As a specialty chemical, food additive or ingredient producer, are your distributor sales channels exceeding your expectations?
Many chemical, food additive and ingredient producers understand the benefit of leveraging a distributor network to grow sales and profitability. When aligned properly, distributor sales channels add value and produce great results.
Unfortunately, many distributors see additional products as another “arrow in their quiver” with little downside to not performing as agreed. Producers are not taking the time to fully understand their distributor’s sales processes, creating disappointing results and flat line sales performance.
Here are 5 reasons why-
- The distributor’s sales process is not well understood by the producer or aligned to add maximum value to the sale of your particular products. It is best to understand how the sales cycle of your product compares to the sales cycle of the other products the distributor sells. Distributor sales people gravitate to products with the shortest sales cycle.
- Distributor sales people are responsible for identifying and qualifying new customer prospects. Most distributors do not have a well-defined demonstrable process for finding and qualifying new leads. The result is, it is left up to each sales person to prospect AND sell. A distributor firm of 50 sales people will end up prospecting and qualifying new opportunities 50 different (mostly inefficient) ways.
- The producer does not understand how or what sales resources are allocated to their products, nor do they understand how their products compete with all the other products the distributor sales people are selling. A source of competition the producer does not see coming.
- The distributor and the producer do not take the time to sit down in the beginning and put together a comprehensive sales plan, with clear performance metrics, to be adjusted as needed, and include complete end-user market visibility.
- As a producer, you treat your distributor sales channel like you would any other customer, instead of a strategic sales and marketing partner.