How do manufacturers and distributors handle lack of channel visibility? What are the different needs each group has when it comes to connecting with their customers? Incentive Solutions Director of Sales, Jeff Cagle, sheds some light on channel visibility strategies!
Collecting Data Downstream in the Channel
We work a lot with manufacturers and distributors of building products. Contractors are a great target audience for our program. Any company that's targeting downstream through their channel or their direct customers to their contractors is a great prospect for an incentive program.
With manufacturers, the biggest challenge is colleting data downstream in their channel. Knowing who's selling and who's purchasing their products, as well as collecting warranty registrations, are all key in manufacturers getting this downstream data. They want to know who these people are so they can communicate directly to them, delivering product knowledge and training. A platform like ours with features like Learn and Earn allow manufacturers to provide product knowledge to those selling their products in the field.
Greater Availability & Channel Visibility Through Ecommerce
Distributors are totally different from manufacturers, because they know who customers are. They don't need to collect the data because they have it. What they want to do is have a lower cost-to-serve so they can be more competitive. Ecommerce portals really provide that lower cost-to-serve opportunity. It reduces order entry errors and customers can interface with the company without even speaking with someone. It allows a distributor to be more visible to their audience and available 24/7.
Single Sign-On Ease
The beauty of an incentive program paired with an ecommerce portal is that we can leverage single sign-on technology. A customer that's enrolled in an incentive program, all they have to do is log into their ecommerce portal and they can order product there. They can then transfer out to our system and redeem the points they got for ordering that product. It's a great marriage and a seamless transition, creating greater channel visibility through a cohesive, consistent partner experience.