Author: Yulia Litvinenko, business coach, coach
Sales channels are the place of marketing and sales connection, where tools from these two spheres work only in synergy. Before developing new channels, you need to think and ask yourself the question “why”? Why do we need new channels. Most likely the first answer will be – to increase sales, but this is the final result. What or who can you increase sales through? These are new partners, new customers. Perhaps following trends, all that is now available online: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. Or the goal may be the recognition of a product or service.
The amount of resources that will be needed depends on the chosen option of the sales channel. After answering the question “why?”, the next question you need to ask is “what” you want to sell through new sales channels. It can be a product or service directly, or maybe the value of a product or service. When you sell the benefit to the customer, what the customer needs or what is important for him. And the option is when the product and its value are sold.
When you answered the questions why you need the channels and what you will sell through new channels, the following questions arise how and where to look for new channels. But before we turn to the answers to these questions, I want to emphasize an important factor – business readiness for new channels. Are logistics, production and other directions in the company ready for other volumes? If the new channel turns out to be effective, and the products will be missed or will not be able to be shipped or delivered. In this case the question of business readiness for new channels becomes an important issue.
Returning to the questions of how and where to look for new channels, I can not help saying that the modern world gives a huge number of opportunities to search for new channels, starting from the Internet and ending with direct communication with the client.
The world is now full of opportunities, thanks to globalization, the speed in all spheres is increasing, the availability of information – all these factors give a lot of opportunities to search for new channels.
The Internet has long been not a new channel, but nevertheless, not all companies use it 100%. How many companies have their own YouTube channel and use it to communicate with their customers? Yes, every company has its own website, perhaps a Facebook page, but how many opportunities are there in each of these channels? This is a direct communication with the client through live broadcasts, it is information about the values of the product and the possibilities of application, it is the opportunity to call directly through Facebook or Instagram.
If you talk about new channels in the B2C direction, if you sell the product or service directly to the customer, I would like to highlight such areas that can be considered as new sales channels:
- Trade fairs;
- Outbound trade;
- Stations, airports;
- Show-rooms, pop-up-store
- Business clubs;
In the B2B area, when searching for channels, I also suggest using such opportunities as organization of thematic conferences, participation in business clubs for building communications. But the most important in this direction is working with the customer. To create a customer profile, the more you collect information about your client, both professional and personal, the more you have the chance to offer your product depending on the needs that you will help to learn from the customer.
With the development of new channels, you get an increase in sales, recognition of the product or service, new customers, loyalty of your client and as a result, this is reflected in the company’s profits. But the search and development of new channels will always cost resources, it can be people, money or time.
And finally, if we talk about trends in multi-channel sales, now it’s Omni-channel. Omni-channel is a unified system of all channels of communication and sales with customers that are linked together “seamlessly.” Since there can be a lot of channels (store, mail, call, social network, etc.), it is already necessary to make this chain unified and the client passes through this chain consistently and continuously.