Channel management: optimize by analyzing effectiveness

How to choose the best and most efficient routes (channels) to reach your market. Photo: Piton Global

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2013 — The process of choosing the most efficient routes (or channels) to reach the market so that your product or services can be sold to more users is known as channel management.

Channel management is aimed toward obtaining the best results via your marketing routes while making use of appropriate finances and marketing techniques and/or training strategies. Examples of such routes can be direct sales–such as using a website to sell to consumers–call centers, and your direct sales force. Or they can be indirect sales resources for your product or products, such as retailers or distributors. 

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Analyzing effects of channel management involves taking into account several factors, such as change in the current market share or sales volume through a particular channel, the cost of reaching the market using a specific channel and the level of satisfaction amongst customers when using different channels. 

Here are some tips on how to analyze the effects of channel management:

Analyzing Market Share

It is important to select a channel that is effective, and once you concentrate on the channel’s resources, you will be able to increase your share of the market. It is necessary to analyze your market share prior to channel management and after introducing channel management.

SEE RELATED: Interview with Ralf Ellspermann, CEO of Piton Global

Channel Marketing schematic, courtesy Relayware.

You can also compare market share data from various channels and find out which channel is offering better results. You can also make efforts to improve results of less performing channels. This way, you will be able to maximize your earning potential and also ensure that your market share keeps increasing. 

Cost Analysis Obviously, you will have to bear the cost for implementing channel management. This cost will vary based on the channel used. For instance, if you use a call center to market your product or service, you will have to incur cost for recruiting staff for the call center, paying them employee benefits, training them, marketing support and any other related cost.

Adding up the cost that you incur will allow you to have a clearer picture about your channel management cost. You need to constantly keep an eye on the cost and compare it to the volume of sale via that channel in order to come up with a more effective channel management strategy.

Sales Study The method of buying can have an impact on the sales volume via a specific channel. Today, the Internet is one of the most preferred methods of buying products or services, and businesses are looking to use this channel to reach more customers and increase their sales.

However, there are other channels that also reap good results. When you opt for channel management, it is important that you keep a close watch on the sales volume via different channels and then compare these volumes to find out how the different channel management resources affect the growth of a particular channel or route. 

Customer Satisfaction Checking the service offered to customers via different channels is important. You can do this by conducting a customer satisfaction survey. This way you will be able to pinpoint any service issues and take steps to rectify them. Analyzing what shortfalls are there will allow you to enhance customer experience and thereby customer satisfaction.

This will, in turn, help you to increase the sales via that channel. Changes in the level of customer satisfaction will allow you to gauge the effect of initiatives you have taken to introduce customer service management. 

Making use of Channel Management Software – Companies implementing channel management can make use of channel management software to monitor the effectiveness of channel marketing initiatives. The software enables companies to retrieve sales and cost data in a jiffy and thereby facilitates channel managers to make more effective marketing strategies.

Headline photo: A call center in operation, one example of a marketing channel.


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Walt Robertson

Walt Robertson is known for his wide-ranging knowledge on the subject of channel management. He regularly guides business managers on how best they can take advantage of channel management solutions to enhance their sales. 


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