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Channel Management Strategy

Picture this: you’ve got a brand-new product ready to go and have carefully selected the vendors and intermediaries responsible for getting it on store shelves but have no idea what that process should actually look like.

Sounds like chaos, right? Keep reading to learn about the importance of having a channel management strategy and the different techniques you can employ to ensure your product reaches customers in a timely and efficient manner.

Understanding Channel Management:

What is Channel Management?

Channel management is a strategic process that involves overseeing the various ways products or services reach the customer. It involves planning, implementing, and controlling the distribution of goods and services to optimize sales and enhance customer satisfaction.

Types of Channel Management in Distribution 

There are several types of channel management, including direct selling, wholesaling, franchising, and online channels. Each type focuses on different distribution methods and customer interaction strategies. Types of channel management in marketing cater to various market segments and consumer preferences. Cloud marketplaces like AWS Marketplace, Google Cloud Marketplace, and Azure Marketplace serve as powerful platforms for managing and optimizing these distribution channels.

The Function of Channel Management

If you were to define channel management in simple terms, it would be important to focus primarily on strategic planning. The overall channel management function and purpose is to lay the groundwork for who’s responsible for what.

But getting everyone on board can be easier said than done, which is why it’s helpful to provide resources outlining the entire process, like a channel management PPT. 

Why Channel Management Matters:

Educating Yourself and Others With PDFs

If you’re new to channel management, there are a plethora of online resources you can take advantage of to learn more about the process and educate your team on best practices. For instance, you could send them a channel management PDF.

You might send them a type of channel management PDF to inform them about the different types of management, channel management PDF notes to recap meeting summaries, or even a channel management PDF free download for quick and easy access. 

Using a channel management PDF download can save you time, allowing you to focus more of your attention on the objective at hand.

Channel Management Examples

Channel management examples illustrate the diverse approaches to product distribution and sales. For instance, channel management examples in business abound in various industries. Companies like Salesforce, HubSpot, and Adobe have leveraged channel management strategies to extend their market reach and drive sales through diverse channels. 

These channel management examples in business demonstrate the strategic use of different channels to optimize market penetration and customer access. Studying channel management examples companies is a great way to learn the do’s and don’ts of building a management strategy.


The importance of channel management and channel strategy when it comes to distribution and sales cannot be overstated. Aligning sales and distribution methods with your company’s ultimate marketing goals is key. For example, using online platforms in your marketing strategy will cast a wider net of leads.

By understanding the importance of channel management in marketing and, specifically, distribution management, you can reach your target market with ease.

Navigating Sales Channels:

Who Are Channel Members, and What Do They Do?

Channel members are individuals who belong to a specific communication or distribution channel within an organization. They play different roles depending on the channel’s purpose, including disseminating information, providing feedback, or facilitating discussions. 

Channel members examples include team members in a Slack channel and members of a sales distribution channel.

Types of Channel Members

There are several different types of channel members spanning various industries. The 5 main ones are:

  • Manufacturers
  • Wholesalers
  • Distributors
  • Retailers
  • Agents/brokers

Digital Marketing Channels

Each of the types of marketing channels plays a crucial role in reaching consumers. A well-known marketing channel example company is Amazon, a platform adept at managing distribution channels in marketing.

Digital marketing channels, like social media and email, are also key to reaching your target market. The main three types of marketing channels—direct, indirect, and dual distribution—connect products with consumers directly and through intermediaries. 

Strategic Competitive Advantage:

How to Gain a Strategic Competitive Advantage

To leverage sales channels for a strategic competitive advantage, focus on:

  • Diversification: Utilize multiple channels (online, retail, direct sales) to reach a wider audience and mitigate risks.
  • Customization: Tailor your approach for each channel based on customer preferences and behaviors.
  • Integration: Provide a seamless customer experience across all channels.
  • Data Analysis: Use sales data to understand customer trends and adjust your strategies accordingly.
  • Relationship Building: Develop strong relationships with channel partners for improved collaboration and market penetration.
  • Cloud Marketplaces: Provide a competitive edge by offering a centralized platform for reaching a global audience.

International Corporate Planning

International corporate planning involves developing strategies to navigate the complexities of international operations. It requires a thorough understanding of diverse market dynamics, compliance with varied legal and regulatory frameworks, and adaptation to cultural nuances. 

The process also involves forecasting global economic trends and establishing efficient logistics and supply chains. Effective international corporate planning is crucial for achieving sustainable growth and optimizing your channel management strategy. 

Types of Distribution Channels PDFs

As discussed previously, PDFs can be tremendously helpful when building your strategy. PDFs are easily accessible and downloadable and provide valuable strategic information. 

For example, the four main types of distribution channels are direct selling, intermediary selling, dual distribution, and reverse channels. If you want to learn more about each of these types, you can download a type of distribution channel PDF for quick, scannable information.

Crafting a Successful Channel Management Strategy:

5 Examples of Distribution Channels

Channels of distribution are pathways through which a product or service reaches the end customer. The five types include: 

  • Direct selling
  • Selling through intermediaries
  • Dual distribution
  • Reverse channels
  • Digital channels 

Direct selling involves personal interaction, while intermediaries like wholesalers and retailers are crucial for broadening market reach. Dual distribution combines multiple channels for wider coverage. Reverse channels manage returns and recycling, enhancing brand image and sustainability. 

Digital channels like a Cloud Marketplace are beneficial to businesses because they facilitate global reach and convenience. Utilizing these channels, organizations can expand their market presence and boost service efficiency.

What Are Business Channels?

Strategic channels are networks that align with a company’s long-term goals, market positioning, and target audience. These types of channels for business lay the groundwork for how to effectively reach customers and may include methods like direct sales and partnerships. 

Business channels, on the other hand, encompass the specific methods and intermediaries a company uses for distributing its products or services to the end consumer, such as wholesalers, retailers, or direct online sales. 

The 6 C’s of Decision-Making

The 6 Cs of decision-making are:

  • Construct
  • Compile
  • Collect
  • Compare
  • Consider
  • Commit

By following each of these steps, you can be well on your way to developing a solid channel management strategy and determining how to best leverage your options. To learn more about the decision-making process, see this 6 Cs of Decision Making PPT.

Designing Your Channel Management Strategy:

What a Good Channel Management Strategy Looks Like

A channel management strategy is a well-crafted plan designed to optimize the distribution and sale of products. For instance, a channel strategy in brand management might involve a company choosing to exclusively distribute its high-end products through luxury retailers to preserve brand prestige. 

In this channel management strategy example, the focus is on selective distribution to maintain a premium brand look and cater to a specific target market.

Companies With Successful Strategies

MongoDB is a leading database platform. MongoDB has established a channel partnership with the Google Cloud Marketplace. MongoDB Atlas, the cloud-based database service, is featured on the GCP Marketplace. This collaboration enables GCP users to easily deploy, manage, and scale MongoDB databases in the cloud, providing a seamless data management solution within the Google Cloud ecosystem.

HashiCorp, known for its infrastructure automation software, has established a channel partnership with AWS Marketplace. HashiCorp Terraform Enterprise is listed on AWS Marketplace and is a key product for infrastructure provisioning and management. This collaboration streamlines the adoption of HashiCorp’s solutions for AWS users, offering a standardized approach to automate and manage their infrastructure.

Creating Your Own Channel Strategy

Crafting a channel strategy involves assessing market needs, identifying target customers, and selecting appropriate distribution channels. Cloud marketplaces offer a versatile platform for companies to create and implement their channel strategies.

Channel strategy McKinsey resources can be invaluable for businesses getting started with their own strategies. McKinsey provides several channel strategy examples to inform businesses on best practices and proven methods for success. 

Be sure to use a channel strategy template or channel strategy framework when getting started, as these outline the different distribution types and offer structured guidance for implementation. 

Channel Strategies in Marketing

A channel strategy in marketing requires selecting and managing the pathways through which goods and services reach consumers. It’s about choosing the right distribution channels, like direct sales, online platforms, retail stores, or wholesalers, to optimize reach and efficiency. 

Examples of Channel Strategies in Marketing

There are a wide range of examples of how these strategies are employed in the marketing realm. Some of the most common methods include selling products directly online, using third-party retailers, or distributing through a network of agents.

Types of Channel Strategies in Marketing

The neat thing about marketing is that there are several different types of channel strategies you can leverage to your advantage. The types of channel strategy tools and techniques are diverse, each tailored to the product, target market, and business goals. 

Direct selling is a strategy where products are sold directly to consumers. It includes e-commerce websites, door-to-door sales, telemarketing, and company-owned stores.

Another one of the most popular types of channel strategy in marketing today is omnichannel, or the integration of physical stores, online platforms, and mobile apps, to provide a consistent and seamless customer experience.

Executing Your Distribution Channel Strategy:

Distribution Management

Channel management in distribution management requires selecting and managing effective pathways to deliver goods. Channel management in distribution management notes can be extremely helpful for aligning these channels with company strategy and customer needs. 

Consider a business that uses a combination of direct sales and retail partnerships to achieve efficient product flow and market coverage. This channel management in distribution management example highlights the importance of optimizing the supply chain. 

Getting Started With Your Distribution Channel Strategy

No two strategies are exactly alike. Though it’s important to adhere to best practices, your distribution channel strategy will probably look very different from another company’s, and that’s a good thing. You want to tailor your strategy to your specific needs.

To get started crafting your plan, be sure to read up on the six Cs of distribution channel strategy (which, to recap, includes constructing, compiling, collecting, comparing, considering, and, finally, committing).

The Key Elements of a Channel Strategy

A channel strategy looks for the most effective route to market and distributes products or services. It includes choosing the right intermediaries, determining the levels of distribution intensity, and working with multiple channels for broader reach and efficiency. 

So, what is an example of a channel strategy in business? A tech company might use a combination of direct online sales and third-party e-commerce platforms to maximize its product accessibility to different customer segments.

View Examples of Channel Strategies

What is an example of a channel strategy in marketing? Druva is a leader in cloud data protection and management. Druva has a strong channel partnership strategy with AWS Marketplace. Druva inSync, their flagship product, is listed on AWS Marketplace, allowing AWS customers to implement cloud-native data protection seamlessly. The channel partnership leverages AWS’s global reach to offer Druva’s data backup and recovery services to a wide range of enterprises.

Channel Marketing Examples

Carefully studying channel marketing examples—especially those that have been successfully implemented—is a good way to ensure success with your own plan. One common example is a food manufacturer using supermarkets and online delivery services; another might be a clothing brand selling through its brick-and-mortar retail stores and website.

Sales Channel Strategy Examples, Sales Channels Examples

Sales channel strategy examples include a variety of approaches. Direct selling through company-owned stores or online marketplaces is one such strategy. 

Another involves distribution through third-party retailers or wholesalers. Sales channel examples also encompass the use of digital platforms like e-commerce websites or social media channels. These channels allow businesses to broaden their reach and cater to tech-savvy customers.

The Channel Management Process:

What the Channel Management Process Looks Like

A channel management process example involves regularly reviewing and optimizing distributor performance to align with business goals. While the channel management process may involve slightly different steps, depending on the organization in question, it’s important to regularly review performance and make changes as needed to improve outcomes.

The Channel Management Selection Process

The channel management selection process involves identifying, evaluating, and partnering with effective distribution channels for product or service delivery. This “what are the five steps of channel management process PDF” outlines each of the five-channel management process steps. They are:

  1. Introduce
  2. Optimize
  3. Migrate
  4. Rationalize
  5. Integrate

Channel Management Strategies

Effective channel management strategies encompass a range of activities, from incentivizing channel partners to providing robust support and resources. Collaboration and adaptability are key principles that underpin successful channel management strategies.

Distribution Channel Management

It’s easy to see why distribution channel management is crucial for business. By incorporating some of these tips into your strategy, you can keep processes flowing smoothly and—most importantly—get products to customers in the most efficient way possible.

Torchlite is committed to helping companies achieve success with their channel management operations. Book a demo to see how we can help you optimize your channel strategy and get the most out of your partnerships.

Improve Your Channel Management With Torchlite

Many organizations tend to think of channel management as a strictly-human job because relationships are built by people. And while that is true, partnership management skills can only take you so far in the business world if you don’t have the tools to effectively manage your partner portfolio. Even the most skilled carpenter can only do so much with a simple hammer, after all.

Think of Torchlite as an entire toolbox for channel partner managers: it’s a software platform that provides an entire suite of tools, capabilities, and channels that can house an entire partner portfolio. On top of that, Torchlite’s “Simply Intelligent” software design makes it easy to customize workflows, channels, and portals for each partner, meaning that as your relationships evolve, Torchlite evolves alongside them. You’ll always have the tools you need and the ability to incorporate new ones through our seamless integration. Perhaps then, it’s better to think of Torchlite as not just a toolbox, but the entire tool shop.

It’s time to set fire to the old ways of Channel Management—and Torchlite is here to offer you the match. Book a demo with us today and see the power of Torchlite software for yourself.

Kelly Schwedland

Kelly Schwedland is the CEO of Torchlite, where he is at the forefront of scaling partner programs and revolutionizing the way businesses collaborate and drive growth, with a passion for driving revenue and fostering innovation through partnerships.