It’s all about money when it comes to building sales. That’s everyone’s first thought: generating more revenue.
But how are you supposed to get more cash flow? What is behind the scenes?
It is common for vendors to segment and profile a vendor distributor, for example. They only have revenue performance in mind. They do not look at what influences that revenue performance as far as their distribution channel.
Is there channel alignment between all distribution channels? All the way down the line from your business to your customers? Or are there alignment problems? Are your channels out of whack? Or is there no channel alignment at all?
The bottom line is that you need channel alignment for your business. But you have to figure out how to get there in the first place.
What is Channel Alignment?
What is this “channel alignment” we speak of? Well, first of all, it is a key ingredient in your recipe for business success.
Let’s put it in simple terms. It is when you align your communication channels within your company. We mean your avenues of distribution, the forces that drive your cash flow from the source.
And when they work in concert, it feels like they just went to the chiropractor and left with a perfectly adjusted spine. Your distributors’ vendor portfolio, your capabilities, your resources. These all align and hit the target or the right customers.
It can be hard to align each channel. This is in part because your business technology evolves often. Not to mention your customers themselves, who have fluctuating desires and expectations.
So how are you supposed to keep up with marketplace demands and focus on channel alignment? When everything is changing on the regular, especially?
Start from the beginning, as always.
First, understand who your target audience is. Who are you shaping your products’ or services’ marketing strategy around?
Then, you will know your market’s geographic location. What distributors are ready and able to get your products to your market?
From there, you can analyze and find out where you need more support for the proper channel alignment. Your end goal is to get your channel partners to be able to get your audience what they need. And of course, you want to boost profit margins along the way.
Get the hang of this process. You should end up with channel alignment that lasts – if you ensure proper upkeep.
What is an Alignment-Based Strategy?
There are endless strategies you have to come up with to sustain your business. There’s lead generation strategy, marketing strategy, the endless sales strategies.
And like those, you want a mix with your alignment-based strategy.
Before, the best practice for multi-channel retailers was to merge their channels. That includes online and off. But that alignment-based strategy is different now.
Today, you need some sort of variation in your channel-alignment strategy. There is no approach that fits every business across the board. Every company has its own needs. Like their customers have their own needs as far as communication and outreach. Like your own business has its own needs.
This is why it is often hard to say that there is a singular strategy here. You cannot define a “best fit” without consulting with channel alignment experts.
Is Business Strategy an Alignment?
The idea of channel alignment might feel like a vague one for you. Isn’t overarching business strategy an alignment, then?
Sure it is. Take the Harvard Business Review for example. They are often thought of as the voice of reason among the hectic business world.
They think you should base your channel alignment strategy on a single principle. This is the idea that all business-related elements arrange themselves with long-term organizational purpose as the heart of your strategy.
This is because the structure of your company and the strategies you use to uphold it fluctuate. But your goals and sense of purpose as a business do not; at least, that is not the norm.
There is overlap at play here. You built your holistic business strategy on the idea that your business has a purpose. Likewise, your channel alignment strategy is something you should build with purpose. Think of the purpose of a positive customer experience in this regard, too.
What Makes Channel Alignment a Game Changer for Your Business?
Do you consider your business to be an omnichannel retailer? Or are you thinking of heading in that direction? If you are, channel alignment is the way to go. You need it.
That is because you will have many customer orders at any given time. They go through many channels. And you need to make your customers happy to maintain the level of success you need to last in your industry.
So you must align your demand forecast all the way through your supply chain. In this sense, channel alignment is how you make yourself available to your customers. It lets you streamlining their journey and buying process.
It also accounts for long-term planning on your part.
And the biggest game-changer of all? Channel alignment allows you to use those various channels. Plus, it lets you use them to the advantage of your customers. That is a stand-out way to separate yourself from your competitors.
Omnichannel vs Multichannel
Omnichannel and multichannel are two different sides of the same coin.
Let’s keep it simple. Multichannel is the old way, and omnichannel the new. Multichannel is a less integrated way to address your customers’ buyer journey.
But omnichannel is more customer-centric. It integrates their multiple digital stepping stones as they navigate through one sale. It offers them, on your end, a seamless buyer journey.
We are sure you remember that term we used earlier: “recipe for business success.” It’s hard to forget.
You can have that recipe when you come to Selling Revolution for your business growth needs. We solve your professional problems. We bring you long-term growth with custom-fit selling services.
It’s the basis of our secret sauce. And it all comes down to channel alignment. For the past 40 years, our team’s expertise has leveled up countless small businesses. We will revolutionize the way you sell, too. Our team will bring you to unprecedented levels of profitability.
We have plenty of other helpful tips and guides like the one you just read. But above all, we hold the key to unlocking your own business’s selling revolution.
Book a call with us at Selling Revolution today.