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Do Your Customers Find You "Easy to do Business With?"

June 9, 2016

In this post I'll share a best practice on how to become "easy to do business with" that I learned while working with some of the most successful dealer organizations in the world. But first, one needs to better understand the problem.

 

You hear it everywhere these days. Companies proclaiming they want to be “easy to do business with.” Who can blame them? There’s not much future for a company that’s difficult to do business with. Yet, most companies are. Especially when serving their distribution channel.

Why do so many fail at it? Because being easy to do business with is easy to say, but quite frankly, not so easy to do.

 

In fact, for most companies, it’s not even easy to define. Every functional business unit in your company might have a different idea of what it will take to become “easy to do business with.” The reason is simple—if all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

 

For example, if you ask the IT guys it might mean a better dealer portal or a better search engine or a new content management system. If you ask the sales and marketing team it might mean a new CRM system, stronger communications or new market development funds. If you ask senior management it might be better metrics, KPI’s and dashboards. And if you ask the dealer development guys it might mean better partner on-boarding or more formal training and certification.

 

So…you see the problem. Few companies look at this problem holistically. And when a company fails to look at it holistically, they simply compound the problem by…

  1. Forcing multiple, confusing solutions down the throats of their distribution channel.

  2. Spending ridiculous amounts of money on overlapping solutions with mind-numbing and expensive redundancy.

  3. Creating not only confusing experiences for their distribution channel, but difficult to manage and sustain programs for the company.

In these situations the journey toward becoming “easy to do business with” takes a disturbing detour down the road to confusion and frustration in the channel. And it happens all the time!

 

The solution is to not allow the functional business units in your company to make unilateral decisions on becoming easy to do business with. You need to be holistic. And that means taking all of the great ideas of the best thinkers in your company and bringing them together holistically with a modern cloud-based Partner Relationship Management system.

 

Today’s PRM systems unify the dealer’s experience with your company. Everything comes together through a single, unified interface/portal. The dealers’ world is simplified. As is yours. All the key technologies that you need to better engage, manage and develop your distribution channel are unified into these systems, including:

  • Content libraries

  • Training & development programs & management

  • Social management

  • Performance management, including incentives & motivation

  • Marketing & communications management

  • KPI’s, metrics and dashboards

  • And Portal management including SSO’s into your ecosystem of third party tools.

There really is an easy way to become “easy to do business with.” Contact ChannelSAGE (www.channelsageLLC.com) for a no obligation discussion of your channel issues and how they match up with our solutions.

 

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