Defining Channel Mix

For many organisations the development of their sales channel strategy evolves ‘piece meal’ over time. It often reflects the needs of specific departments, product groups or geographies to impact local or vertical markets at given times. Many partner organisations will have been desperate to represent you merely to add your name to their list of 'trophy names'. When this evolutionary process has been coupled with poor general knowledge of channel design it is no wonder that so many organisations find the creation of a cohesive channel policy difficult to achieve.

 

Product Market Assessment

All successful channel strategies are built on a foundation of customer to channel alignment. To develop this foundation, we must clearly understand your customers buying preferences and behaviours, and ensure that chosen channels are able to support the sales of specific solutions to these customers.

 

We will develop a clear understanding of target product markets as an essential first step in designing your channel strategy.

 

We will need to consider these questions:

  • Have we clearly defined and understood your product-markets?
  • Do we have a clear understanding of your customers buying practices and preferences?
  • How does product complexity impact the selection of your channels?
  • Are your products ‘Channel ready’?
  • How will channel economics affect the choice of your channels?
  • Do your products' processes match those required in the new markets?
  • Is your product technically compatible with the common environments in the new market?
  • How will your current pricing match the needs of the local market?
  • What is the impact of cross-border eCommerce on your pricing and profitability?

 

We must identify your organisations best product market opportunities. When developing new business in International markets, the design of the channel mix is more complex but far more critical to early success. Clearly understanding which markets are best suited to your products and having real insight into local market conditions are essential in developing the right channel mix for each market.

 

Channel Profiling

In order to understand your potential product markets we have to understand your solutions.  One of our consultants will be tasked with gaining a deep understanding of your solutions and how they fit into the competitive marketplace. Our aim is to fully understand how the maturity of your products and their unique position in your market space will affect the choice of and access to particular product markets.

 

We will evaluate the complexity of your solution and provide a clear understanding of what skills each channel type will need to ensure a superior customer experience. We will assess channel readiness, giving clear guidance on localisation, local market technical requirements and any issues that relate to local solution specific differences. We will also gain a clear understanding of customer support issues and assess the most efficient model for local and regional technical support.

 

We will use insights from the customer buying behaviours of your current channels and markets to assist in understanding how International customers may want to buy from you.  Our approach is to understand the buying motivation in each market place and to assess how value added services, price, local support and speed of delivery influence you customers buying behaviours.

 

Channel Economics

Another consideration in developing channel mix is to create a model that satisfies the specific transaction economics of your products and solutions. Understanding transaction costs between complex and high value solutions against simpler but high volume products will help develop an efficient channel mix.

 

Channel Conflict

Our approach ensures that channel conflict is minimised. Conflict is an inevitable consequence of a multiple channel strategy but with clear understanding of the needs of your customers we build in the means to manage channel conflict effectively and early.

 

Channel Strategy Project Plan

ProSecta will ensure that your channel strategy develops from careful analysis of your customers needs and by understanding how the complexity of your products will influence the type and costs of the sales channels selected. We will build this information into a project plan to assist in future enhancements to your channels.

 

Evolving your Channel Strategy

Finally, a channel strategy cannot remain static for long. Organisations are dynamic and are constantly changing in order to provide new products and services to their customers in increasingly diverse markets. Add to this the impact of mergers and acquisitions and you need to be continually evolving your channel strategy, to ensure that customer and corporate needs are satisfied.

 

Why a Channel Strategy?

Look at any market sector and you will see clear winners. These winners are defined by their ability to ‘buck the trend’ when markets are weak and by being able to supremely capitalise on markets when conditions are good.

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International Market Entry

Today is a world of global markets and global competition. Those technology organisations that wish to survive in this environment must quickly rise to the challenge and there are significant benefits in doing so.

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