Animating a distribution network means answering complex and multiple problems. The aim is to reconcile objectives that may be contradictory (such as satisfying distributors and increasing margins) while federating its network. Incentive has distinguished for you the 14 issues you face when you run a distribution network.
Distribution Network Management Challenges
Below are the 14 challenges that must be in your mind while thinking about to facilitate the distribution network management.
1 – Challenge: Get a commitment from the business of a non-exclusive distributor.
Since it sells several brands, it is difficult to federate the salesmen around our brand.
Tip: Create a privileged relationship between the brand and the distributor, for example by organizing a “distributor club”.
2 – Challenge: Make regular visits to all its partners.
The trader of a brand will manage many trademarks of the distribution network that he does not have time to visit as often as necessary.
Tip: Develop exchanges between your sales people and salespeople in your distribution network on a communication platform.
3 – Challenge: Motivating the totality of the sales force of a distributor.
Often the salespersons of a brand do not have time to go see the best seller (the one who cares most about the brand).
Tip: Set up incentive programs that do not reward one or two people, but the entire sales force.
4 – Challenge: Differentiate among distributors.
It is a question of positioning its product / its brand in the head of the one that sells to the final customer. The vendor has a decisive influence on the end customer according to the model he recommends or not.
Tip: Speak directly to distributors’ salespersons and provide them with training content on your products.
5 – Challenge: Measuring real-time performance of each of the players in your distribution network.
It is essential to have an agile management.
Tip: Centralize your data in a tool like Incentive, which allows you to see in real time the detailed performance of each agency and salesperson in your distribution network.
6 – Challenge: To communicate with its distribution network.
Often one communicates with an agency manager and not directly with the sales people. The latter then goes down the information to his managers and then only to the sellers. It’s a safe bet that the message will be altered.
Tip: Have direct communication with all levels.
7 – Challenge: Management vendor’s distributor.
A trademark does not have the right to directly manage the vendors of its distributor because an employee of the distributor could claim to be an employee of the trademark and for example to demand severance payments.
Tip: Do not give direct orders to distributor vendors but try to push information content and offer help with selling your product.
8 – Challenge: Managing the competition between distributors.
In the same territory a Canal + subscription can be distributed by Carrefour or Darty, it is difficult to federate them.
Tip: Organize challenges where distributor sensitive information is not revealed.
9 – Challenge: Train the commercial distribution network for its products.
The effectiveness of your distribution network depends greatly on the knowledge your dealers have of your products. Training is therefore crucial.
Tip: Send content to your product through a commercial animation platform. With the Incentive application you can transmit content, see who saw it and offer quizzes to test the knowledge of your sales people.
10 – Challenge: Do not overwhelm its distributors of tools.
Each vendor will provide its tools to its distributors, and a distributor may end up with a significant number of tools to which it is supposed to connect regularly.
Tip: Make your tools as simple and feasible as possible and integrate perfectly with those of your partners.
11 – Challenge: Do not offer the amount of depreciation that exceeds the salary commercial.
This could give the impression that the salesperson works for the brand and not the distributor.
Tip: Find out about your partners ‘vendors’ incomes and adjust your endowments accordingly.
12 – Challenge: Avoid pitfalls with managers in your network.
Often branch managers do not want to reward their salespersons or take part in their motivation to keep control over their sales force.
Tip: You can award group rewards that will also reward the management of your distributors.
13 – Challenge: Dealing middle management.
In a distribution network, intermediary management is often only a transmission belt.
Tip: Restore power to the field management, for example with Incentive a field manager can organize his own challenges in a few clicks.
14 – Challenge: Better understand the business to establish a relationship of trust.
Tip: Take time to meet with the sales people, talk to them, learn about the milestones in their lives and make a file that summarizes happy birthdays / weddings / events to send personalized messages that show you know them.
It is by responding to these problems that we build a relationship of trust with its network. Creating loyalty – as we have seen – is not easy, but it is the best competitive advantage that you can win. A network that drives your products, from managers to final salespeople, is a guarantee of success. Incentive can help you address these issues to boost the efficiency of your distribution network.