Supplier-distributor: building business relationship
Effective relationship with distributors is the key to successful sales. Companies that are able to build such relationship are already one step ahead of their competitors. Another thing is that building them is a complicated process requiring a lot of effort. But we know how to make it easier.
Partnership is paramount
The relationship between suppliers and distributors is essentially the partnership relations. Two market participants agree on specific tasks, and both are equally interested in a benign scenario. In practice, however, there is little left of the partnership. Suppliers, for example, are often to control every step of an agent and bring complaints about the smallest issues. At the same time, they tend to make mistakes themselves. Distributors are looking for ways to raise their profits, which pushes many to the excess of their own powers.
To avoid such problems, be sure to place mutual benefits at the top of your agenda other than the personal gain. Create conditions that would be favourable not only for your company but for distributors as well. Work together and do not shift the problems on partners pretending it is not the matter of yours. This way you will be able to establish normal relations with your agents. They can serve you as the foundation to allow you build a stronger relationship.
Focus on clients
An in-depth understanding of the client’s needs, his/her habits is just as paramount as knowing the subtleties of market development. Such knowledge allows better projecting the sales channels that are likely to be used by consumers to purchase goods or services. By focusing your strategy on the consumer, suppliers encourage their distributors to do exactly the same. This will help the latter to save time when working with their clients.
To get the best possible results, suppliers and distributors must work together. However, concluding a cooperation agreement is not enough. Personal communication is a must. You can organise it in many different ways. For example, by participating in trade shows with your agents or arranging workshops, where your staff can meet your partner’s officers and exchange their best practices. For them, it is a great way to understand the subtleties of each other’s work better and to build more effective business relations.
Monitoring procedures are just as crucial
The wider your partnership network is, the harder it gets to trace the quality of its operation. In this regard, it is reasonable to appoint a controller. His/her main purpose is to ensure that partners have everything they need for successful sales. How well do they understand the development strategy for the supplying company, the objectives of its marketing campaigns, the way they document information, problems with accounts receivable, their content with the bonus programme — these are the areas that should be monitored all the time.
This controller can be chosen from the company staff. Yet the more efficient solution is to engage independent experts. With a deep understanding of how the sales segment functions, and having all the instruments needed to conduct monitoring, they will analyse your cooperation with distributors and develop measures to enhance it.
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