How to build strong customer relationships via your distribution network

How to build strong customer relationships via your distribution network

April 9th 2021 - customer loyalty

What makes your business different to your competitors? What makes your products stand out in a crowded market? Finding your niche is absolutely vital in today's day and age. With many businesses offering similar products to yours, sometimes the only tactic to compete on is price… But this is completely unsustainable and shows no value! 

But don’t panic! Recent surveys have revealed that in response to this challenge, 45.9% of businesses are prioritising customer experience (CX) as a key differentiator  – and with good reason. 83% of consumers say that CX affects their decision when selecting a service provider.

So how can you make certain your CX is in top form?

Firstly, you need to ensure that those customer-facing roles are trained, motivated and dedicated to the business, including your distribution network. Having a consistent and effective training plan will ensure that the CX you envision is successfully delivered. It will also give your distributors the confidence and skills to up-sell, cross-sell, and focus on retention. Investing in your distributor's education is a long-term strategy that will encourage them to recommend your brand in an authentic and customer-centric way. To ensure you have a result-yielding strategy to educate your distribution network, we’ve got some key insights to share. 

Education relies on good communication

Have you launched a new product or offer that you'd like your distribution network to promote? A one-off email announcing the product's arrival or offer isn't quite enough to get anyone excited about it – your distributors probably receive similar emails all the time. 

To make sure that your campaign gets the attention it deserves, you should communicate in a way that inspires, motivates and effectively onboards the distributors. When reaching out to them, offer useful tips on how to sell the product and shine a spotlight on the benefits for the end-user. Don’t forget to emphasise any perks that come with reaching certain sales quotas. 

Being consistent, thorough, and engaging in your communication will help give your brand a top spot on the seller's shop floor, so be sure to send out informative emails and insights that can support their sales process and make them want to sell your product.

 

Download our free customer retention guide here to learn how to create and  maintain customer loyalty.

Create a resource hub that turns sellers into experts

For a distributor or salesperson, knowledge really is the key to success. A product that's easy to talk about and enables the seller to confidently discuss its features will always make that brand their preferred recommendation. Limited access to information can discourage your distributors from promoting your products to their customers because they'll be wary of sounding unconvincing when pitching the benefits. 

Having a comprehensive online resource that they can tap into whenever they need will help to streamline their sales process. If a customer has a specific question about your product, the distributor will know exactly where to find the answer. This limits any delays in conversion and improves the customer's experience. When faced with the task of waiting to hear back from a supplier or helping their customer in the moment, a seller will almost certainly choose the more efficient option. 

Have an engaging training programme

A well-trained distribution network adds extra value to your buyer’s purchase. Knowledgeable distributors will make suggestions and recommendations that genuinely satisfy the buyer’s needs, resulting in happier customers who feel like they’ve invested in the right solution. Such efforts ensure that your product is matched with the ideal buyer personas you’ve outlined in your marketing strategy, sparing your brand from negative feedback or customers who feel that they may have been mis-sold something. 

To inspire such levels of expertise in your distributors, your training initiatives have to be engaging and motivating. Encouraging uptake and participation in courses and workshops should be a key focus. A reward and recognition platform can help you communicate, increase sign-ups for new training courses and workshops you have put together and incentivise participation. That's a win for the distributor and a significant win for your brand!

Test product knowledge with fun quizzes

It's not always easy to pick up a tonne of technical knowledge, particularly when you have different brands competing for your attention. Making the learning experience fun and engaging for your sales channel is essential to getting buy-in for new campaigns, while also enhancing product knowledge. 

Surveys and quizzes are an interactive way to make the most of your distributor's tight schedules and keep them motivated to continue learning. You can try incentivising participation in a product knowledge quiz to make it rewarding for participants too. An enjoyable learning experience will yield better results than simply dropping off your latest batch of brochures and hoping that the distributor refers to them when a customer calls. 

Encouraging your distributors to embrace continuous learning will have huge benefits for everyone involved. Your brand will be well represented, distributors will be happy to sell your products, and your customers will be satisfied with their purchase and service they received throughout. 

 

If you’d like to learn more about building strong relationships and customer loyalty, download our step-by-step strategy for improving your customer retention

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