Sales channel acquisition of direct sales force:
Getting quality sales people is a key success driver. One has to look at the sales person' contact network, experience in the similar markets and products, profile match with the job description, cultural fit, 'psychoanalysis fit' etc.
Unlike indirect sales channel, hiring of a sales employee is an institutional responsibility, and one has to be doubly careful in hiring approach.
Sales Channel Acquisition parameters for indirect sales force
- Experience of the channel partners in selling similar products and markets.
- Alignment of your channel partner with your business model.
Your business model may range from 'high cost+ high quality+ large ticket size' to 'cost leader'. Your channel partner's capabilities should be aligned to the business model. For example, if you are in a premium product category, you will look for a channel partner who is equipped to handle premier products in terms of having its outlets in up-market locations, having a sophisticated sales force, and also dealing in products of similar kind of positioning.
- Sales network, infrastructure of your distribution partner
The level of sales network in terms of number of outlets (active outlets), showrooms, service network (in case it is part of the distribution terms), Warehouses, IT connectivity and infrastructure can play an important role in measuring the potential.
- Sales Force composition: One can view at the following compositions of the sales force with your potential sales partner
- Level of tenure of the sales people.
- Employed sales staff OR agents
- Full-time vs. Part-time agents
- Active sales staff
- Potential conflicts with other products sold by the distributor
If your sales and distribution partner is non-exclusive and is selling other products as well, one needs to be aware of the potential conflicts. it is not mandatory that you have to eliminate OR minimize these conflicts, as they are part of the business environment.