What We Do

SOS is a Business Development Marketing consultant specializing in sales growth and turnaround marketing with a focus in the Specialty Coffee Industry. We use research, analysis, strategy, planning, industry knowledge, experience, and creativity to help companies grow.

Drive Sales Through Channel Partner Marketing

A lot of specialty coffee industry companies use distributors and reseller partners to deliver their message and their goods to the end-customer in various B2B channels: Cafe, OCS, grocery, gourmet, restaurant, vending, c-stores, club stores, online resellers. However, many find that their partners are often lacking in driving new business and that they’re just handling that which is given to them.

At SOS, we work with clients to increase distributor sell through. Here are some useful tips we have learned.

Engage Your Channel Partners
To change that, SOS suggests engaging your channel partners to build a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship. To make sure your partner relationships flourish you’ll need to define a few points:

  • What are your channel priorities (and what are their goals?)
  • Which other (maybe competing) vendors are they working with, what are their activities and their target markets for the upcoming quarters?
  • Ensure that your channel knows what they are selling and how your solution fits into the most common use-cases that they handle.
  • Are your channel partners connected to your target customers and verticals?

Define Your Channel Priorities
By defining your channel priorities you can see how much they align with your own and if you’re using the right partners to start out with. By seeing which other vendors they use you can easily verify the average order amount. The more revenue a vendor brings the partner and their sales force the easier that vendor will have the partners sales force’s support in driving new business and support in driving lead-generation.

Teach Your Channel Partners Well
Ensuring that your partners are educated on your products is one of the basic conditions, however often overlooked, as partners often have to participate in training, which costs them time. It’s best to team your partners up with your own sales force, teach them on the job, in hands-on situations. This makes sure they know your product almost as well as your own people do, including the latest updates on your products.

If you want to drive demand-generation together with your channel partners you’ll have to keep this in mind: Your partners are the only ones that can effectively drive your sales in a scalable way. If you take a look at their sales force you’ll often find that each of their salespeople have their own specialty or vertical they prefer, but they’ll all position your product in the same way.

Knowing that your partners have these dedicated salespeople, think of the information they could offer you. Often a lot of companies in a vertical are experiencing the same set of issues all at the same time and guess who heard it first, not the vendors, but the resellers, your partners who formed long lasting relationships with your end-customers.

Target Verticals With Joint Marketing Activities
Your distribution partners offer expertise in verticals you’ve never targeted before but now they could just open up that new revenue stream you were looking for.

Getting boots on the ground with your partners is just step one. As a vendor you generally have little grasp on whether your distribution partners will actively promote your products, but when you reach out to them and set up joint marketing activities it’s a whole other story.

SOS Managed Channel Partner Marketing
Contact us for specific details on a managed channel marketing plan for your business.

Specialty Coffee Industry Business Development Marketing


Why Your Trade Ads Don’t Work

It has nothing to do with the magazine or Facebook or Google, or any other form of media.

It has to do with what you have to say and how you say it.

Here are a few samples of headlines from recent coffee industry ads: “The Finest Coffee On Earth”, ”Absolutely Brilliant Coffee Brewers”, or my favorite “Create The Ultimate Vanilla Latte”. Continue reading

6 Email Marketing Myths Debunked

Email marketing has been around a long time, by internet standards, but remains in the top 3 online sales generators. Here are the top 6 email marketing myths debunked:

1. Email Marketing Is Old School And Doesn’t Work Any More
Not true. Industry surveys show that ROI from email marketing continues to outperform social media content, pay-per-click ads, trade shows, and everything else. Continue reading

B2B Sales: How To Know When You Are Too Dependent On One Customer

Sure, it’s great to have a big contract with a big company. But how do you know when you’re too dependent on that one relationship?

It happens like this: A young, growing business finally gets the call it longs for–a massive company (Wal-Mart, maybe, or Whole Foods, or whoever the dominant company is in the industry) wants their product or service. A lot of it. A big, big contract awaits. Heaven on a stick, right? Continue reading