The New Agenda for Trading Partner Collaborations: Growing Market Share Together

B2B organizations are becoming increasingly focused on maintaining collaborative relationships between the stakeholders. The evolving rebate landscape requires suppliers, distributors, and the buying group to collaborate and work closely as a team, as partnership sourcing becomes fundamental to succeed in this competitive, fast-paced ecosystem. When every stakeholder is genuinely interested in others’ success, the process of identifying mutual revenue growth opportunities becomes more simplified.

Today’s businesses are aware that increasing market share is crucial to sustained profitability and smooth trading partner relationships. Strategies for market share maximization are more widespread when compared to ideas for current profit maximization. But does an increase in market share accord anything other than revenue growth?

Yes. Growing market share, apart from revenue growth, signifies making informed market decisions that impact many dimensions of a business including sales improvement, customer retention, and a robust trading partner relationship management.

Though a step up from individual deals, the trust model has put manufacturers and distributors in a complicated rebate structure.

Improve partner collaboration for enhanced revenue and business benefits

Here are some best practices that aid in improving market share and contribute towards enhancing trade partner collaborations.

Understand supplier expectations: Suppliers are continually focused on growing their share of the market. However, according to Garner, B2B buyers spend just 24% of their buying time meeting potential suppliers. Factors including online availability of resources and a large number of buying group members make it appear unnecessary or difficult to meet stakeholders directly. But nothing is as effective as a one-on-one conversation with a supplier. It ensures a better understanding of the suppliers’ expectations and helps distributors, and the group members stay updated on current buying dynamics. These direct interactions build trust and boost supplier and buyer confidence in each other and their trade decisions. Overall, such conversations allow improved decision-making by all the stakeholders involved in the rebate ecosystem.

Strengthen customer relationships: Customer behavior is a critical factor impacting revenue. To maintain a healthy customer relationship is to ensure continuous customer engagement.  Staying connected with customers through online channels, seeking regular feedback and reviews, and conducting periodic surveys helps in better understanding customer needs. This is key to improving your product, its features, functionality, or service. Such a customer-first approach has a direct impact on your market share.

Switch distributors only when required: Suppliers switch distributors for various reasons. Though all suppliers target improved profit margins while deciding on distributors, distributor hopping does not always guarantee revenue growth. Incentive programs that are diligently crafted and optimally utilized help in retaining existing distributors or choosing new ones, based on the requirements.

The Timex model in the UK and India is a good example of distribution innovation. This leading watch manufacturer utilized unconventional retail outlets like drugstores and discount stores to sell their watches. This technique worked effectively to acquire new customers and new sellers. Well-crafted reward schemes and shared incentive programs helped in retaining distributors and they declined store space when approached by other watch manufacturers. The approach also gained wide appreciation as the brand became recognized as customer friendly.

To maximize incentive effectiveness, categorize distributors based on products, location, or other relevant factors. Devise personalized incentive programs for each category so that both the brand and the distributor benefit. Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and ensure all members are rightly acknowledged when goals are achieved. These gestures go a long way in instilling distributor confidence and improve relationships between stakeholders.

Target competitor product conversion opportunities together: Improving market share involves tapping into product conversion opportunities in a collaborative manner. Every opportunity needs to be used either for improving customer service, expanding market share or region of operations, or other related targeted benefits. You should leverage all available resources to identify and convert opportunities into growth promoters. The Walmart use case is a classic example of employing available resources to promote growth.

According to eMarketer, Amazon holds 39.5% of the e-commerce market share in the US, and Walmart holds 7%. To upscale to its competitor, Walmart has begun utilizing its 4,700 stores spread across the US, as launchpads for delivery drones. These stores act as automated warehouses for direct-to-fridge deliverables and collection points for online grocery orders. The fact that 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store leads Walmart to believe that such initiatives will help them improve their customer experience, expand their product catalog, and also extend their delivery destinations. These strategies are aiding Walmart in competing with Amazon in the market share battle.

Turn requirements into opportunity providers: Many factors including price, quality, service, time-to-market, technology, and financial capability are barriers that often hinder business growth. But leveraging the right technology, tools, or services from a partner or a group member helps to overcome these hurdles and convert them into sources of increased revenue growth.

Consider this. Apple, the most valuable technology company in the world, launched the iPhone in 2007. Its unique capabilities and innovative functionalities fetched worldwide recognition and demand for the product. Apple saw a revenue spike from $37.4 billion in 2008 to $65 billion in 2010. One smart move by Apple fueled this accelerated revenue growth. Apple’s decision to partner with Foxconn proved mutually beneficial. Apple increased its production volume through its manufacturing partner Foxconn who employed a pioneering technique to design the gadget. Apple realized its aesthetic vision through Foxconn and Foxconn used the opportunity to establish its technical prowess. The Apple iPhone now holds 14% of the global smartphone market share.

Try innovative strategies: Never hesitate to try out innovative techniques to cover a market effectively. Diversifying into a new market opens new growth opportunities. Despite the tremendous success of the iPhone, Apple has diversified into new domains like wearables, and home and accessories to prevent revenue stagnation.

Can a rebate management platform help in market share improvement?

Successful rebate management requires you to pay equal importance to all the above-mentioned elements. Manual rebate monitoring or rebate program tracking through spreadsheets cannot support a multi-pronged approach and is not a scalable option for a growing business.

All the above factors can be effectively encompassed in an intelligent rebate management platform. Tredence’s is the one-stop solution that offers tools and techniques to enhance your market share through its highly functional rebate management platform.

The platform offers automated shared rebate processes and helps identify mutual revenue opportunities for all stakeholders of the rebate ecosystem. The platform offers customized dashboards for distributors and suppliers. For the distributor, the platform maps all purchases made outside the group for a competitive product, to suppliers in the group. This enables distributors to identify relevant opportunities and drive meaningful conversations with potential suppliers for a fair deal.

For the supplier, the dashboard provides a hunting list of the top distributors who purchase competitive products available in their product category. The suppliers can negotiate with these distributors and strike deals that are mutually beneficial.

An intelligent platform for enhanced rebate revenue management

In addition to the above, the trustworthy rebate management platform is packed with advanced capabilities like smart insights and alerts, data governance, workflow automation, competitive analysis, unified data and vocabulary, and decision intelligence.

Schedule a demo with our experts to understand how smart trading partner relationships can help improve your market share and reward your business with accelerated revenue growth.