4 Questions to Uncover if Your Sales Partner Understands Your Business

by MarketSource

This article first appeared in 2014 and has been updated and re-released for fall 2015.

Looking for a new channel sales partner at CES? . . CTIA? . . GIE EXPO?

Marketsource brings brands to life in retail

 

At any major industry event, finding the right retail sales partner,

-one that gets your product and your style,

-has positive-impact metrics to share,

-and has great answers to all of your questions

… can feel euphoric. Whatever could go wrong with that picture?

 

 

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU NEED A NEW channel sales partner

There are a lot of factors to consider when looking into outsourced sales and marketing partners. Near the top of that list is relevant channel expertise.

You know the most about your business, but your new sales partner should have a substantial understanding of your market as well, if you are looking to create a successful campaign.

Many agencies will tell you that they understand your vertical. However, you should not accept this statement on faith alone since vertical knowledge is the keystone to any program.

 

What’s important to know about your vertical?

Without a disciplined understanding of your customer, your retail space, your distribution, your end goals, and where your vertical is going, your outsourcing partner will not be able to make the best decisions for you. Even worse, they could end up damaging future sales by mucking up the pipeline with bad strategies.

 

  • One company may be subject matter experts in telecom, for instance, but are not savvy on the newer uses of health fitness in cell phone apps. Experience in what’s worked in the past PLUS capability for understanding what might appear in the future is critical.

 

Your vertical will probably be as fluid in cross pollination and integrations as any other. Working with the right sales partner, one that’s able to support coming changes, will save you time and expense going forward.

 

Sales partner dangers

A lack of channel knowledge will negatively impact your:

  • Speed to market
  • Brand Image
  • Market Coverage
  • Sales Velocity
  • ROI

 

How many times have you heard of a campaign that floundered because the agency just “didn’t get us”?

Some companies might continue to make this mistake because they are lured in by flashy sales pitches and low prices. Before engaging any 3rd party for sales outsourcing at a major industry event like CES, you should interview their experts in depth.

 

What do the sales partner experts know?

You have worked in your channel for a long time and you can tell when someone doesn’t know your business, but there is still a crucial short list of questions to ask yourself before signing on the dotted line:

  1. Does this company understand my product, vision, and goals?
  2. Are they tuned into current events in my market?
  3. Do they recognize trends in my vertical – are they able to make sound predictions about the future of my market?
  4. Have they worked in this space before and been successful?

 

Outsourcing some of your sales can have a huge positive impact on your business, and warrants spending the time to pick a good partner out of a thick crowd.

Learn more about brand representation, product training, assisted selling, and building advocacy from a successful outsourcing company like MarketSource. Download this easy guide for ”Optimizing Your Channel Coverage” TODAY.

Topic: Retail

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MarketSource designs and delivers innovative and proven sales and marketing solutions to more than 200 companies worldwide. For more than 35 years, we have been trusted by both mid-sized and large firms to accelerate their revenue growth and control costs.

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