After researching, selecting and engaging your distributor, it is important to activate the distribution network. To make sure the distribution network delivers, you need to invest some time in inactivating them. This will require you to train them, sometimes generate leads for them, provide them with the right marketing content and many others.
This blog will provide you with the five important steps medical devices suppliers should take to develop the best strategy for activating distributor networks in Europe.
1. Finding distributors that are willing to make an effort
From your medical distribution list, you will find the distributors that are willing to make an effort. Whenever you introduce new medical technologies or medical equipment into the market, the distributor should be willing to add extra hours to understand the market, check if his contacts will be the right fit for the product and search for new contacts before introducing the product into the market.
2. Provide distributors with the right content and tools.
When drawing your distributor marketing strategy, you should always acknowledge that having the right tools is important to help the distributors get started. For example, medical device companies who want to export their products to Europe should get all their marketing content translated into the local languages. Manufacturers must provide their distributors with the content and pictures for their websites and the marketing brochures in their required languages.
EuroDev has a diverse team that speaks 27 different languages. The team is greatly experienced in digital marketing services and can always help medical device suppliers double-check the translated content to ensure it is properly done with the right wording.
3. Train your distributor
Consider an on-site training at the location of your distributor. They can invite their full sales team. This will also allow you to demonstrate your products physically.
Be aware that the local sales team may not all be fluent in English. Work with your main contact to organise training with maximum impact. Make sure you have a translator on-site who has already studied your product and the marketing materials.
4. Consider developing the distributor marketing strategy with your distributor
Check with your distributor on their marketing plan. Make sure they have actions in their plan to promote your brand and products. If your distributor sends out newsletters, make sure to supply them with content to promote your brand.
Is your distributor exhibiting at an interesting trade show? Why not talk about space on the stand for your product and mark those dates in your plan to attend the trade show together.
5. Work together on sales opportunities
Now your distributor is trained and all the marketing is sorted, it is time for sales!
Check in with your distributor regularly to learn about their feedback from potential clients; this will help you understand the local market.
To ensure you have activated your distributor network, visit some potential clients together with the distributors to see how well they are doing. Visiting potential customers with you will train the sales team even further and increase the opportunity for success for your brand and products in Europe.
Activating your distributor network in Europe is a little bit challenging for North American medical device manufacturers. As indicated in the previous blogs, you have to ensure the distributor is aware of the medical device regulations, they should be familiar with the local language and aware of the cultural dynamics. All these need to be taken into considerations while activating your distributor network.
EuroDev, established in 1996 with offices in The Netherlands and France, has a single, defined purpose to help mid-sized North American companies expand their business in Europe. We have created a proven, successful business development model and since our founding, have partnered with over 300 companies to help them define and meet their European business goals. Services provided include Sales Outsourcing, HR Outsourcing and Digital Marketing.