CHANNEL SALES PROGRAM
Launching Virtual Manufacturers Rep Program For Major Manufacturer
MMC deployed new-age channel strategies to drive commerce and relationships with distributors and contractors.
At A Glance
HVAC & Plumbing Manufacturer
Distributors & Contractors
Our client, a top HVAC and plumbing manufacturer with strong brand recognition and value proposition, relied on manufacturers reps to bring products to market. While having a long history of success, this approach came with common challenges:
- Partners or agents support multiple brands impacting sales focus and consistency of brand message to all customers
- Under-penetration with full assortment of product categories at distribution. In this case 74% of our client’s distribution customers carried two or less of the 12 product categories
- No database and limited reach to effectively service and generate demand with downstream contractors and end-users
Our client knew the key to growth was to create a push-pull strategy that would leverage a data-driven account-based sales approach to “push” additional products into distribution while using MMC’s proprietary data assets to deliver sales and marketing outreach to “pull” contractors into supplying branches. MMC was hired as a channel partner to address this opportunity by implementing our virtual rep solution.
With over 35 years of industry experience partnering with manufacturers and distributors, MMC immediately started educating and placing under-represented products in distribution while actively identifying and engaging contractors to pull into stocking locations.
The channel solution started with analysis of our client’s sales data. By scoring and segmenting distributors, MMC developed a growth strategy that prioritized customers based on sales behaviors and potential. Using marketing automation, we designed and executed a personalized multi-channel, multi-touch account-based marketing plan targeting distributors who had stopped purchasing or had growth potential with under-represented product categories. Using cross-sell and up-sell recommendations, MMC encouraged customers to buy related or complementary products and to trial comparable higher-end solutions, maximizing value to the distributor and increasing revenue. Our dedicated virtual sales team established relationships with distribution to support decision making by providing samples, further education on product benefits to promote sales effectiveness, point of purchase displays and closing the sale with an order.
In parallel, MMC leveraged its proprietary master channel database containing 300,000 plumbing and HVAC contractors to create awareness and demand at their local distributors. The figure below displays a snapshot from our data tool of stocking distributors (orange circle) across a set radius of contractors (blue circles) closest to the locations.
Integrating our data assets, MMC launched an aggressive plan to reach and engage the contractor universe. Leveraging our client’s existing tools and programs, such as product samples, online and in-person training, and other tactics, MMC was able to generate interest and demand.
Overall, our approach has created a 360-degree feedback loop allowing MMC to provide voice of customer data and analysis to our client for both contractors and distributors.
Outcomes have been stellar. In 9 months, our client’s sales have grown by over 32%, exceeding forecast and accelerating sales goals. 13.8% of non-buying, dormant distributors have reactivated, and relationships have been established, nurturing loyalty, with more than 24,000 contractors and counting.
Cumulative Sales Year-to-Date
Are you a manufacturer in need of a loyal sales channel?
If you sell through multi-step distribution but have limited influence on brand affinity, product delivery, and what’s sold downstream to decision-makers, contact us today!