Cooperative endeavors with dealers

Harmonious dealer relation is another important element in dealer motivation. Frequent visit to dealers’ shops by the field sales force of the company / distributors helps harmonious dealer relations. Dealer meets too facilitate this process. They help to exchange ideas and to generally bring the dealers closer to the company.

Dealers need understanding and support. They are happy to receive sales ideas from the salesmen and executives of the firm. Likewise, helpful and prompt attention to dealer complaints also keeps the dealers satisfied. The firm should also project and build the dealers’ prestige in their given area.

Criteria for dealer Appraisal

1. Market share
2. Sales intensity.
3. Storage space provided.
4. Inventory holding support.
5. Standard of service provided to customers.
6. Enlistment of new accounts.
7. Market intelligence support.
8. Promotional support.
9. Prompt payment of invoices.
10. Maintenance of business records.
11. Submission of reports.
12. Public relations.

Associating the dealers in various campaigns such as service campaign, promotion campaign, etc., will cement relations with the dealer. It will also add to the success of the campaign. The firm can even persuade dealers to share the expenditure on service, publicity and sales promotion. Dealer cooperated service and publicity campaigns not only reduce the financial strain of the firm, but are also more effective than stand alone campaigns by the firm. The willing involvement of the dealers in the campaigns does the trick.

Performance appraisal of dealers:

Appraisal of the performance of individual dealers is yet another important element of channel management. Performance appraisal must bring forth the strengths and weakness of the dealers. If the performance is below the desired level, remedial action must be taken promptly. The appraisal should specifically identify areas where improvement is called for.

The appraisal has to be based on pre-agreed standards of performance. Appraisal based solely on sales volume will be inadequate. The ranking done in this basis may not correctly reveal the contribution made by different dealers. The fact that dealers face varying environments in their sales operations should be taken into account while appraising their performance. A wider set of relevant criteria must be used in the appraisal. While the criteria may vary from company to company and product to pro-duct, the common aspects in this regard are shown in “Criteria for Dealer Appraisal”.

Performance appraisal is intended to serve as a means if improving the performance of dealers. In extreme cases, however, the appraisal may lead to the termination of the dealers. When termination is the only alternative, the firm should not hesitate to take that course.

Basically, all dealers are evaluated in the basis of whether they have met their assigned targets or not. Customer satisfaction surveys are also conducted to evaluate the quality of service provided by the dealer.