For wholesalers and distributors communication is at the heart of their business. With multiple channels, high levels of competition and indirect sales involving dealers or resellers, keeping retailers engaged and motivated to sell your product over a competitor’s is a constant battle. Many wholesalers and distributors rely on traditional paper or email-based systems to engage with their dealers and resellers. This is often a hit and miss process and it can be hard for the wholesalers and retailers to maintain control and an adequate level of oversight as well as forging a genuine connection across so many different channels. The world of wholesalers and distributors is ripe for a technological solution and a mixture of intranets and extranets could well be the answer. Read on to find out the benefits on offer from an intranet.
An intranet makes for seamless communication. News feeds and update bulletins allow wholesalers and distributors to communicate important messages around product updates and new product launches simultaneously to all channels. Sellers and resellers can be given access to limited parts of the main company intranet in an extranet-type arrangement, allowing for news and updates to be tailored to specific brands, products and geographic locations. Up-to-date information on product launches, new products in the pipeline and more general industry-wide news is fundamental to the effectiveness of sellers and resellers. They need to be able to sell unaided as quickly as possible and so having this kind of information at the fingertips is critical.
The corporate calendar feature on the intranet can be used to publicize key marketing events and product launches. For channel managers, this is a great time saver as it means they only have one reference point for all important dates and events. And for wholesalers and distributors, it cuts down on administration costs and unnecessary emails.
Therefore, rather than numerous emails or paper brochures and flyers being sent to multiple channels, the intranet becomes the one source of truth when it comes to the wholesalers and distributors’ business.
What’s more, the intranet is the perfect vehicle for publishing marketing material relating to the various products. The advantage of this is that the wholesaler and distributor can maintain consistency across all the channels in terms of the brand and how it is presented to customers. The potential for damage to the brand is great if there is no oversight or central control. And for the sellers and retailers, they have the advantage of knowing that all marketing material on the intranet is the most up to date. Furthermore, they can also take advantage of the easily customizable template format rather than trying to create their own marketing material every time.
When it comes to sales and incentivizing reseller channels, the intranet is the perfect tool for managing that process. Sales leaderboards, competitions and promotions run through the intranet introduce that competitive element. Comparing your performance with that of your peers can be very motivational for sellers and resellers. And it’s also a good way for you to keep ahead of your competitors who will be offering their own incentives to get sellers and resellers to promote their products instead of yours.
Product roadmaps are another valuable tool that can be shared through the intranet. These roadmaps give seller and reseller channels an overview of how the product is likely to grow and change as well as when new versions or updates can be expected. Quick and easy access to this sort of information for channel managers enables them to provide a better service to potential customers and will keep them on board and engaged with your product.
From the perspective of the reseller channels, the intranet enables them to connect with subject experts and key support staff much more easily. A common feature of company intranets that can be shared with external users is a staff directory. A photo and short biography gives that personal flavor that we all relate to in fostering good working relationships and allows resellers to easily identify for themselves sources of expertise and help.
Opportunities For Better Channel Engagement
The aim of every wholesaler and distributor is to have an engaged and enthused network of channel managers. The intranet, with its easier communication and all-round streamlined business processes will help to facilitate this.
Intranet blogs, wikis and common workspaces are a great way to share best practice, exchange insights and generally interact with your channels. They will promote better joint working and a sense of involvement and engagement.
Automating processes and making it easier for reseller channels to request support is another great advantage the intranet has to offer in terms of engagement. Using the intranet’s intuitive forms builder or Google Forms from the embedded Google app, it’s an easy process to set up your own online forms. And so, for example, channel managers can request and book marketing material whether it is hard copy collateral, display stands or pullups by completing the intranet’s online form which is then automatically routed to the correct member of staff for action. Not only does this save time and duplication of effort, it helps to reduce the paper and email trail, minimizing the possibility for human error.
All-Round Enabler For Wholesalers & Distributors
So when it comes to smoother business processes, better working relationships and easier communication, it’s hard to beat the company intranet as an all-round enabler. And don’t forget that the intranet is accessible 24/7 which means that your network of sellers and resellers will be able to access all the information and tools that they need even if you’re in a different time zone.
If you’re thinking of introducing an intranet or extranet-type arrangement to your network of sellers and resellers, then get in touch with the experienced team at MyHub. We offer a free 14-day trial so you can get your hands dirty and really try out the software for yourself. Get in touch today for a free online demo to discover the possibilities.