting activity for your business with AQ Studio.

Create Images More Powerful than Words

There’s a simple fact that everyone involved in the business of selling, manufacturing, and marketing should know: people love pictures. Time and time again, studies have shown that it’s much easier for people to remember something if there is an image attached to it. For that reason, your customers will trust your products and designs more when they can see to believe both the quality and innovation. 

A study by the University of California found that the human brain reacts much stronger to images than words. Researchers noticed spontaneous changes in behavior when participants were shown images as opposed to words or phrases. When you post product listings with detailed imagery, along with technical specs and relevant information, you can take advantage of this effect and leave your customers with a more lasting impression.

Learn the Language of Design

If you want to attract designers to your products, you have to start thinking like one. That means meeting them on their own terms visually. One of the easiest ways to do so is by using AQ to give designers all the information they need to make design decisions through your product data management system.

With AQ Design Studio, you can provide all the imagery, CAD/Revit files, and specs they need to be able to picture your products in the spaces they’re planning. If you build product listings with advanced design tools, designers will be able to use them during the quoting process to input your product specs directly into their plans. The more designers can feel confident a purchase will fit their vision, the more likely they’ll be to purchase.

Build Trust in Your Products

Product listings that come with designs get quoted more frequently. There’s a simple reason why — people have to see something for themselves before they can believe in its value. AQ’s Design Studio and team of media specialists can help you standardize your listings for a customer base that increasingly expects designs with their quotes. To reach this standard, you’ll need to make sure your product listings are complete with up-to-date, dynamic data and imagery. If you’re having trouble with CAD/Revit or simply don’t have the time to dedicate to implementing these files with product listings, AQ will be there to help pick up the slack. As one of the most trusted product data/content resources in the FES industry, AQ has the experience to guide you to more frequent, high-quality quoting activity. All it takes is a little creativity and one of the most robust CPQ software offerings on the market.

If you'd like to learn more about AQ products

Consider the Total Cost of Medical Equipment When Making Purchasing Decisions

Over the last decade, since the passing of the Affordable Care Act, much attention has been given to lowering healthcare costs while improving the overall quality of care. Hospital administrators and medical practice managers well know just how challenging it is to reach that balance. Americans spent a staggering $3.2 trillion on healthcare in 2016. According to Modern Healthcare, medical supplies and equipment account for the biggest spike in healthcare spending. Hospitals are spending $93 billion per year on medical equipment lifecycle costs. Becker’s CFO Report estimates hospitals are missing savings as much as 12 to 16 percent due to “lack of accurate information, internal resources, bandwidth, and specialized expertise.” That averages out to $12,000 per bed per year! How can your healthcare organization effectively plan for and reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO)? Consider these four tips.

KNOW WHAT'S INCLUDED

First, familiarize yourself with the factors that contribute to TCO and the process of the actual lifecycle.

TCO LIFECYCLE:

FACTORS THAT AFFECT TCO:

Carefully analyze each of these pieces of the lifecycle and the factors that affect it. For example, what financing options are available? What will I pay in interest? Is it possible to save money by buying a refurbished model? If it’s cheaper to not buy local, what will freight and logistics cost? What preventive maintenance can be done to reduce repair costs? How much staff time will be devoted to training and implementation? What will we save in increased productivity? What about the service contract and warranty? How soon will we possibly have to pay for a repair? 

Technology adds a whole new dimension to medical equipment. One study estimates medical practices are spending $32,500 per year per full-time physician to buy, maintain and manage health information technology. Before equipment is purchased, managers must determine how IT will be affected. Will the new equipment work with the current technology? If upgrades are needed, what are those costs? Will staff have to learn a new technology to operate the equipment? How flexible is the equipment to future changes in technology?

Manage Priorities Effectively

Whether you are managing a medical practice or a large healthcare organization, you must delicately balance risk, cost and the benefits. Is the TCO worth the return on investment (ROI)? Here are five main areas to help you make that decision.

1.

Will it provide better care? This is at the top of the list because providing top care is the biggest priority. Will the new equipment improve patient care or provide better overall outcomes? In addition to the ethical reasons involved, improving care may result in meeting new quality care measures laid out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, as well as other insurers.

2.

Will it improve efficiency? Technological advances has yielded faster and smarter equipment. Newer equipment is typically more user-friendly, lessening the learning curve for new employees and making it easier to integrate with electronic health records.

3.

Will it bring in revenue? If a piece of equipment allows you to bring certain procedures in-house, a new revenue stream is likely possible. For example, bringing lab equipment in-house not only allows you to treat specific conditions quickly, but it will bring in revenue that you were previously outsourcing.

4.

Will it lower maintenance costs? Constantly paying for repairs is expensive. If you are spending a lot on maintenance, service, and warranty extensions for old equipment, old equipment, it often makes sense to invest in new technology.

5.

Will you attract new patients? Being an early adopter of new technology may attract patients simply because other offices or hospitals don’t have the equipment needed to treat them. Investing in new equipment sends a message that your office is cutting edge and up-to-date on the latest trends and treatments.

GATHER INTEL

The biggest part of the decision-making process is gathering intel. Gather data from various sources to make the best procurement decision, including clinicians, facilities and construction, IT and telecoms, biomedical engineering, finance, vendors and system integrators. Analyze your current asset base, maintenance history of the old equipment and projected maintenance on the new equipment. Carefully compare product specifications, installation requirements and gather price benchmarking data. Gather a robust database of sources, models, manufacturers, new and used equipment, as well as trade-in options. 

It’s critical to have a transparent information pool. While healthcare technology has grown exponentially, many parts of healthcare are not connected. They exist in isolated silos. Numerous healthcare functions are sophisticated and tech-savvy, but they often produce disconnected data streams, rendering decision making impossible. Make a decision by connecting data streams. For example, RFQ capital (supply chain) provides your benchmarking data. Project capital (facilities) provides product specifications. Routine capital (finance) gives insight into your current asset base. Replacement capital (clinical engineering) gives you data on maintenance history, and project capital (facilitators) provides installation requirements.

HAVE A COST-REUCING STRATEGY

Here are just some of the ways to make TCO work for the entire organization.

1.

Equipment standardization has the potential to simplify employee training, minimize errors, reduce maintenance costs and the number of service contracts. Additionally, organizations can stock an inventory of small parts when equipment is standardized. This allows them to make minor repairs in-house.

2.

Contract compliance brings the benefits of a robust warranty and service terms, and increased visibility to the “starting” price. Uphold your end of the contract to get the most out of your service.

3.

Early decision support gets everyone on board from day one. This reduces the chance that costly adjustments will be needed down the road, and lets you reap the benefits of increased productivity right away in all affected departments.

4.

Strategic sourcing results in aggregated purchase savings, controlled procurement time frames, and automated supplier administration fees.

5.

Enterprise Asset Lifecycle Management involves setting priorities by analyzing tangible data, planning for future replacements, making educated purchase decisions, and planning for
disposal, reuse or the sale of used equipment.

In order to remain competitive and provide the highest quality care, physicians and healthcare organizations must have a strategy for keeping their equipment up-to-date. Taking into consideration the total cost of ownership, as well as cost saving strategies will help your organization save money, become more productive, attract new patients and possibly find new revenue sources.

5 Elements of a Successful Channel Engagement Strategy

Engagement is king when you’re selling products through a network of channel partners and distributors. The more actively you engage, the more you sell. But, our data shows that most of the sales leads generated by the manufacturer are not contacted by the channel partner.


That’s just a wasted opportunity. The right engagement strategy should maximize every chance to sell to the leads you already have.


The good news is, you don’t have to increase your marketing budget or generate additional new sales leads to boost engagement. And you don’t have to turn to more traditional forms of engagement to fill the gaps.

Instead, follow these tips to start working toward an effective channel engagement strategy built on digital solutions

START BY CONNECTING
YOUR INTERNAL SYSTEMS

Manufacturers often sell their products through dozens or even hundreds of network partners and distributors. They’re the least effective when they rely on emails and spreadsheets for sales execution. In other words, they convert fewer sales. Obviously, that’s not in line with your goal.

To overcome disconnected systems and processes, you need a connected network of channel partners communicating via the same platform. This gives you an overhead view to see the status of every deal and turn more leads into opportunities.

LEVEL UP
YOUR VISIBILITY

You can’t fix what you can’t see. Once your pieces are connected, it’s important to
base decisions on a real-time view of your pipeline. You don’t have to cross your
fingers and hope that you’ll reach your sales goals.


With a single data source on a unified platform, you can gain up-to-the-minute
insights into the status and size of various deals. You’ll also have access to metrics
that can measure the performance of your channel partners.

ENABLE SALE
PARTNERS WITH PRODUCT DATA

Keeping channel partners updated with the latest sales pitch, product positioning or new feature is a challenge. This is particularly true if they have to navigate your website or search through electronic catalogs to get the information they need. Even keeping product data in a partner’s web portal isn’t foolproof since they won’t always know what they’re looking for. Either way, they’re likely seeing a sliver of what you have to offer and they may be missing out on the most powerful materials.


The solution is to provide sales and product information your distributors can have at their fingertips at all times. We call it contextual enablement, which means delivering helpful information on-demand throughout the deal flow — all without relying on your channels to track down portals, catalogs or website information.

OPTIMIZE LEAD
SCORING AND COMMUNICATION

Once you’ve established connectivity, visibility, and contextual sales enablement, the next step is to create a continuous real-time feedback loop of communication. Doing so improves lead quality, deal conversion rates, and sales execution.


When a distributor receives a lead, is it simple for them to score it? Are you wasting resources on a call center or sending out an email or paper survey to see if the lead is worthwhile? These are the questions you’ll want to answer during optimization.


Here’s the secret to optimizing communication: Keep it simple. If the task is complicated or requires extra steps, it will be ignored. Your solution should make it easy for your channel partners to score leads and communicate their status. And remember, conversion rates go up when all your players share a common communications platform.

MAKE DECISIONS
BASED ON DATA

A data-driven approach to understanding distributor performance prevents you from making decisions based on assumptions. Without a unified view of channel performance, your conversion rates, lead response times, and ability to spot trends or make revenue forecasts is limited.

Data gives you insight into your channel network, helping you spot high and low performers, patterns over time, and opportunities for improvement.

Get these channel-engagement strategies right, and you’ll help your distributors sell more — a lot more.