Increasing sales and channel productivity while decreasing the cost of sales is among the Top 3 goals for any channel intensive consumer oriented business, if not THE No. 1 goal. For businesses like insurance, retail financial services, fast moving consumer goods, telecom, consumer durables and such, the channels are as important, if not more so, than the consumers themselves!
You may want to ask yourself a few questions….
- Is the attrition rate in my sales force and channel members far beyond levels of comfort?
- Do I hear murmurs from dissatisfied agents and brokers about late / wrong release of commission and incentive payments, month on month?
- Do I have a feeling that my special schemes for my sales force and channel partners are like free giveaways, without adding to my top and bottom line?
- Are my incentive metrics aligned to my sales and productivity goals?
- Do I have an accurate pulse on the Cost of Sales / Cost of Acquisition by channel types, regions and markets that I am operating in?
- Am I under constant pressure from my finance team to have accurate audit-able reports of my various variable commissions and incentive payouts?
- Month on Month, Quarter on Quarter, do I have to just continue to “hope that we will make our targets”?
- If the answers to atleast some or many of these questions leave you feeling uncomfortable, you are not alone!
These are just leading indicators of the problem that most organizations like yours have – that of the lost child called Distribution Excellence. For most such organizations, Distribution Excellence is like a lost child in the melee of the marketplace, chasing ephemeral flavors of the day!
One Single Source of Truth – Excel?
The answers to many or almost all of these questions lies in the fact that for almost all these businesses, there is NO SINGLE source of truth, when it comes to distribution.
Almost all organizations, even the very small ones, have a system of record for their base transactions. Some have started their journey on a single view of the customers. But when it comes to distribution, information is hugely fragmented in numerous constantly changing spreadsheets. Channel managers across the hierarchy grab whatever spreadsheets that they or their teams can produce to attack the problem or crisis of the day!
Excel appears to be a god sent boon for managing distribution operations. But a single source of truth for distribution, it is not. It has been very well said that “what cannot be measured cannot be improved”. This absence of the single source of truth about distribution is hurting most organizations very badly.
The unfortunate truth is that most do not even know what it is hurting them so badly.
Have you ever heard of the story of the frog that refused to jump out of vessel with slowly boiling water whose temperature increased every gradually? The story of distribution excellence in most organizations is not very different.
No Rocket Science
Is there a solution at hand? Most definitely.
And it is not rocket science. It can be done. It has been done.
The Herald Logic team would be happy to talk to you, to discuss how distribution complexity can be simplified in your organization. But the key is in the understanding that the temperature of the water in the vessel is slowly increasing….Jump out. Now.