Many of today’s sales distribution networks reach out further than you can on your own. Some have relationships that make the difference as to whether your product succeeds or not. In order to reach your market, you may be faced with having to motivate any one of a variety of sales organizations. Depending on the product or service you manufacture or represent, the approach taken to reach various groups through sales channels will vary. What motivates a distributor may not motivate the dealer below him or the consumer that you are trying to reach.

There are many ways to motivate the distributor, dealer and consumer but to do so you need to understand what is important to each of these groups. Knowledge and a competitive price are usually what most organizations and consumers are looking for and are two of the main ingredients within your marketing approach. What motivates the distributor; several things. Again, money. Add to that, creative marketing services to their dealers and a steady flow of product to minimize back orders issues.

Money is a major item. If a distributor can’t make a reasonable margin on the distribution of your product, they won’t bother. A critical factor in formulating the price of a product is keeping in mind that there may be several sales channels before reaching the end consumer, all of which want a piece of the action. If the end user can’t or won’t afford the product, it comes back up the chain to you as a non-sale.

Incentives are another item distributors look for. Some distributors have a large sales organization and some have none. For those that have regional and local sales reps, incentives that earn them additional money or rewards can make all the difference as to whether or not your product makes it to the shelf.

There are a variety of incentive type programs available, with many designed to target a specific type of person. Incentive ‘rewards’ might be money, gifts or services. Understanding which rewards motivate a sales organization to push your product into the market is key. Those that have a ‘motivator’ for distribution have a better chance of reaching the end user than those that do not. So, before you approach a distribution network, go in knowing what will make the difference to them.

One of the great failings of companies trying to bring a product or service to market is underestimating the scope of what it takes to get to the end user. With a little footwork up front, you will be able to, not only, choose a sales distribution network that best suits your needs but also to anticipate and develop pricing, incentives and marketing support that gets you there.