If your brand goes to market through an indirect channel, your job is effectively the pursuit of more. After all, your goals haven't changed; you just want to be the go-to brand of all the top sales associates in your sales channel. Simple, right?
There is a great quote from Confucius about simplicity: "Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated." When it comes to building mindshare and thereby market share in the channel, I believe that focusing on the modest set of principles outlined below is a great guideline to help us stay focused on how to get where we want to go.
The power to maintain that focus is what's going to move the needle for you.
Another unchanging factor of channel sales: in the majority of verticals the array of products being launched at any given time is staggering and varied. We see everything from established companies betting the farm on proprietary new technologies all the way to unheard of brands with enormously deep pockets working to penetrate established spaces. Brands trusted by our parents and grandparents struggle to balance the very practices upon which they have been built with new procedures as they attempt to synch up with the modern customer journey of the attention economy, all the while navigating the challenges of new and unknown supply chains.
Without radical product differentiation that captures the minds (and wallets) of consumers, how can a brand make a big enough dent in the marketplace to gain a foothold and start to grow? Consider this: what makes a retail sales associate (RSA) show and ultimately sell the products that they show and sell? Each time the RSA encounters a customer, the salesperson needs to make a lightning-quick decision of what they believe will best suit the customer's particular need. Ultimately, this decision is driven by six factors, several of which can be supported and even driven by excellent work at the field sales rep (FSR) level.