Examples of some of the projects we have delivered with distributors and channel managers include:
- An internal programme to assist Export Managers helped maximise business through applying a structured and logical approach. Implementation of the ‘Matrix Plan’ along with a bespoke ‘Marketing Plan’ meant that meetings were more focused and productive and increased time spent in the market allowed more support to be given to the Distributor’s sales team with a positive impact on sales
- Several Business Development Managers with a large engineering company benefited from using a methodology that allowed them to deal with a larger number of accounts. Specific skills development included those associated with building relationships, particularly those required with internal or subsidiary customers.
- Regional Managers of a manufacturer were able to identify and work with distributors and wholesalers for the launch of a new brand in a competitive market. Better initial selection procedures and the use of established planning techniques meant the launch was successful and market share was immediately won.
- Already faced with a complex sale Relationship Managers for a materials handling company were able to focus on business winning activities with their resellers rather than being distracted by politics and administration issues. The improved relationships derived from a more transparent and structured approaches are reported to have a positive impact on the division’s sales.
- Distributor Managers in the luxury beauty sector were able to improve market penetration using a more effective sales process. Improved relationships also contributed to an increase in more secure contracts, locking out competition.
- An automotive business used a number of the techniques aligned to distributor management to equip team members to work more effectively with their dealers. Clarity and the combined sense of purpose developed between the two parties had a large impact on the initiative’s success.
Beware Black Widows and Vultures!
Working with distributors creates a whole menagerie of animal-like selling and buying behaviours.
‘Pure partnership’, ‘consultative selling’ and ‘key account’ principles do not always apply quite so neatly in the world of the reseller and a different perspective must be taken to ensure sales success.
Working through distributors and wholesalers is one of the more complex sales scenarios. However it is also one of the least understood and so poorly catered for in the training world (as a result of the difficulty in identifying and modelling the success factors).
Structured Training have a course which has been developed with the most up to date thinking from our extensive experience working with distribution networks in both the UK and Europe.
Designed around applied best practice, the session will encourage participants to take a new look at their approach and develop a working template and business plan for developing sales.
This two-day session is aimed at distributor managers and sales managers who have a ‘distributor’ channel and wish to build on their existing experience and skills.
Managing distributors is often seen as a matter of ‘servicing’ the account, and this can put the distributor manager in a ‘one down’, supplication relationship with their customer. Yet the modern way of looking at distribution networks is to see them as partnerships rather than customers, and as an important part of the overall sales and marketing strategy for your company.
This course looks at the detailed and often complicated relationship between marketing, motivation and sales management to really drive the business through the distribution channel.
|After attending this course participants will have the ability to:
- What is Channel Management?
- Definitions and application
- Distributors, wholesalers, resellers
- Trade and retail
- Working Fundamentals
- Profit Parity – business for everyone
- Winning ‘Brainspace’ – internal competition
- Black Widows and Vultures – supplier and customer mindsets
- Mushroom Effect – use and abuse of information
- Authentic Behaviour
- ‘MMS’ Model
- Marketing – 4 Ps and beyond
- Motivation – Paying EXTRA attention
- Sales – 2 Page Plan and ‘Development Matrix’
- Managing the Marketing Mix
- Introducing the 4Ps
- Product – Understanding the whole offer
- Place – Investigating all routes to market
- Price – Adopting the right policy
- Promotion – Maximising all the elements
- Extended Marketing Mix
- Adding the 7Ps
- People – Sales, customer service (and customer!)
- Process – Appying the Marketing Mix
- Physical Evidence – Dealing with intangibles
- The 8th and 9th Ps
- Packaging – First contact
- Philosophy – Organisational ethos and introduction rationale
- ‘Managing’ the Distributor
- Effecting direction and control on a separate entity
- Manipulating main business drivers
- Attention to EXTRA elements
- Raison d’etre of distributor
- Establishing ‘fair’ profit balance
- Quantifying ‘goodwill’
- Avoiding investment ‘double counting’
- Principles of Negotiation
- ‘If I… Then You…’
- Basis of strong Communication
- Emphasising ‘WIIFM’
- Promoting Brand and Image
- Joining the Family
- Ensuring optimum sales effort
- Product knowledge and process efficacy
- As a PR opportunity
- ‘Reverse Training’ – educating Internal teams
- MBO – Management By Objectives
- Setting targets – minimum standards to stretch
- Using ‘dashboard diagnostics’
- Planning and implementing Incentives
- Progressing and encouraging sales activity
- Implementing appropriate promotions
- Considering the importance of effective Product Management
- Nurturing and developing the Product Manager
- Searching for ‘Ambassadors’
- Using the ‘2 Page Plan’
- Setting SMART Objectives
- Plotting the Organisation structure
- Conducting a SWOT Analysis
- Surveying Competitive landscape
- ‘Development Matrix’
- Elements of the ‘Contract’
- Defining scope of criteria vs sales activity
- Scoring and developing action plans
- Reviewing and rewarding top performers
- Dynamic Tensioning
- Applying focus of internal promotions
- Mixing tools and incentives
- Considering distributor, sales person, customer
- Putting it All to Work
- Designing and owning your Personal Development Plan
- Prioiritising action points
- Maximising input from others
- It starts now!
Thomas Edison said that he looked at what the world needed and then proceeded to invent it. He was always on the lookout… the lookout for what was next… the lookout for ways in which we could make the world better.
That spirit still drives us. At GE, we consider constant learning a cultural cornerstone. It defines not just our founding but also our future.
I hope the same is true for today’s graduates.
The world is volatile, uncertain, global and complicated. Growth is slow. But that should not be discouraging. Instead, it’s a challenge. I want to summon determination. Graduates should be optimistic; believe in better. The world awaits your leadership.
Success in the 21 century will come to those that can get in front of the trends, move quickly, innovate, and work together to deliver results. And our ability to contribute to the century in which we live will come down to our willingness and ability to do five things.
First, accept and lead change
We can’t wait for the economy to stabilize. We can’t wait for a time when there is more certainty. It used to be that you only had to manage momentum. Today, you have to create your own future. And that means change.
Just a few years ago, I never thought GE would be a software company. That was the domain of startups and “cool companies,” not 19th century companies like GE. Today, we see analytics and software as an imperative. We can connect big iron and big data to create brilliant machines. Think cleaner and more efficient jet engines, power plants, and hospital systems.
We are hiring the next generation of leaders to help us. But the “old dogs” – people like me – really are learning new tricks. And we have to.
Continuously innovate in your lifetime, regardless of your profession and regardless of past performance. You must choose change.
But to change, you need to learn
Somebody once asked Edison about a failure. He famously replied: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
That perspective remains a great lesson in constant learning. While I wouldn’t recommend making a habit out of failure, we can never allow ourselves to become paralyzed by the fear of not reaching our intended outcome. If anything, perfection only tells us our goals aren’t bold enough.
So, be humbled by what you don’t know.
In 1989, I led GE’s Appliance Service business. We had a catastrophic failure of our refrigerators and had to replace over three million compressors – one of the major components in the appliance that keep things cold. To understand what went wrong, I knew I had to get my hands dirty.
So I did. I went into people’s homes to fix the refrigerators. And let me tell you, there’s no better way to learn from failure or to be humbled than for a math major to sit on someone’s kitchen floor while the ice cream melts.
Every failure only brings you that much closer to truth. To invention. To success. To an outcome that matters.
Learning builds confidence. If you are confident, you will take risks. The best leaders I have ever met are risk takers
Today, GE is the country’s second largest exporter behind Boeing. I can tell you firsthand – it’s a big risk starting businesses around the world.
You have to overcome both the cultural and trust challenges that often exist abroad and the resistance and fear at home.
I understand the fear, especially at a time when unemployment remains higher than any of us would like. But we can’t close our eyes and pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist or can’t compete. We can’t assume today’s solutions will work tomorrow. And we can never afford to say: “It’s too risky; I’m afraid to fail.”
For inspiration, look to entrepreneurs, look at start-ups. They often put everything on the line for one idea, something they pursue with passion and focus.
In your lifetime, you will learn that sitting still is failure. We must move forward … we must drive change. So be comfortable with risk.
If you accept the ideas of risk and change you must also be resilient
When you take a risk, you might not succeed. Get up, dust yourself off and keep going. American manufacturing is a great example.
For too long, our country bought into a notion that said we could more or less abandon manufacturing and become a services only economy, and we could do that without second-thought or any consequences. We learned an important lesson: manufacturing – our ability and willingness to make things — is critical to our competitiveness.
Today, we are seeing confidence and competitiveness in much of our workforce. American workers are flexible, and most of them love to compete. We can win anywhere. But only because we persist. Only because of resiliency.
Expect obstacles. Prepare for setbacks. Your determination will make you better.
But getting better takes leadership
Today, in the era of 24-hour news and social media, it is easy to blame everyone for everything. But leadership is not about blame, it is about optimism and creating the way forward.
In tough times, people don’t want someone who will say: “We’re doomed. Might as well give up.” Instead, they want someone who can draw a play in the dirt and say, “Let’s go do it.” Someone willing to make a bold decision even and especially in the face of uncertainty.
Understand that leadership is not a chore; it’s a choice. It’s an honor. It’s about bringing people together and getting the job done. It’s about getting in the arena, getting your hands dirty. It’s about being true to yourself and lifting up others. It’s about being authentic and transparent.
I have not had a perfect career. Rather, my life has been about self-renewal, learning from failure, and a powerful optimism that the future will be better than the past.
We could all look around and accept today’s challenges as insurmountable. Or we can use them to inspire action. See the word “lookout” not as a warning but as an invitation to make a difference on something that matters. Be on the lookout for the opportunity to change. To learn. To take risk. To persist. And to lead.
Always strive to be better… that way, I know, you will make the world better.
A powerful, direct debunking of the modelling/fashion industry and how its artifice and lies distorts our view of young women by Cameron Russell.
Everyone, I’m elated to tell you that Tumblr will be joining Yahoo.
Before touching on how awesome this is, let me try to allay any concerns: We’re not turning purple. Our headquarters isn’t moving. Our team isn’t changing. Our roadmap isn’t changing. And our mission – to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve – certainly isn’t changing.
So what’s new? Simply, Tumblr gets better faster. The work ahead of us remains the same – and we still have a long way to go! – but with more resources to draw from.
Yahoo is the original Internet company, and Marissa and her team share our dream to make the Internet the ultimate creative canvas. I couldn’t be more excited to have her help. We also share a vision for Tumblr’s business that doesn’t compromise the community and product we love. Plus both our logos end with punctuation!
As always, everything that Tumblr is, we owe to this unbelievable community. We won’t let you down.
At least he hasn’t posted a video of himself singing it, accompanied by his guitar (as far as we know).
If Heineken did interviews they might just be the best in the world (with apologies to Carlsberg). Certainly for a marketing internship for one of the biggest brands on the planet, this is a great way to draw attention to your company as an employer of choice, as well as create a positive vibe about your products in your target market.
This may not be a practical way to recruit in your business, but it’s a fun ride.
Sometimes a gentle ‘nudge’ isn’t enough. Sometimes a giant flashing warning sign isn’t enough. Australian traffic planners have come up with a unique, creative, solution to the problem of lorry drivers who ignore the signs warning them that their vehicles are too tall to safely pass under bridges. Every time a truck fails to heed the warnings, traffic is backed up for hours as the disabled vehicle and the debris it creates are removed.
To give you an idea of the sort of incidents the Australians want to avoid, you can take a look at a whole YouTube channel dedicated to vehicles being decapitated at just one North Carolina bridge.
It turns out some truck drivers will only stop if a giant stop sign blocks their way, which could be tricky for other motorists. The water curtain Stop sign does just that, creating a visual but not physical barrier. Trucks will still have to back up out of the tunnel, but they won’t be splattered all over the road, meaning traffic can flow more freely.
It may be a great time for David Beckham to end his football playing career, and we wish him every success in whatever he decides to do next, but we’ll miss this kind of precision.
(You don’t need to speak Spanish to enjoy the commentary)
The latest communication from everyone’s favourite Canadian astronaut, Commander Chris Hadfield OOnt MSC CD …
In the last few weeks we have been helping with interviewing people for senior positions for several different clients. The common denominators have been as follows:
- All the companies are in high growth mode with these being executive positions
- All have a distinctive culture they want to add to, not replace or contaminate (this will be significant later)
- All the positions will have a big impact of whether their strategic goals will be achieved in the next 2-3 years
- The companies all make or create things in the real world
- All are in excess of £100kpa packages, one closer to £200k
What have we learnt?
- There is no relationship between the size of the package and the quality of candidate, in either relative or absolute terms.
- Research on the recruiting company beforehand has been poor. A visit to the web site, an attempt to learn a couple of a buzz words has been about the sum total.
- Presentations with typos in have not been unusual, nor media that didn’t work.
- The stronger candidates connected with the people who were interviewing them.
- Selling yourself is too simplistic a strategy. Without nuance and intelligence it comes over as insincere and obvious. The smarter candidates try to pick up signposts and then develop them with their own insights.
- Having a distinctive point of view is not as dangerous as having no point of view at all. Trying to give ‘the right’ answer leads to a dead end where there is no right answer at all, only what a candidate really thinks about a subject.
- The candidate knows the company believes itself to be values driven, it has talked about the importance of its culture and cultural fit. At the end of the interview the candidate has NO questions. Nothing that connects the high growth ambitions of the company and the desire for the culture not to change. Where are the pinch points? Why did the previous post holder leave? How do peers feel about the creation of this new role?
- Many candidates had no note pad or made no notes over several hours. The job is interesting but obviously not that interesting.
- One outstanding candidate simply talked compellingly about the way they would do the job, gently criticised elements of the current strategy which they had intuited from published material, and told us where their function would be in 2 years under their leadership. When can you start?!
- Some candidates were obviously better than the way they interviewed and would benefit massively from some technique training.
The good news for any job hunter is the standard of interview as delivered by their competitors is not high, and the seniority of the job doesn’t seem to change that. Improve and you will stand out.