V. Kasturi “Kash” Rangan

Most channels are constructed from the supplier out, rather than from the customer in. In other words, the product or service is designed first and it is only then that the supplier thinks about ways to get the product/service out to the customer. If the company achieves its sales goals, it lulls the company into the assumption that the channels must be right. For all you know an alternate channel might have achieved even better results.

The more common pitfall is that the chosen channel is an expedient short-term solution, often not well suited to sustain sales and profitability in the long run. But once a channel is up and running it is very hard to shut it down and construct a new one. So the channel is temporarily repaired, a “band-aid” is applied, and the selling process moves on.

Several years and band-aids later, managers may realize that their channels serve neither their customers nor their channel partners well, but it is too late.

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