With the increasing transformation and/or consolidation of distribution channels across industries, very few aspects of a company's sales and marketing function are changing more rapidly than channel strategy and management.
In certain industries, increasing channel consolidation, complexity and conflict have left manufacturers and suppliers with limited knowledge of true customer needs and customers frustrated by the lack of a consistent experience across channels. Additionally, technology-enabled selling has disrupted traditional channel intermediaries whereas in other industries, the increased prevalence of value-added service providers has strengthened intermediary relationships with end-users at the expense of direct manufacturer to end-user knowledge and collaboration.
Channel strategy and management is one of Bridge's core capabilities and we have deep expertise in helping our clients address key challenges:
- What is the current channel structure of the business today and what is the contribution of each channel? How does the channel structure compare across regions and product lines?
- How does our channel program / structure compare to the competition? How are we positioned within the channel compared to the competition?
- Which channel attributes are most important? Across which attributes should we segment our channel partners? Are the channels appropriately aligned to customer requirements?
- How can we better manage our existing channels and how many can we support over time? What steps can we take to maximize channel synergies and minimize channel conflicts?
- What are the company's most important indirect selling and distribution channels and how can we better measure the true cost of selling and marketing through those channels?
- How can we better allocate marketing spend and resources to optimize indirect sales channels across product portfolios, target segments and geographic regions?
- How can we leverage our channel partnerships to upsell additional higher margin products and services?
- What channel opportunities exist to provide better customer service, gain additional customer intimacy and/or improve channel contribution over time?
- What channels do we need to serve new customer segments? What services should those channels provide and how should they be integrated within our current configuration?
- How can I develop the organizational and process capabilities to enable continuous improvement in the management of current and future sales channels?
Bridge's approach to channel strategy and management is focused on helping our clients create sustainable competitive advantage through exceptional channel strategy design, execution and management. Our recommendations are rooted in our deep understanding of client value chains, competition and current market positioning. By combining this practical market knowledge with our channel strategy and management expertise, we help our clients capture near-term growth and profit opportunities while establishing the foundation for ongoing improvements.