Joining us for today’s show is John Kedzierski, a Corporate Vice President of Marketing who knows a thing or two about going to market with the right channels. Today’s topic is focused on selecting the right sales channels by using one of America’s great companies as a use case. John and I leveraged the SBI annual workbook to guide our conversation. To follow along, flip to the Channel Optimization phase starting on page 294 of the workbook.
Our guest today is John Kedzierski, the Corporate Vice President, North America Services and Commercial Markets for Motorola Solutions. Motorola provides push-to-talk communication solutions across the business-to-business space. Examples include baggage handlers at an airline, to police and fire, computer-aided dispatch systems handling your 9-1-1 calls, to communications on military bases. John will demonstrate how to cover the market completely with direct and indirect sales channels.
So why this topic on this day? Selling to customers directly when they want to buy from partners, is a sure-fire way to miss the revenue goal. Selling to customers through partners when they want a direct relationship with your company, can be equally devastating. Within the direct and indirect channel model, there are multiple sub-models to consider. Coverage model decisions have never been this complicated, for we live in the omni-channel era.
Across the business to business space companies are seeing buyer shifts to eCommerce and SaaS challenging the traditional paradigms. This is making all of us look at channels differently. Audience members will benefit from John’s detailed description of the framework he uses to select the right channels.
We begin the first segment with John describing how he determine whether to go to market with a direct channel or an indirect channel. The is nothing more important than determining how you’re going to sell a certain product to a certain customer. There are lots of dimensions, and there isn’t one simple answer to how you bring a product or service to particular customers.
The framework John uses includes four dimensions. One, the nature of the product or service itself that you’re selling. Two, the design and capability of the channel. Three, your customer preference in how they want to buy. Four, the geographic location of the customer. For these there is your cost to serve and what you can actually afford to do to bring that product to a certain customer. Listen as John dives into the detail for these four dimensions for you to evaluate your own approach.
Customer preferences is the input often missed when selecting channels. While the customer is always right, you can’t always do what the customer wants. Various ways to deliver have different costs associated. You can’t afford to serve every single customer in the same way, not always the exact way that they want to be served. Geographic location, different countries have different distribution requirements, different locations if you have a solution that requires geographic proximity. That’s going to make some of your decisions for you, in terms of how you sell to the customer.
If you would like to spend some time with me on the channel approach of your company, come see me and my handpicked experts on the topic in Dallas. The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. Sessions at The Studio are experiential and are designed around the principles of interactive exercises, hands-on innovation, and peer-to-peer collaboration. The Studio is a safe haven for learning and after just a few days clients leave with confidence and clarity on what they need to do to grow revenue and how to do it.