Our two day format uses lecture, interactive exercises and case studies to cover the following ten topics:
I Understanding the Forces Shaping the Eco-system
This section of the distribution-selling course will define the forces and trends shaping the modern eco-system. These forces include electrification of buying, the shift in power to customers, the criteria buyers use to demand direct or indirect involvement in their buying center work, the different distribution organizations that are emerging along with their economics and strategy choices, and the decisions manufacturers must make in developing and evolving channel structures. The internal organizational implications of distribution strategies will also be discussed.
II Defining the win-win-win scenario
This section of the distribution course will discuss what customers seek from distributor-manufacture relationships, what distributors define as success and set as goals, as well as success from the perspective of the manufacturer. In this section a three way value model (customer-distributor-manufacturer) will be developed.
III Evolution of the buying center
Building on the first section’s discussion of the new forces shifting power to the customer, this section discusses the implications for each members of the multi-organization marketing system.
IV Different distributor strategies
This section will define the different forms of distribution and manufacturer reps that are available for a manufacturer to choose partners from. Differences between the goals and strategies of various forms of distribution and the goals and strategies of the manufacturers are also discussed. This section features the Manna case on the economics of distribution.
V Manufacturer’s strategic options
This section begins with an analysis of the pros and cons of direct selling versus working through distribution. The Precision Electronics case is used to illustrate the differences between Reps versus Distributors. And the conditions in which each type of distributor is most appropriate are presented and discussed.
VI Channel Conflict
Channel conflict is not only inevitable, it is unusually desirable—if you don’t have channel conflict, you are probably not optimizing your business. The Hassler & Howard case is used to illustrate channel conflict issues and how they can be managed.
VII Techniques for creative collaboration with distributors
The essence of selling in the B2B world today is having something to add to the customer’s buying center’s deliberations. This in turn requires identification of problems that you and the distributor have relevant expertise on as well as creative ways to view the problems and solve them. This section presents creative problem solving tools and how to work with distributors to apply them.
In your multi-organization marketing system, each player—customer, distributor, and your company—can have both common goals as well as conflicting goals. The job of negotiation is to arrive at a win-win-win outcome. The Ugli Orange case is used to illustrate how.
IX Internal organizational issues
One of the most important aspects of implementing the win-win-win solution is to lead your internal departments in modifying their typical practices to accommodate the specific needs of your multi-organizational marketing system. This section discusses common issues and strategies for addressing them.
X Working with distribution in the selling process
The selling task is quite different when working with distributors. This section covers the required special skills including:
- Buyer focus
- Creating and making joint presentations
- Developing a joint proposal
- Developing a sales plan
- Identifying and satisfying different types of reps
- Non-verbal communication skills
- Selling through and with manufacturers’ Reps