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How to sustain engagement after your channel sales launch

Mar 04, 2020

Written by: Marie Hilliard, DVP of Automotive Group, BI WORLDWIDE
(View Author Bio)

In the busy world of your distribution channel partners, it’s important to keep your initiative front and center for them long after the launch.

Whether it’s a brand new product or the latest customer experience initiative, companies are spending millions of dollars on a launch but surprisingly little attention is given to sustainment. In the busy world of your channel partners, it’s important to keep your initiative front and center for them long after the launch.

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More than 65% of new products launched by established companies fail and 95% of all innovations fail to return their cost of capital investment according to a recent study by the Product Development Institute. With all the time and money spent on R&D and the launch, these failures amount to millions in wasted revenue.

Here are four strategies to optimize your launch for sustained attention from your distribution channel partners.

  1. Tend the field. Your field teams are the direct line to your channel. Give them the tools they need early on to help shepherd the launch message and empower them to amplify and activate launch tactics on the grassroots level.
  2. Invest in the best. Designate channel “champions” who are most likely to carry the message and positively impact success. Offer job support, in-depth learning, communications and KPI measurement with the promise of professional development, reward/recognition opportunity and retail leadership in return.
  3. Research like a customer. Many companies forget their customers are learning about their product from a wide variety of third-party sources. Educate your channel sales teams on what “they” say about your product and equip them with useful competitive comparisons.
  4. Build for the long-haul. A “launch” is not a one-time event, it’s a continuum. Optimize retention of learning and job support resources aimed at your channel partners by previewing prior to launch and sustaining long after the launch. Reinforce the essence of launch objectives and give launch content a broader reach while providing a repeatable roadmap for tomorrow’s new hire.

 

Marie Hilliard

Division Vice President
Automotive Group

As Division Vice President of BI WORLDWIDE’s Automotive Group, Marie Hilliard’s primary focus is to develop engagement strategies and solutions that change the behaviors of automotive employees, consumers and the dealer network to drive positive business results. An expert in applying behavioral economics to program design, Marie coaches professionals throughout North America on how to best engage people to drive desired results.

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