Increase Dealer Win Rates with Ease, Speed & Personalization
Even though The Alexander Group finds that 75% of manufacturers rely on indirect channels for a significant amount of revenue, their partner performance is not seen as all that effective. This is likely related to the top challenge manufacturing executives say they face: a lack of customer alignment. Ninety-eight percent cite customer alignment as a top challenge, but only 30% of them feel they are adequately responding to customer needs.
This lack of alignment rolls out to your indirect sales channels, creating more challenges for your dealer and distributor networks. One effort to address this challenge is an increasing investment in digital sales and marketing channels—to improve win rates for both direct and indirect sellers.
One of the best practices to exercise for this is the need to shorten sales cycles. In this post, you’ll find additional depth on how to help your dealers and distributors achieve this best practice with intelligent sales tools.
Address the Need for Ease in Buyer-Seller Alignment
Dealers and distributors say that the relationships they have with suppliers have stayed the same over the years with the quality of indirect seller support declining.
Buyers’ expectations have risen, but they’re finding that their suppliers aren’t keeping pace. Most of them will use online resources to self-educate, then turn to dealer and distributor reps to help deconflict the information they’ve sourced, as well as to bring information they haven’t found to help them advance their thinking and make better decisions.
A simplified sales enablement platform that syncs all your product information and selling tools to enable the real-time sharing of insights via the device at hand—mobile, tablet, or laptop—enables your indirect sellers to support better sales conversations whether online or off. But research from Gartner also finds that 50% of buyers don’t have adequate criteria established to make a buying decision. This is where indirect reps armed with virtual product tours and expert insights can align quickly with wherever their buyers take the conversation.
Even better, channel marketers can add an extra assist by helping their partners understand which questions they should be helping their customers ask that they may not even know to ask. This will make a huge difference in responding to customer needs—and advancing the sale.
Help Your Partners Meet the Need for Speed
Your customers want to buy faster. But they find themselves confused by conflicting information or a lack of capability in finding the information they need to make a sound buying decision. Real-time notifications that show indirect sellers when a buyer engages with the content they’ve shared helps them become more “intuitive” about delivering more of the right information at the right time—when buyers are engaged.
On the earlier side of the funnel, one of the biggest benefits dealers get from manufacturers are leads. But it usually takes a week or longer to get leads from events or trade shows into the hands of partners. You scan badges using a tool provided by the event organizer and then wait for them to send you the spreadsheet. Next you reformat the spreadsheet to align the fields with your CRM. Then you import the leads and then sort and assign to your dealer network. It doesn’t need to be this slow or arduous.
Instead, think about the difference an intelligent lead capture tool can make. This tool allows your event team to scan badges, ask qualifying questions during the conversation in your booth and then have the lead automatically created in your CRM and routed to the right direct seller or dealer based on geography, product or other criteria you set. In real-time.
How would your alignment with customers be if they were contacted by their dealer sales rep before the show even ended? What if they were sent the information they asked about as the dealer sales rep introduces themselves? What difference would that make for increasing win rates—and reducing sales cycles?
Not only could you prove the ROI of your event and trade show spend, but you’ll gain visibility from the moment the lead is generated through to sources of buyer engagement and win rates. Something that’s been lacking for channel marketing forever.
Even better, you’ll know exactly which content leads engaged within the buying process which will help you allocate resources appropriately to create even more engagement while proving the impact your channel programs have on revenue growth.
Help Your Dealers Get Personal with Customers
Intelligent sales tools should arm sellers to focus on having better conversations with buyers, with the supporting content available a click away. Buyers who used to push sellers to the end of their buying process are now saying they want to talk to sellers earlier—if they can add value by helping them make sense out of the options they’re considering.
Aligning with customer needs means understanding them. Preparation that’s fast and easy allows your indirect sellers to bring the expertise that builds trust and drives sales. A sales content asset management hub that enables you to provide each dealer or distributor with the content and product information they need simplifies things for both sides. With permissions that allow you to provide just the content and product information in your portfolio that your dealer sells, tagged automatically via AI to make it easily findable (via buying stage, product, persona, SKU, geography, etc.), they can use Collections to group assets for each meeting.
It doesn’t hurt that if the conversation with the customer takes an unexpected turn, the seller can shift with a click to access content relevant to the new topic at hand. And, they can instantly share that content with the buyer to deepen the conversation and motivate intent and purchase decisions.
Ease, Speed and Personalization: The Keys to Higher Win Rates
Buyers are busy. They want to buy faster than they do today and with less effort. They need to engage with informed sellers who provide them with personalized insights that make their decisions better, in line with their business objectives.
Enabling dealers and distributors can seem more daunting than enabling direct sellers as manufacturers are not in control of the processes used by the entity. This said, providing them with a sales enablement platform with intelligent sales tools that helps them solve their top challenge of aligning with customers will result in improving their business and yours. And, The Alexander group verified that formalized sales operations have an impact on higher growth. Transforming channel performance is well within your reach.