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Distribution Channel Management: Bridging the Sales and Marketing Divide

Optimize Channel Performance

A poorly designed or executed distribution channel strategy can create conflict, inefficiency and disruption up and down the line. In this intensive program, some of the most highly regarded authorities in the field will show you how to design, develop, maintain and manage productive channel relationships to create sustainable competitive advantage.

You’ll learn how to use a proven framework to unite marketing and sales efforts for the benefit of all, regardless of your business model or channel dynamics: consumer goods and services companies selling through wholesalers and retailers; business-to-business firms working through independent distributors and sales representatives; retailers seeking to improve efficiency in an increasingly competitive marketplace; or intermediaries seeking to preserve their role in an increasingly fluid channel structure.
Upcoming Sessions (Fee includes lodging and most meals)
Session Date Cost
November 2-5, 2014 $6,300 Apply

Program Materials

  1. Senior-level executives — managers, directors and vice presidents — responsible for creating and managing channels of distribution in manufacturing, wholesale, retail or service firms
  2. Other senior leaders with broad strategic responsibilities involving channel strategies
  1. Gain insights into the key role distribution channels play in your company’s business model
  2. Identify gaps in channel performance on both the demand and supply sides
  3. Segment your market for optimal channel design
  4. Assess and satisfy your end users’ service output demands
  5. Optimize the allocation of high-cost activities among channel partners
  6. Use channel power to bring about productive change in channel operations
  7. Diagnose sources of channel conflict and develop tools for conflict resolution

Distribution Channel Design and Management

  1. Channel design issues 
  2. Channel coordination issues

Service Output Demands

  1. Identifying which service outputs matter in your market
  2. Using service output demands for effective distribution channel design
  3. Targeting the highest-potential channel segments in your market

Optimizing Your Channel Structure to Meet End Users’ Demands

  1. Which channel intermediaries to use
  2. How intensively to distribute
  3. Allocating channel flows and functions to specific channel members

 Assessing Gaps in the Current Channel Strategy

  1. Defining environmental and managerial bounds on optimal channel design
  2. Relating bounds to the creation of channel gaps
  3. Demand-side and supply-side gaps and strategies for attacking them

Channel Coordination

  1. Coordination benefits
  2. Building channel-wide goals

Using Channel Power to Influence Channel Partners’ Behavior

  1. Channel power as a means of influence and an investment in profitability
  2. Sources and uses of channel power

Identifying and Managing Channel Conflict

  1. Types of channel conflict
  2. Tools for managing channel conflict
  3. Supply Chain Management in the Marketing Channel


Special Feature:


Channel Audit Toolkit
The Channel Audit Toolkit leads you through a full channel analysis. The handbook describes the audit process, while the workbook aids in the assessment of your channel design and operation. The toolkit is designed for use not just during the program but in your business afterward.

Anne Coughlan - Academic Director; John L. and Helen Kellogg Professor of Marketing

Sunil Chopra - IBM Professor of Operations Management and Information Systems

Richard I. Kolsky - Adjunct Professor of Executive Education

What Past Participants Say

  • "A tremendous seminar. The content, delivery and execution of the program was outstanding."
    - Global Strategist, Samsung
  • "If you sell through channels, this course affords you the vital framework of diagnostics to improve channel efficiency."
    - Manager, Dealer Development, Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America
  • "Market Access Strategies provides invaluable tools and perspectives for any channel problem in any line of business"
    - Senior Account Executive, Leo Burnett
  • "Very useful way of looking at channel management - comprehensive and coherent. Recommended!"
    - International Trade Advisor, UK Trade & Investment
  • "This course puts a focus on channel and supply chain that shows the necessity of this for the long term success of your business."
    - John Deere Company
  • "This program was directly relevant to our business. I used some of the tools before I even left campus! The ROI is clearly there -- I would highly recommend this program."
    - Senior Director, Channel Strategy and Marketing, RadioShack
  • "It's a 'layup' that I'll get a big ROI on the three days at Kellogg, the advanced preparation time, and the time I'll spend putting what I learned to work."
    - Trading Manager, Cargill

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