Freeman Group, Inc. identify audiences
identify audiences - sales-ready with confirmed need
gain access - in an office, on the plant floor, or online
convert & close - sales training only goes so far. then what?
build preference - prevent customer attrition
Why Your Sales Channels Ignore Your Product Line. (And what you can do about it.)

If you’re feeling ignored by your sales channels, odds are good they don’t consider your company, your new product line, or maybe even your latest promotion to be a contributor.

Channel-level operations managers and sales leaders are looking for supplying manufacturers to deliver a balanced program that will contribute functionally and financially to their organization. What, exactly are functional and financial contributions? These are the two major parts of a supplying manufacturer’s offering to its sales channels.

Financial vs. Functional Contribution

Build A Preference Position within Your Sales Channels: Part 1

Financial contributors are methods by which a manufacturer manages its financial preference position at the channel level. Financial contributors may include:

  • Tools to increase turn rates at the channel level.
  • Tools to reduce channel-level activity costs associated with selling the manufacturer’s offering, such as inventory management or after-sales service.
  • Tools to facilitate tactical pricing strategies at the channel and at the end-market level.
  • Tools to support multi-supplier, or multi-product, or multi-channel selling initiatives, such as bundling, affiliate, or branding programs.

Build A Preference Position within Your Sales Channels: Part 2

Functional contributors are the tools with which a manufacturer manages its functional preference position at the channel level. Functional contributors may include:

  • Tools to provide relevant, sales-ready lead streams to channel members.
  • Tools to assist channel sales forces in gaining access to target prospect audiences.
  • Tools to assist channel sales forces in responding to objections, converting prospects, and facilitating the close.
  • Tools to assist channel sales forces in selling throughout the customer enterprise and preventing customer attrition.

Balance of Context: from the Eye of the Sales Channel

Sales channels will, by nature, gravitate to a supplier’s greatest common contributors. These contributors may be a promotion, a single product or product line, a division, or the supplying manufacturer as a whole that provides the most appropriately balanced offering.

Channel members, not supplying manufacturers, typically determine which of a supplier’s offering will be the greatest common contributor to their operation. Based on the balance, or context, of that contribution, sales channel members will position supplying manufactures in one of three sectors: parity, advantage, or preference.

• Parity Sector: A supplier’s contributor does not provide channel members a combined financial and functional program (context) with enough benefit to give the sales channel an operational and/or field sales advantage.
• Advantage Sector: A supplier’s contributor provides channel members a combined financial and functional program (context) with enough benefit to give the sales channel an operational and/or field sales advantage.
• Preference Sector: A supplier’s contributor provides channel members a combined financial and functional program (context) with enough benefit to move the sales channel beyond an advantage, to an operational and/or field sales preference.

Learn more about building preference within your sales channels

Parity Sector
A supplier’s contributor does not provide channel members a combined financial and functional program (context) with enough benefit to give the sales channel an operational and/or field sales advantage.
Advantage Sector
A supplier’s contributor provides channel members a combined financial and functional program (context) with enough benefit to give the sales channel an operational and/or field sales advantage.
Preference Sector
A supplier’s contributor provides channel members a combined financial and functional program (context) with enough benefit to move the sales channel beyond an advantage, to an operational and/or field sales preference.
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