Distributor channel promotions and incentives

Distributor channel promotions and incentives

As most of our clients sell their products through distribution, it comes as no surprise we are called upon to help push product in to these channels, and pull it through via end-user marketing. 

Product managers and their direct salespeople have become increasingly occupied with new product introductions and have been forced to focus a greater portion of their time on higher margin brands.  As such, many other products suffer from lack of support or attention, and manufacturers have to rely more and more on distributor sales reps for incremental and ongoing sales. 

To incite sales and get DSRs to pay more attention to these products, marketers have historically employed a wide range of distributor promotions, including sales spiffs, points programs, discounts on bundled product purchases, rebates, free product, travel program incentives and loads of marketing collateral.  Many of these programs have worked through the years, and quite well.  Yet, some have become tired strategies that don’t seem to get the attention needed to advance sales.

With the launch of online sales channel programs that promise to track and report all activity, savvy marketers continue to demand increased sales and data to support their efforts and budget ROI.

I’m curious to learn how you have approached your distributor network, and what has worked to help improve incremental sales and DSR tracking and reporting.  In an upcoming blog I’ll then highlight some of the feedback I receive, list some of the attributes of a few online tools and programs, and provide insight into how we’re helping clients move more product through distribution.

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