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Ineffective Channels May Be the Source of Your Company's Sales Ills

February 25, 2014
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

As the old saying goes, sales is both an art and a science. The best prepared salesperson in the world will not be effective if he or she lacks the gift and flair for sales. Similarly, the most gifted salesperson in the world will not live up to expectations without the proper tools.

The problems that exist in sales departments today are nearly universal. If you polled a thousand sales managers, you’d likely come up with the same complaints: sales personnel seldom create projects on their own, they respond only if someone asks them. They don’t communicate well or share information. They fail to follow up on good leads that have been generated at great expense. They don’t learn enough about the products or services they sell, and they seem interested only in the “low hanging fruit.”

All of this frequently leads to tension in the sales organization, which is counterproductive. Too many organizations complain about the lack of effectiveness in sales channels and channel partners, yet they continue to carry out business as usual.

“In most cases the channel performs exactly as the factory has taught them that they should. You know exactly how that message is conveyed,” wrote Business2Community’s Ed Marsh in a recent article. “There may be a cursory initial discussion around mutual commitments, and thereafter the monthly pipeline spreadsheet is the extent of the channel management program.”

Marsh notes that channel partners should welcome opportunities that challenge them to grow and perform. To truly become an effective sales organization, companies should choose their channel partners with care, allocating resources properly after conducting exhaustive research into what the best options are. Companies should avoid taking the easy path: if it’s easy, Marsh argues, it’s probably not effective.

“Selling through sales channel is really tough,” he writes. “Doing so domestically is hard enough – doing so internationally is even more challenging.  But the business imperative is clear – so it stands to reason that companies that can become incrementally more effective will substantially improve their business growth.”

Inadequate channel management is responsible for the ills of many sales organizations. No matter how well prepared sales personnel and marketing departments are, if their efforts are all being sent into a black hole, the organization will not reap the rewards, and it will be simply wasting time and money. Companies interested in changing the record would be wise to reframe existing channel relationships with some critical thinking and some insight. 

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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