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How to use channel mapping to improve revenue

James Crowder | 2 September 2021
What is channel mapping?

You only have so much time, energy and budget, and if you want to ensure the highest ROI from your sales strategies, you have to be more than just effective; you have to be efficient. Strategic selling means focusing your resources on those resale channels where they will have the biggest impact. It requires that you consider which market segments will be most valuable in the long run. When you look at your current clients, is there a discernable pattern amongst those with the highest lifetime value? Probably.

This is where channel mapping starts: with the identification of your most valuable customers as well as their needs, challenges and goals. Once you know these, you can tailor your services specifically for them, thereby establishing relationships that will ensure customer loyalty and sustained growth for years to come.


What are the benefits of channel mapping?

Channel mapping provides competitive differentiation and high barriers to entry based on customer knowledge, a high level of service and trust. This advantage enables you to secure and grow your most valuable accounts while enabling you to penetrate new areas of the market where you can prospect for potential clients.

Your existing customers are much more likely to recommend you to their contacts when you make an effort to increase their profitability and they’re even more likely to dedicate a greater portion of their budget to your services when they know they can be sure of a satisfying return. With the security of large, regular orders, you can then ease the prices on your products and services, thus ensuring even larger orders and greater revenue.   

But the benefits of channel mapping go beyond those related to the security that comes with strong customer relationships. By coordinating your operations and services with your customers, you can achieve an operational efficiency – smoother ordering, the elimination of redundant functions, and improved forecasting –  that ensures lower costs and higher profits for both you and your key customers. This process creates a classic win-win: you win, and your customers win even more.


How do you get channel mapping right?

Obviously, it all starts with understanding your most important customers. To gather intelligence on these accounts, look at their profiling characteristics and past behaviour – if you don’t keep comprehensive records on your customers, now’s a good time to start. The acquired data should include the size of your customers’ operations, their infrastructure, their capacity, their financial situation, their goals, their challenges, their business strategies, and your relationship with them.

And don’t be fooled by the numbers. Your most valuable customers will be those who work best with you, not those who place the largest orders. Consider your own strengths and weaknesses. Only take on promising customers whose needs are best met by your services and products. If you don’t have the capabilities to deal with large multinationals, don’t take them on. It’s not worth the risk to your operational efficiency or your brand’s image.

To improve your sales channel selection, you need reliable data. If your database is not completely up-to-date and relevant to your needs, you should consider cleaning or enriching your database. You can find out more about the different data optimisation options in our data guide:

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