A lot of manufacturing and supply businesses have trouble managing their distributors – the companies that manage the distribution of their products and services. For manufacturers and suppliers, a distributor is like a partner in business, a channel or an outlet through which, their goods and services reach out to the last consumer – the marketplace.
On the other hand, Manage Distributors have their challenges and demanding requirements, almost similar to what the customers demand. If these demands are not met, the supplier-distributor relation is bound to falter and most importantly, the business gets affected. It is hereby, very critical that suppliers view their distributors as their strategic partners and not employees, in business.
It is crucial that managing the supplier-distributor relation can help to optimize the performance of distributors, but before it could happen, suppliers must overcome the two most difficult challenges:
- Managing the brand, particularly when reaching out to customers is possible through a third party, and
- Retaining people who are talented, and recruiting the new ones.
Managing Distributors: Making the partnership work
By now, you must have known that how vital it is to manage the partnership between the suppliers and distributors for the success of a brand. So, how can this be done fruitfully?
- By engaging the distributors in the right manner
Businesses that achieve the highest levels of the two – customers and employees, gain high financial impacts. Distributors can be engaged in the right way when they have the right resources the supplier provides them with to make the customers happy. Resources that help distributors manage their business more efficiently and help them succeed are always what keeps distributors happy.
- Engaging the end customers
Feedback is necessary. It provides manufacturers with a wealth of valuable information about the customer’s engagement with their services and products. It gives a clear-cut knowledge about any problems, incidences, and successful resolution. If the distributor is unable to meet up to the expectation and is underperforming, is the one who is not executing on the brand promise, and the quality of service. While the one whose performance is outstanding is more likely to see high future sales and profits. Gauging a distributor’s performance is not an easy task, but asking for feedback from the customers, can make it much accurate.
- Select the right distributors with the right representative
The salespeople appointed by a distributor are the brand ambassadors and hence should be carefully selected. Offering the right tools to the distributors can make it much easier for distributors to hire the right and better salespeople, which in turn will provide wit the opportunity to develop a strong partnership relation and thus higher sales and profits.
- Be a partner to your distributor and not just a vendor
Distributors are the face of the company. They are the ones that can cloud or accentuate a brand in the market. Building a real and effective partnership with distributors can make a supplier’s brand promise the key to success. This partnership can improve sales performance, and can also serve as a solid differentiator in a market that has a lot of competition.
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