Good to see you back  🙂

In our last blog, we asked ‘Does your company move through your customer’s process ….. or do your customers move through yours? We described the customer’s journey as a repeating cycle (you can read it here).

Your customer’s journey needs to be guided and supported by your sales channel. And so, this time we are providing a framework to help you design an effective process to support your customer’s journey.

The Customer journey and the key elements of an effective Channel Process are shown here:

 

Get a high-res version of this channel process chart to use at your next team meeting here.

Your Challenge

Your challenge now is to think about how efficiently your channel performs each element of the process. How good are they at creating awareness for your products or services in their assigned regions? What are their negotiation skills like? Do they deliver on time? Do they have the right tools to install? How do they help the customer satisfy the need they are addressing in the first place?

What is the channel doing that gets in the way of satisfying that need? What are they doing that is completely unnecessary? What do you make them do that doesn’t add value to the client experience? (RMAs are a good example of that.)

Your client will not pay for anything that they do not perceive as valuable – so either eliminate it or continue to allow it to consume your gross margin.

Channel Process

As shown in the chart above, these are the functions at which your channel needs to excel to support the customer journey:

  • Creating awareness
  • Providing the right Information
  • Customer Engagement
  • Negotiating
  • Specifying the right solution
  • Production of the solution
  • Logistics
  • Installations
  • Integrations into their way of living or working
  • Support

Those of you in the manufacturing environment will quickly see that this is a lean process where the end user efficiently pulls what they want, when they want it, from the supplier. Your challenge in serving them, through your channel, is to provide only what they want, and only when they want it. Anything else would be a waste of time, effort and assets (and profits).

See information on our channel assessment program here.