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Getting Your Extended Sales Channels on the Same Page

One of the fatal mistakes most failed businesses make is putting too much emphasis on manufacturing and not enough importance on sales and distribution. Clear communication is essential for manufacturers with extended sales channels. After all, a miscommunication could mean customers can’t access your products, causing you to miss out on a sale.

Streamlined communication ensures that your dealer network has the tools and information to get products into customers’ hands. Your business depends on it to be successful.

How to Streamline Communication

Consider how you and your sales staff communicate every day. You attend face-to-face and virtual meetings, field multiple phone calls, and send dozens of emails — but it doesn’t end there. With additional distractions like text messages, social media, and conferencing apps to contend with, it’s inevitable to have some mishaps.

One of the best ways to prevent miscommunications among your team is to streamline your messaging and use the same communication channels. A dedicated service can help unite all of your communication forms into one program.

Connecting Your Dealer Network

Digital twin software can have a major impact on fluid handling equipment manufacturers trying to innovate their products and improve profit margins. Here’s how: Before you can improve communication with your extended sales channels, you need to identify your dealer network — the network of distributors who sell your product. The first step is creating a business-to-business (B2B) website that showcases your products for your dealers to buy directly. They can then resell the products on their own websites and inside brick-and-mortar stores.

Software applications also support your dealer network. Providing dealers with digital access to data and configuration options helps them reach more customers to make sales. There are many apps and computer solutions available to share invaluable data and craft marketing plans that will lead you to success.

Tips for Distribution Success

Once established, help your distribution network grow and operate effectively by using different strategies. Here are some of the best solutions:
  • Find the Right Distributor — Not all distributors are equal, and some have strengths that others lack. First, look at the distribution outlet that best fits your product. For instance, if you produce consumables that must be reordered, like hardware and parts, you’ll need a storage facility to ensure you’ve always got enough product on-hand to fulfill large orders. In this case, you might want to look for a wholesaler with access to a large warehouse. However, if customers need to physically test your products, consider a distribution chain featuring showrooms and brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Synchronize Distribution Channels with CPQ — Another way to help everyone get on the same page is with a configure, price, quote (CPQ) solution. If you choose to use this software, you’ll enable distributors and bolster their loyalty by allowing them to independently order specially configured products 24/7. Distributors will be able to enter product specifications online and receive an accurate quote instantly. This eliminates concerns about details falling through the cracks due to multiple communication channels. Everything will go through the CPQ software, and your distributors will be able to quote with confidence.
  • Encourage Upselling and Cross-Selling — The ability to upsell or cross-sell to customers goes beyond basic order fulfillment and indicates that the distributor knows your clients — and your product — well. These two factors are some of the best indicators of a successful distributor and will encourage them to increase sales and (ultimately) your bottom line.
  • Utilize Omnichannel Sales — Enabling omnichannel sales means allowing multiple ways of selling your products through a consistent and seamless experience. The more avenues your customers have to buy products, the better chance you will have to make sales. An omnichannel approach means moving beyond just phone or in-person orders. You should have a website that allows distributors to order using a website form and (if possible) a web-based configurator. Supporting mobile orders is more important than ever, as so many people are now using their smartphones and tablets to order configured and personalized products. The more opportunities you have, the better.
  • Determine Your Metrics — Constantly reevaluating your distribution methods and channels makes it easier to determine success (or failure) for your distribution partners. How will they be evaluated? What will you do if they fall below a certain level? And who will be responsible for making this call? This is important for you and the distributors to know so they can focus on the right areas, ensuring their (and your) success.
Distributors are a vital element to your business. If you’re just starting to create a distribution chain, you will soon find that it’s a superior way to ensure the success of your brand. Finding the right distributors and opportunities to upsell, cross-sell, and use multiple outlets can guarantee that your product is seen (and bought) by as many customers as possible.

When you’re ready to synchronize your distribution network, Revalize has the solution. Our industry leading CPQ solution, Configure One Cloud, streamlines communications, increases sales, and reduces errors in your ordering process. 

Sign up for a free demo of the CPQ solution to make your life easier.

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