Discovering Sales Channel


Marketing is growing and evolving very fast with Globalization, outsourcing, and increasing internal and external competition. Be it a startup or a stable business, each entity needs to remain updated with the needs and demands of the customer and the target market of products or services. The best possible way to achieve this target is communication with customers and market.


It is a methodology followed by company to bring products and services in the market for the purpose of sale among the customers. It can be direct when the sell involves directly selling to its customers or indirect if it involves an intermediary for sale purpose such as a retailer or dealer.

Need of Sales Channel

The sales channel, as per orthodox conviction, is meant only to achieve demand and deliver customer service. Recent years have manifested the changes in the general perception. In today’s world everything needs to be marketed and advertised. The businesses have need of an enduring struggle to discover new markets and new customers. Even if the organization becomes stable with one channel, at one point we need to evaluate that is the current channel the best strategy? If in doubt then one can even switch to multiple channels. The truth is, the more the product is backed up with channels and distributions, and the more is the probability of it winning over a product even if there is a superior product in race. A poor distribution and channel can make a best product the worst loser in the market.

Types of Sales Channel

Earlier the traditional types of channels were categorized broadly in following two types of channels:

· Direct

· Indirect

A straightforward and direct product selling was termed as direct channel and involvement of mediators were indirect channels.

But now the market scenario suggests that the more the number of sales channel implemented the more is the chances of reaching the customers easily.

Nowadays there are several emerging channels. Some of them are listed below:

· Company sales force

· One-to-one marketing,

· Wholesalers

· Dealers

· Internet

· Distributors

· Telemarketers

· Print ads

· Direct mail

· Franchises

· Integrators

· OEM’s

· Retailers

· Extranets

Choosing Your Sales Channel

All sales and marketing channels need to be backed up with infrastructure and organization. But here are few basic points to be considered before choosing a channel.

· Size of the Lot

· Product Range

· Wait Time

· Location

· Support and backup

· Brand Position

· Getting Into mind of the consumers

· Developing buyers profile

· Link to end-user targets

· Coverage

Sales Channel Development

Development of a new channel especially in a new region or with a new product is a very risky phase and all the aspects need to be carefully measured.

Be it optimization of a business locally or globally an optimal channel is the pillar of establishment. Evaluate the existing and new market scenarios and then step into the implementation.

One thing to be considered greatly is the fact that the techniques of development of channel which were tried and tested a decade back are no longer effective and applicable.

Key Considerations:

· Never confuse channel partners with final buyers

· Keep sufficient channel margins

· Keep Sufficient budget

· Align Marketing to the Channel

· Pre- preparedness

· Avoid Channel Conflict

A perfect channel can be a blessing in disguise so think, analyze, prepare and then build a perfect channel and sales market.