How OEMs can use Salesforce to Align and Engage their Distributor Network
We know... keeping track of your own inside and outside sales teams is hard enough. So how are you supposed to check progress throughout your entire distributor network?
In this episode of our Q&A Friday series, we demo a custom application we built to do just that.
Our app allows you to set sales goals for teams, regions, and channel partners. Team leaders can track territories’ and distributors’ progress toward meeting quotas --- all with the click of a button.
The system also outlines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for each region or partner. That gives your sales team the insight they need to optimize and align all of your sales channels.
Best of all, it’s all built on the Salesforce Sales Cloud™ platform. So all your sales data lives in one place.
Have a question you’d like answered?
Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll talk through it on a future episode!
What's the ROI? Just six months after implementing their digital transformation efforts, luxury textile manufacturer Matouk saw a 233% return on their investments.
Transcript: Managing Channel Partners in Sales Cloud
Jessica Vodden: Hi, and thanks for joining us for another Q&A Friday, a regular series where we chat about issues facing the manufacturing companies and the new world of Industry 4.0. I'm Jessica Voddon, a team member here at Mountain Point, and I'm joined by Julie Corrigan, one of our project managers and favorite Q&A Friday guest. Hello Julie.
Julie Corrigan: Hi Jessica. How are you doing?
Jessica Vodden: Yeah, I'm great. Happy Friday. Today we're going to tackle an issue that I think a lot of OEMs will be interested in, and that's channel partner management. Julie's going to demo a solution that we helped design and develop that allows one of our customers to not only gain really detailed insight into their distributor network, but also to align strategies across their partners and set sales benchmarks at all levels of distribution. So this one's going to be just very solution driven. So actually, we're just going to hop over, and Julie, if you don't mind sharing your screen and walking us through what you've built, we'll let you take it from there.
Julie Corrigan: Absolutely. I'm sharing my screen now, but I kind of want to talk to, for this particular client, what was driving this particular requirement and what they were looking to do across channels. Obviously, being a national OEM manufacturer of their product, they had distributors nationally but then also at various specific locations. So lot of their customer base hierarchy, and how they have that structure to coming from their ERP, wasn't showing up in the way that they really needed something in sales force. So as part of this kind of channel alignment, without a data integration in place, they were struggling to get full insight at the national level for a lot of their distributors and settings and strategies for year-long targets, and seeing all those dollar amounts and targets coming to fruition from all the location specific distributors as well.
Julie Corrigan: What you see on our screen here is a couple of things that we've put in place for them to help them track those strategy partners, that they were looking to really target throughout the year, and moving away from a spreadsheet type of solution, where they kept those strategies earmarked for those particular customers, and then allowing that to build some sales targets as well, at the high level within sales force. Then obviously, all of their opportunities, as they went through for their individual distributors, were able to roll up at that high national distributor level, giving them a lot of insight and also keeping their sales team on target, so that they could compare their numbers with where they were in the strategy.
Julie Corrigan: A couple of things I wanted to just walk through, and as you can see on the screen here, we have a SWOT analysis at the account level. This being a national distributor account with multiple layers and hierarchies of children accounts underneath them, they wanted to be able to really track that sales target at the highest level. I'm going to switch over. You can see here where they have a SWOT analysis. This was set up in 2017, so every year they could come in and redo a new analysis for the year and what their targets are going to be.
Julie Corrigan: Very simply, this is what their spreadsheet was capturing. They were looking at what are the strengths of this particular distributor? What are their weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and then also setting a sales target for that particular strategy partner. That was just the basic information they were capturing, wanting to have that documented somewhere that their sales team, their inside sales team, and the executive could all see that in one place.
Julie Corrigan: Then going back onto their account page, here what they have is they have their target, and then you can see here what some of their total sales. It's not just this one particular national distributor, but all of location specific distributors that funnel into this high level distributor account are all rolled up. They can see the cumulative sales information for this particular year, the last 12 months, and really make sure that they're staying on target for what they had set up, for this strategy account. This was really helping them keep the funnel of the distributors in place and being able to roll that up. Then also having the visibility into the sales at the high level that they weren't able to get from a reporting standpoint and their ERP.
Julie Corrigan: This was a great solution for this particular client, but that I feel that, that's something that we're asked about a lot within the manufacturing industry, is how do we track our sales targets, not only at the sales rep level or at the company level, but also at the account level?
Julie Corrigan: There's always the concept that we see of hierarchies. There might be multiple customer accounts, based upon location or what not, but they want to see what that entire business account has sold. Setting up those account hierarchies has really given them this visibility and allowed for doing a lot of roll-up summaries from the opportunity levels, all the way down into the children. It's been something that's really solved some of their questions and given them a lot of reporting capabilities that they didn't have previously.
Jessica Vodden: Yeah, and it also seems like with the SWOT piece, which I think is really interesting, that it kind of gives the sales team the insight that they need to be able to serve as valuable advisors to their channel partners and say, "Okay, here are the things that are happening in your market. Here's how we can help you overcome any challenges you're facing. Here are some things that we might be able to take care of, or take advantage of," and really align their marketing and sales strategy at the hyper-local level.
Julie Corrigan: Absolutely, absolutely. They could set the SWOT analysis up at any level. Not only at the higher strategic level, but they could drill down and set this at individual levels as well, so that they could see, yes our national distributor has all these strengths, but this one location has some weaknesses. How can we help target that and bring them up to speed and keep them on par with where the rest of the national accounts are? So that's given them a lot of discussion as well. So as they report on their SWOT analysis across all their accounts, they can go in there and see how they can help drive more sales in one particular account, or if they're struggling, what is the other account doing that is having more success, and really being able to share that information across all their accounts as well.
Jessica Vodden: Yeah, I think that's fascinating. Well, Julie, anything else to add on this solution? I know this is short and sweet, but I think it's really a cool concept and hopefully one that will resonate with a lot of folks.
Julie Corrigan: Absolutely. It's just something that I think we're going to start to see more of within this industry, wanting to be able to get that reporting of actual versus estimates as well. So this is giving them something just to tie back and giving them a lot more at the executive level, to see some of the reporting that they're looking for.
Jessica Vodden: Awesome. Well, thanks as always for joining us and thanks so much for the solution you provided. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like us to answer or a topic you want us to tackle, let us know. You can hit us up on our social media channels, email us, call us. We'd love your feedback. We'd love to help you solve your problems, and it's your chance to get some free advice.
So, thanks everybody and happy Friday.
Julie Corrigan: Happy Friday, Jessica.