Channel Management – What Questions Should You Be Asking

Best Free IPTV subscription has observed an interesting similarity among our clients recently, particularly those in traditional mature markets. These clients have realized they are managing a current channel strategy based on outdated channel programs. Often through benign neglect, these programs have failed to keep pace with both market evolution and changes in the manufacturer’s channel strategy. When did you last review your channel programs?

When most manufacturers think of channel programs, the focus immediately turns to economics; the channel pricing structure and other elements of the economic relationship with your channel partners. Most manufacturers have done a good job of keeping their channel pricing current with the channel strategy. However, your channel programs go well beyond the economics–they impact virtually every element of your channel relationships. In this paper, we review the elements of a well crafted channel program, and address some common questions we hear manufacturers asking today regarding those programs.

The most actionable definition of a channel program includes all the formal written and stated elements of your channel relationship. The program goes well beyond just a contract or a pricing structure–it defines all aspects of your relationship with the channel. As such, the program becomes the “recipe book” from which to manage your channel relationships.

The common elements of your channel program include:

> The contract or legal framework for your channel relationship

> Your price/discount structure and all related economic policies

> Any sales/marketing or merchandising/promotions offered to the channel or through the channel to the end user

> Technical requirements of the channel and a description of your technical support offering to the channel

> Policies and procedures outlining the operational relationship with your channel (including order transaction and movement of product

A formal channel program, as described above, provides structure to the channel relationship. It provides clear direction to your channel partner regarding the channel’s role and what you value. It outlines the process and metrics you will use to evaluate your channel’s performance. It also assures the channel partner objectivity in its dealings with you.

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