Most businesses know the importance of understanding customers. And most businesses understand the value of employee engagement. After all, as Jack Welch, former CEO of GE said,
“There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow.”
However, many B2B organizations have another customer base they need to consider: distributors and dealers. In fact, for some B2B companies, dealers and distributors are the only customer.
If you rely on distributors and dealers to get your products and services to your customers, they are a key audience for running your business. Understanding your distributors and dealers, and how well you support them, is a critical metric for maintaining the health of your business.
You can learn a lot from your distributors and dealers:
- Distributors and dealers can give you insightful feedback on your products and services. How do customers respond to them? How do they stack up against competitors’ offerings? Distributors and dealers live by sales – they know this information cold. And if you use their feedback to improve your products and services, everybody wins.
- If you have distributors and dealers delivering your products and services, they become a part of your brand for the customer. Do they understand your brand? Are they representing your brand the way you want? If not, they could be hurting your brand image. You need to know.
- No one is better positioned to give you up-to-the-minute intelligence on your competitors than distributors and dealers. And since they can benefit from the information they give you, they want you to know. Find out what your competitors are doing.
- How do your sales materials work for your dealers and distributors? What else could you give them to help them sell your products? What are the most important messages you should be conveying? How do they like your promotions? Tap into the collective wisdom to make Marketing’s job easier.
- Do you know your value proposition? You probably know what it is for your end customer, but what about for the dealers and distributors? What can you do to maximize your value to them?
- What do customers think of the products that are available to them? Is there anything missing that you could provide? Dealers and distributors are talking to your end customers. Find out what they know and incorporate this into your New product development program.
Jack Welch continued by saying,
What’s important at the grocery store is just as important in engines or medical systems. If the customer isn’t satisfied, if the stuff is getting stale, if the shelf isn’t right, or if the offerings aren’t right, it’s the same thing. You manage it like a small organization. You don’t get hung up on zeros.”
And of course the link between customer satisfaction and increased profits has long been demonstrated. The importance of the dealer and distributor network in connecting your employees and the end-users of your product and services has received less attention, making it an even more important opportunity for your consideration.
Register with Clear Seas today to learn more about researching your dealers!