Distribution channels are the pathways that companies use to sell their products to end-users. Business-to-business companies can sell through a single channel or through multiple channels that may include:

  • Direct/sales team: One or more sales teams that you employ directly. You may use multiple teams that specialize in different products or customer segments
  • Value-added reseller (VAR): A VAR works with end-users to provide custom solutions that may include multiple products and services from different manufacturers
  • Consultant: A consultant develops relationships with companies and provides either specific or very broad services; they may recommend a manufacturer's product or simply purchase it to deliver a solution for the customer
  • Sales agents: You can outsource your sales function to a company that sells different manufacturers products to a group of similar customers in a specific territory
  • Deciding on the right Channel strategy for your business depends on the needs of your end users or buyers. If they need personalized service, you can utilize a local dealer network or reseller program to provide that service. If your users prefer to buy online, you can create an e-commerce website and fulfillment system and sell direct; you can also sell to another online retailer or a distributor to offer your product on their own sites
  • Distribution is the sum of the classic "4 Ps" of marketing - product, promotion, price, and placement - and a key element in your entire marketing strategy
Subpages (1): Competitive Positioning