Profit is the main goal of any business. Entrepreneurship implies selling goods, services, information to get income. So the main business principle is simple – the more you sell, the more you earn. And even today, in the age of actively developing information technologies, successful sales depend primarily on sellers. These business drivers can be called differently: sales specialists, managers, consultants, or salesmen. Their task is to interest the client, conduct a deal and transfer a one-time buyer to the ranks of permanent ones.
Depending on the specifics of the business, all sales are divided into direct and indirect. In direct sales, it is vital to correctly establish contact with a client, determine his needs and convince him to buy. The nature of indirect sales is a short consultation and support in making the purchase.
What Are Indirect Sales?
Indirect sales are practiced by most companies. According to WTO analysts, 75% of all trades are realized via indirect channels. Indirect sales can be the sale of goods and services through intermediaries. You can indirectly sell practically everything, from golf clubs to online study guides. In this case, there is no personal contact between the seller and the buyer, as the process is handled by third parties. And this approach has many advantages:
- Wide coverage of the territory and audience. Intermediaries can easily enter the world market, significantly increasing the sales volume, the number of buyers, and the brand’s popularity.
- Efficiency. Indirect sales can considerably boost overall productivity thanks to large market coverage.
- Perspective. There is always room for business development and attracting more and more customers.
- Cost reduction. In indirect sales, product promotion does not require large financial investments compared to direct sales.
Types of intermediaries in Indirect Sales.
There are four main categories of reselling companies:
- Dealers. These are wholesale buyers who purchase goods from the manufacturer and then organize retail sales at higher prices.
- Distributors. These are also wholesalers, but they operate with much bigger volumes. It is explained by a wider customer base, which includes not only retail buyers but also small wholesalers.
- Franchisers. They work under the name of well-known brands and pay their owners a percentage for it.
- Merchandisers. These are representatives of the company supplying the goods that act as intermediaries between the manufacturer and the buyer. Merchandiser is responsible for the correct placement of the goods in the sales points.
Main Qualities of Indirect Sales Manager
The reseller does not need to find a client. There are no cold calls, and the number of refusals is minimized. But, on the other hand, the indirect seller has fewer tools to influence the outcome of a deal as there is no long-term relationship with customers. Intermediaries are entrusted with a lot of tasks on which the effectiveness of product sales depends. They need to know how to regulate supply and demand. Besides, they themselves track the optimal period for sales without forcing the manufacturer to be tied to the seasonality and distribute the goods in any territory, regardless of the degree of distance from the supplier. The intermediaries must also inform customers about all issues related to products or services. And they are usually involved in the delivery of goods and their storage in warehouses. What skills help indirect sellers survive and succeed?
Proper promotion of the brand and products. Potential buyers will not trust a seller unless they know about its company and the benefits of its goods and services. Resellers should develop an efficient channel to advertise the goods and services they offer. It is crucial to engage a variety of marketing communication tools to make the product and the brand name to be known to the target audience.
The ability to identify customer needs. In the case of active sales, the needs of the client are clear at the stage of contact between the consumer and the seller. And for resellers, it is vital to determine the problems and preferences of the target audience at the stage of product development. The product, its price, promotion, points of sale must meet the expectations of potential consumers, otherwise, you will have to resort to active sales.
The ability to evaluate sales and predict future volumes. It is rather difficult to forecast the number of deals. The resellers should be able to realize the sales according to a well-thought-out strategy. So it is recommended to introduce a CRM system to structure all requests and sales. Moreover, you will need to add a PRM tool to it to streamline your sales results to the supplier. These steps will help balance out supply and sales.
Furthermore, sales representatives should be continuously developing the analytical skills necessary to understand a customer’s value proposition, frame business issues, create customer insights, and find solutions. On Studocu platform, you can find a lot of educational institutions, offering a variety of sales programs that integrate personal coaching, video training laboratories, and selling competitions.
Learn the formula of successful sales.
To establish stable sales, any intermediary needs to know the formula:
Profit = (Leads * customer conversion * $ *# ) * Margin. The elements of the formula are:
- Leads – the number of potential customers ready to make a purchase;
- Customer conversion – the percentage of potential customers turned into real ones;
- $ – average purchase;
- # – number of purchases;
- Margin is the company’s markup.
The key point is to have a realistic margin to boost sales.
When launching indirect sales, the seller should have a clear-cut business plan. Chaotic sales will not bring success. The above skills are necessary to form a profitable and honest relationship between all the parties involved in the indirect sales process. And they will help create long-term and convenient cooperation between the supplier and intermediaries.