We know that Distributor Sales can be hard to wrap one’s head around. So, we’ve gathered 10 common questions and answers that can help you become a bonafide expert.

If you want to know more about distributor sales and how to make it work for you, you’ve definitely come to the right place. In this post, we’ll go through a number of common questions and best practices that can help you become a distributor-sales expert.

10 Distributor Sales questions – and answers

1. What is Distributor Sales?

Distributor sales is basically a business model where products are sold through third parties (AKA distributors) that distribute said products. They tend ot sell the products they’ve gotten from manufacturers, usually to retailers, resellers or end users. It’s a solid way for manufacturers to extend their reach and quickly gain a market presence.

2. Do I need to onboard distributors?

Yes! Distributor onboarding is at least as important as onboarding internal sales reps or customers, as you typically have less control over distributors and need to make sure they can effectively sell your product. You can read more in our post here.

3. How can I increase my Distributor Sales?

There are a lot of ways to increase sales from your distributors’ side. Below, we’ve gathered three ways we’ve found to be especially successful:

  1. Enable distributors with the right information: Give them access to the right training, marketing and sales material they need – and answer any questions that arise swiftly.
  2. Engage distributors with an smooth experience: Continuously engage distributors with new material and information and create a smooth distributor experience that makes it easy to work with you and your products. That way, distributors are more likely to interact with you and your products, which can translate to a higher motivation to sell.
  3. Manage distributors digitally: Make sure that you can maintain a strong oversight, keep track of distributor performance and get data on engagement. So that you can help those that need it and expand strategically. Here, a digital tool like a solid partner portal can get the job done efficiently.

4. What’s the difference between Distributor Sales and Direct Sales?

Well, Distributor Sales involves a third-party seller, while Direct Sales means that you sell your product directly to the end user or reseller. While a Direct Sales model lets you build strong customer relations, Distributor Sales can give you a way to gain grounds in new markets cost-effectively. That said, Distributor Sales tend to be harder to manage, and it’s oftentimes harder to maintain the right product message and keep track of what distributors are sharing and doing.

5. What’s the difference between a Distributor and a Sales Rep?

While a distributor gets/buys products from manufacturers in order to sell them, a sales rep tends to sell a product on the behalf of a certain company. Your organization may have sales reps who sell to distributors. Who, in turn, have sales reps who sell to retailers, resellers or end users.

6. What is Distributor Sales Enablement?

This basically means that you give distributors the tools, content, and information they need to sell your product well. This could be in the form of training material, support and digital tools that make their jobs easier.

7. What is Distributor Sales Engagement?

This reolves around the tools and strategies used to keep distributors actively involved and interested in selling your products. This can be achieved by making it easy to work with you and share your material with customers – and by continuously updating distributors on news and marketing strategies. All while you actively listen to their feedback and take action based on it.

8. What is Distributor Sales Management?

It’s some kind of process or system that lets you oversee and direct your entire distributor network. Effective Distributor Sales Management typically happen from one central place, and there are good digital tools that let you manage large volumes of distributors without spending 100s of hours on emails and phone calls (like SP_CE, but that’s a story for another day).

9. How can I get distributors to engage with our material?

  1. Provide relevant content: A common mistake manufacturers make is to give distributors access to a huge folder of product files and material – even if they only sell a fraction of the products that the material revolves around. By providing your distributors with the exact content they need – and nothing else – they will have an easy time finding what they’re looking for. Which, in turn, will set a strong foundation for engagement.
  2. Be interactive and forward thinking: Use video messages (there are a lot of good tools for that, now) to inform about new product material, give distributors a way to ask questions and continuously notify them about any changes that have been made.
  3. Give them the tools they need to succeed: You will have a better chance of engaging your distributors if you give them a way to quickly share material with end customers. This could mean that you give them pre-made product microsites, digital repositories from where they can grab and share marketing material etc.

10. How can I get distributors to put our products first?

Make it easy and engaging to work with you and your products. If your distributors get a smooth experience with you from day 1 – and if they can always find what they’re looking for, they are more likely to put your product first.

SP_CE can help you manage, enable and engage a large volume of distributors cost-effectively. Contact us today to see how it works in action.

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