CRM in Action: Boosting Channel Sales

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The Challenge: Streamline user purchases and ability to buy from partners The Solution: NetGear Inc.'s Web site was originally set up so that visitors interested in buying products had to go through the virtual company store. Potential buyers were not given a list of partners that sell NetGear products or any other buying options. Heath Gregory, Southwest regional sales manager for NetGear, says this conflicted with the current market- buying patterns of being able to comparison shop via price portals and often put potential buyer five to six clicks away from purchasing products. NetGear selected Channel Intelligence Inc.'s Channel Buy Links to help solve the problem. Channel Buy Links are product-specific links that take consumers from the information-gathering phase on a Web site directly to the buy page of dealers who carry the product. "The key for us was not to lose business at the NetGear store," Gregory says. "People have a level of loyalty and comfort about buying through the store and we just wanted to enhance that. We've done that and more." In addition NetGear is using tools from Channel Intelligence that track the results of multiple marketing campaigns and get information on how well products are selling versus competitors' items. Gregory says these tools are valuable to the sales and product management teams, but that NetGear is now looking at tools that would help customers by allowing them to check partners' product inventory.
The Payoff: Channel Intelligence implemented Buy Links in a month and NetGear achieved an immediate return on investment. Within the first month NetGear was seeing a 20 percent increase in conversion rates. Gregory estimates NetGear's conversion rates to be about 10 to 12 percent--significantly above the industry average of 1 to 2 percent.
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