What challenge(s) do our clients face?
Using an external sales channel can bring many benefits, but key success factors include an indirect model tailored to requirements, data management solutions, and close cooperation with partners.
Dealing with and understanding wholesalers and distributors has been part of Integration’s core experience since our inception. By combining the points of view of all levels in the value chain, we have built a strong understanding of the needs, challenges, and success factors in the indirect channel.
- Indirect Model Design
No intermediary can serve all needs, but it is possible to develop an indirect model tailored to specific requirements. For example, cost dilution can be achieved through multicategory while specific portfolio synergies guarantee sales professional focus and excellence. For an indirect player, the key success factor is to know its differential and maximize the value generated by segmenting its market, focusing on the right clients and manufacturers. On the industry side it is critical to map the exact roles of the players to use in the indirect channel, sometimes overlapping players to fulfil all market needs in terms of product, channel, or region. Tools such as Joint Business Plans and Pay for Performance policy are important assets to guarantee that the service level and remuneration set between distributor and manufacturer are transparent and leveraging each side’s differential.
- Leveraging proximity and knowledge of the PoS
Indirect players are the last link in the distribution chain before the PoS. They can and should leverage this situation to build relationships, both for themselves as well as for the manufacturer. In the context of ever-increasing penetration of digital solutions and habits in downstream retail models, the role of a distributor sales professional is evolving. Increasingly, value is being added by sales consultants in the generation of knowledge of the market and in opening and strengthening relationships with PoS owners to understand their needs and identify opportunities.
- Data-driven sales and cost-efficiency
In the pursuit of sales excellence, data sharing and cooperation can be a game-changer. Indirect players are in a good position to collect valuable commercial data. Equally, manufacturers can provide broader market vision and opportunities. Achieving operational efficiency through up to date data management solutions is also a differentiator. For instance, some models relying on close data integration with manufacturers can reduce stock or credit stress and enable distributors to focus their added value on sales or logistical services, thus optimizing value along the distribution chain.
- Continuous improvement
An increasing number of manufacturers develop continuous improvement processes known as excellence programs to build long term relationships with their partners and strengthen their sales and operational competencies. This movement that we observe in many industries contributes to a consistent development of the indirect channel.
How do we help?
We have accumulated knowledge and experience of the indirect channel in many countries and industries, leveraging 450+ projects both with indirect players and in industries operating with the indirect channel, whilst also cultivating a close relationship with indirect player associations.
Our standard operational and sales competency evaluation (see PRM methodology) benefits from our proprietary database of over 2,500+ wholesalers and distributors and enables us to compare one distribution network or one distributor with market references, connect with the best-in-class, share best practices, as well as identify suitable prospects for our clients when required.
In indirect channel-dependent markets, these challenges and key success factors usually take center stage in many of our GTM and PRM methodologies, since they all rely on mutual understanding between manufacturers and their indirect partners.
Commonly applied services
Our methodologies are especially suited to support both wholesalers and distributors:
Integration’s track record in the Durable Goods industry is broad and deep. We have delivered projects across the entire supply chain for large and leading white goods (washing machines, refrigerators and air conditioners), brown goods (Microwave Ovens, Cleaning Equipment) and Consumer Electronics (TV’s, Laptops, Electronic Accessories) manufacturers and retailers.
Fernando Rodriguez, Sales and Distribution Director at Phillip Morris, talks about why he chose to hire Integration, and the project experience that followed.
In this video, Mr Martins describes the three projects he worked on with Integration and points out Integration’s ability to build teams that perfectly integrate into the client’s reality.
In this video, Mr Garcia talks about how Integration helped the company, which suffered many changes and improvements after going public, to conduct an in-depth analysis to reach better results and solutions. He remembers that after a broad analysis of the consultancy options, Integration was able to take a team with a simple, competent and diligent profile, concluding in results achieved alongside the client.