What are indirect B2B sales?
Indirect B2B sales is a method where your business sells its products or services to other businesses, but not directly. Instead, you use intermediaries, known as channel partners, to make those sales for you. In this sales model, you might rely on intermediaries such as distributors, wholesalers, retailers, agents, value-added resellers (VARs), or other partners to reach and sell to your end customers.
Selling through partners can allow your business to focus on its core competencies, while also using the strengths and capabilities of partners to reach a broader customer base. For example, let’s say you’re a manufacturer of eco-friendly bulk office supplies. Instead of selling your products directly to other businesses, you partner with various distributors, resellers, or retailers. These channel partners buy your products and then sell them to their own business customers. You benefit from the supply chains they already have in place, along with the existing relationships with your target customers.
Here’s why indirect B2B sales can be a smart move:
- Expanded reach: Your channel partners likely have their own established customer bases. By leveraging their networks, you can reach more customers than you might be able to on your own.
- Dedicated expertise: If your partners operate in different regions or markets, they can offer invaluable local knowledge and contacts. Likewise, they may have specialized experience in certain industries.
- Lower costs: Channel partners can take on some of your sales and marketing efforts, reducing your operational costs.
- Scalability: As your business grows, your network of channel partners can grow with it, helping you to scale more efficiently.
However, indirect B2B sales can also introduce challenges in maintaining control over your sales process, ensuring consistent brand messaging, and managing relationships with multiple intermediaries. You need to build good relationships with your channel partners, providing them with the support and resources they need to effectively sell your products or services.
When done well, and managed in a partner relationship management platform, these activities can drive long-term, scalable growth for your company.