Channel Management

Business.com / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Channel management involves managing channels associated with reaching and satisfying the customer, managing partners who help with the ...

Channel management involves managing channels associated with reaching and satisfying the customer, managing partners who help with the distribution process and managing vendors who keep your internal controls working smoothly. Channel management successfully gains and maintains the cooperation of various organizations by aligning the enterprise as a whole with customer needs in mind. Each department and flow of information has the potential to impact customer service, affecting your entire organization and your reputation.

Effective channel management involves a partner relationship management (PRM) solution with a holistic viewpoint of the organization. Vendor management is a crossover channel often included in partner relationship management. When establishing your channel management solutions, set clear goals for each channel segment. Be sure to define policies and procedures to manage your channels. Identify which products you offer that are appropriate for a particular channel. Develop sales and marketing programs for each channel to meet their needs, not what you think their needs are. Communication is vital to success and increased profits.

1. Create a channel management system through enterprise alignment.

2. Incorporate partner relationship management as an integral part of your organization.

3. Establish a vendor management system to include risk management.

Identify channel management solutions

Utilize a holistic viewpoint when identifying channel management solutions. Communication internally and externally is the key to successful channel management.

Identify PRM solutions

Partner relationship management is vital to channel management. Make sure PRM solutions match your company needs.

Identify vendor management software

Vendor management software is part of channel management but is a crossover aspect of partner relationship management. Identify your needs and how vendor management software can help you accomplish your goals, improve efficiency and increase profits.
Business.com lists an article entitled "Guide to Purchasing Software: Vendor Management" by Linda C. Ray for more information on vendor management software, specialists and consultants.
  • Keeping up to date with technology and making sure your partners are on track with technology will help control the risk management involved with channel management.
  • Technology continues to change CRM and PRM, often causing process overlap. Technology updates, communication and enterprise alignment are vital to success. View your company as a whole and understand how each part interacts with the other from the smallest purchase at the local office supply store to complex technology systems. Do this without forgetting the most important aspect of your company, your customer.

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