Growing Pains

Rachael Travis

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Industrial manufacturers are continually seeking growth but face unique challenges when trying to grow their revenue through indirect channel partners. Many industrial manufacturers are facing significant pressure from the commoditization of products, the cost of raw materials and the impact of ecommerce. Margins are declining and limiting ability to invest in growth.

Both manufacturers and distributors are seeking to acquire new customers but they are not looking at the problem from the same point of view. This is leading to a trend we’re calling a vicious cycle of trying to “shrink to greatness.” Manufacturers have a broader view of the marketplace than distributors so new customer acquisition is about quality over quantity. Meanwhile, distributors are looking to expand their opportunities and quantity of new customers. This disconnect is hurting both manufacturers and distributors. The solution requires four steps to better support channel partners and drive growth:

  • Align on growth strategy with channel partners.
  • Segment channel partners based on their capabilities.
  • Incent channel partners based on where you want them to focus and drive growth.
  • Provide the tools and methodologies necessary to communicate value.

About the Expert

Rachael Travis is a manager in ZS’s Chicago office. Rachael focuses on client transformation and growth initiatives. She works primarily with clients to design and execute customer-centric growth strategies and lead go-to-market transformation projects. These efforts include understanding and leveraging the voice of the customer, segmentation, sizing and structuring the sales and marketing organizations, performance management and workshop design and facilitation.

Rachael holds a B.S. in chemistry and life sciences from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.

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