Unlocking the Benefits of your Data to Improve Channel Sales
The integration of data into a B2B’s channel sales and marketing strategies have provided many companies with significant insights. The data has assisted companies in identifying potential partners. In addition, access to these valuable information has helped many companies target parties that are more likely to engage. Some benefits of utilizing data for an improved channel sales are:
- A better understanding of partner behavior
- Improving partnership
- Finding and exploiting new opportunities
- Creating new revenue opportunities
- Early detection and prevention of fraud and mismanagement
However, channel sales data, when analyzed properly, can provide information for measuring, detecting, and improving channel sales as well as all operations within a company such as:
- Channel inventory management
- Sales compensation
- Lead management
- SPIFs and Rebates
- Product management
- Sales forecasting
- Co-op and MDF management
- Special pricing management
Analyzing Sales Data to Improve Channel Sale
The process of collecting information from sales data and market trends to determine future targets and estimate future sales performance.
The image below presents a few benefits channel sales data can provide the different systems and programs within an enterprise:
Channel Inventory Management
Gaining visibility into your sales activity is essential for improving channel sales and understanding the speed and flow of your product in order to control inventory level while fulfilling demands.
By integrating and studying your real-time channel sales, inventory, and supply chain data you can gain valuable information that can ultimately help in:
- reducing excess inventory and/or unsold products,
- enhance efficiency,
- maximize sales and profit.
Sales data not only grants businesses the ability to analyze data trends in real-time, but also provide the crucial information used in the supply chain industry for short-term forecasting.
Channel incentives tend to have the most evident effect on motivating partners and even improve channel sales. Thus, by providing channel partners the tools for sharing inventory and point of sale (POS) data, vendors can automate and accelerate their partners’ incentive payouts. As a result, the administrative time associated with an incentive claim processing is reduced. This ultimately results in more satisfied partners.
Vendors who provide their partners and sales reps with regular earnings and real-time compensation reports have witnessed an increase in efficiency and partner motivation.
Lead management is amongst many of the benefits channel sales data provide vendors and their partners. Historical sales data allows vendors to create a more effective sales strategy. In addition, analyzing this data highlights opportunities for a more efficient and improved customer acquisition process. In addition, analyzing conversions allows for sales teams or partners to revise and/or improve their tactics in order to better their customer retention and experience.
By studying lead conversion rates, channel sales managers are able to funnel their leads to partners or sales reps that have demonstrated successful results.
SPIFs and Rebates
SPIFs are financial incentives that encourage salespeople to push the purchase of a specific product. Therefore, vendors utilize SPIFs as a motivational sales strategy. In return, channel partners receive monetary bonuses for a (desired) completed transaction(s).
However, SPIFs can be a nightmare for a vendor’s administrative staff. Based on the SPIF’s program intricacy and system of validation, the payouts are not always as scheduled.
By analyzing sales data, vendors are able to integrate and measure sales revenue/transaction reports. Consequently, this allows vendors to accurately compensate their channel partners. Access to real-time sales data has enabled vendors to recognize sales achievements faster and deliver rewards at a quicker rate.
Product managers play a big role in ensuring the overall market success of a product. Assessing the market demand for a product requires extensive research. The research helps in understanding both the target audience and the value the product. To define a road-map for bringing a product to the market, product managers take into consideration a list of data-driven factors. Studying and understanding sales data is on top of this list.
By leveraging current and past sales data – such as active users, acquisition cost, and average revenue, product managers can more accurately predict the success and availability of a product.
In order to maximize sales and revenue, management relies on the information supported by accurate sales forecasting. A data-driven forecasting means studying and detecting all possible risks or opportunities in the sales pipeline.
At the same time, analyzing sales data provides management the opportunity to detect early warning signals and risks in the sales pipeline. The early detection prepares management with a chance to improve channel sales and address issues before they affect the organization’s productivity.
Co-op and MDF Management
Looking at sales data allows management to see:
- what products attained a better ROI
- where these products sold the most
- target audience performance
- types of customers who are more likely to convert
As a result, vendors might decide to allocate more appropriate Co-op/MDF marketing funds to these partners or choose to adjust how their Co-op marketing funds can be used to attract more qualified leads.
Special Pricing Management
For a company to stay profitable in the competitive channel marketplace, special pricing programs provide a window of opportunity for winning more deals.
By relying on sales data, channel managers can give manufacturers a better handle on when to award special pricing. The sales data helps channel managers determine how deep a discount to offer. The data also helps to discover whether it makes sense to do a counter offer and other similar pricing issues.