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Dec 21, 2020

Ben Blaney has had broad pricing stints with companies like GE, Pros, Colfax, and Updegraff Group Realty. To date, he is with Vendavo taking the role of Vice President for Pre-Sales.

In this episode, Ben talks about how misunderstood, underserved, and undervalued channel selling or channel management is. He shares that unless you have a clear understanding of your value chain, only then you can price your channel partners. As this pandemic shaped how we need to look at the future, so has e-commerce posed an important issue on how we should think about whether it be considered a channel in itself.


Why you have to check out today’s podcast:

  • Learn to understand the value a channel brings to you to help you price your channel partners
  • Find out the force multiplier effect of your channel partners in your product distribution
  • Learn how to make the value chain better for you, your distributor, and ultimately your end-customer


"On a whiteboard, on a piece of paper, draw all of your channels to market. How many steps are there on this value chain? How many possible different ways are there? Because until you know that, you can't possibly say how things should be priced into these different channel partners."

- Ben Blaney


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Topics Covered:

01:11 - A funny story on how he started his pricing career

01:42 - Any transaction has already been priced

02:22 - What makes him love pricing

03:22 - Defining price

04:22 - What makes channel selling, channel management, and channel pricing underserved, misunderstood, and kind of undervalued

07:10 - What is a channel, and what are examples of it

09:51 - Seeing the important value distributors provide to manufacturers

11:26 - The force multiplier in the network of distributors

13:52 - Of commodity selling and delivered pricing

15:13 - Sell on Amazon or get distributors

18:42 - What the future of e-commerce would likely be

20:18 - What a distributor provides that an e-commerce platform could not

21:57 - The difference between distributor and brokerage

24:47 - What is going to distinguish the winners in channels from the losers

25:21 - Creating a unified price in the marketplace

27:36 - The essence of shifting from cost-plus pricing to value-based pricing

29:43 - The need for data cleansing

31:19 - Ben's best pricing advice that could impact your business


Key Takeaways:

"I kind of feel like the word price always needs a word before or after it because otherwise you can quickly become confused about what we're talking about." - Ben Blaney

"To understand the value a channel brings to you, say, manufacturer, that's the only thing that tells you how you should price to and through the channel." - Ben Blaney

"In commodity selling, you talk about a delivered price, meaning you are accommodating for the cost of transportation to the customer organization. These are important things; these are valuable to the end customer. And so, they're worth, the manufacturer, taking that margin out of their own pocket and put it in distributor because it's better for the value chain. You express better value for your customer." - Ben Blaney

"The moment that the distributor fails to understand that the distributor has this function to provide over and above what can be provided by the manufacturer, that's the moment of which they are obsoleting themselves as a step in the value chain." - Ben Blaney

"It's the focus, that relentless, obsessive focus on what the end-customer needs and wants, is going to distinguish the winners in channels from the losers." - Ben Blaney


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