Maybe you already have an award-winning IT product or service that does a great job of simplifying lives of end-consumers. But how will you strategically ‘place’ it in the new market or even increase sales volumes in the existing market? Also, as your business volumes grow, do you worry about managing time-intensive admin tasks such as invoicing and collection?
To scale your business and improve customer penetration, with minimum operational mishaps, it’s essential for IT vendors in Dubai
to enlist the support of distributors. Such partnerships will undoubtedly pay-off in the form of efficient and cost-effective market exposure; leaving you with more time to focus on product innovation and manufacturing.
Yet, research states that only 37% of manufacturers feel that their business goals are well-aligned with that of their distributors. Hence, before you get the distributor on board, it’s important to evaluate if they are well suited to serve the unique needs of your business and customers.
Here is a checklist of desirable traits that any value-added distributors in the UAE must fulfill to qualify as a candidate to support your IT business –
1. Market Reach and Expertise – Does the distributor have a deep knowledge of the market and vertical you want to target? Can they accurately forecast future sales and identify customer trends in your industry? Is this partner going to be able to help you scale your business when you choose to expand?
According to a Gallup study, only 29% of B2B end customers are fully engaged with the companies they do business with. To bridge this gap, distributors need to be completely in sync with the trends and consumer preferences in your target market.
2. Back-Office Support – Are the value-added distributors in the UAE willing to provide specialized additional support for your products?
Distributors could add value to your business by offering the services of dedicated pre-sales staff who could shave off valuable time on the projects via installation and integration support.
Or the intermediary entity could just address pain points of inventory management by providing access to warehouses and tracking turnover rates. Few other things to keep in mind would be the distributor’s ability to offer financial support, training, and account management support.
3. Local Support – Does the distributor have a local presence, close to the customers, in your target market?
Distributors, with a local base in your target market, can not only reach customer quickly, to deliver a superior experience but also smoothly manage local billings and on-site support. Local distributors can also tailor your IT solution to the requirements of the market and even ensure shorter delivery times.
4. Marketing and Sales Support – Does the value-added distributor have the intent and resources to align with you on your marketing and sales objectives?
Let’s face it, marketing your IT products is critical to driving awareness and sales and its best done by those who understand the local market. Thus, it’s a function best outsourced to distributors. IT vendors in Dubai need to assess the distributor’s ability to manage Market Development Funds (MDF), cross-country promotions, roadshows, and events. The technical competence of the distributors’ sales personnel to generate leads also needs to be put to test.
5. Reputation Check – What does the market say about the efficiency and dependability of these value-added distributors in the UAE?
Analyze testimonials by current and prior clients, to get a view of the distributor’s reputation in the marketplace. Also, try to understand if the distributor’s vision syncs with your company’s objectives. Then map out the effectiveness of their processes, the history of ROI and meeting of targets for clients. It would also be helpful to get an idea of the margins, rebates and business/QBR review process; before sealing the deal
Investing time and effort in identifying the right distribution partners is not only a smart decision but also the best way to stay competitive in today’s changing world.