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Reinventing Channel Management: A New Approach for Today’s Digital Environment

by Nikki Caruthers, Model N December 6, 2021

Today’s channel environment is a complex and ever-evolving ecosystem composed of wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers, and distributors. And with the digital economy becoming as prevalent in the B2B world as it is in B2C, today’s enterprises are quickly realizing they can’t support this ecosystem with manual tools and processes and remain competitive.

The need for channel partners to automate is growing more urgent by the day: 70% of global transactions are already supported by the channel ecosystem,1 and 94% of channel managers expect partner sales to grow2.

So, what challenges are driving this need, and how are enterprises reinventing channel management in response? Let’s take a quick look.

Challenge #1: Evolving expectations

Today’s customers and partners expect transparency, visibility, speed, and predictability – at all times. Therefore, companies need a clear line of sight for every transaction, which can be very difficult to achieve with manual processes.

Challenge #2: Lost revenue

Manual processes are time-consuming and prone to error, and errors can lead to substantial revenue loss. The most problematic errors typically occur in three key areas:

  • Ship and debt overpayment
    • Claims aren’t connected to sales.
    • Contract commitments aren’t connected to incentives
  • Weak price protection
    • Inventory eligibility varies.
    • Different inventory has different accounts.
  • Indiscriminate stock rotation
    • Sales performance isn’t connected to returns.
    • Aging inventory isn’t accounted for.

70% of channel managers say that their partners’ failure to transform digitally poses the greatest risk to channel success2.

Improve margins and efficiency with a holistic, automated approach

Many enterprises have adopted a comprehensive approach to reinventing channel management that’s built on three fundamental elements:

  • Granular channel inventory controls and methods
  • Distributor alignment with data, programs, and reporting
  • Automated compliance tracking

By eliminating overpayments, streamlining exception resolution, and improving data quality, this approach can lead to an increase in customer retention, a reduction in costs, and improved revenue growth over time.

Learn how in our on-demand webinar

For details on how this approach works and the benefits it can produce for your organization, watch our on-demand webinar, “Influencing the Evolving Channel.”

Watch now

Model N Channel Management 

Model N Channel Management helps eliminate price erosion through overpayments to your channel by managing stock rotations, price protection programs, and discount incentives like ship and debit and special pricing agreements.

Reference Articles:

1Your Indirect Sales Need Your Direct Attention

22112 Channel Chief Outlook: The 2019 Report

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