Sales Channels

Sales Channels

Sales Channels Jonathan Poland

A sales channel is a way of selling products or services to customers. This can include direct sales, such as selling directly to consumers or businesses, or indirect sales, such as selling through intermediaries, such as retail stores or online marketplaces. A sales channel is different from a distribution channel, which is a way of delivering products or services to customers. While a sales channel is focused on closing sales, a distribution channel is focused on fulfilling orders and delivering products or services to customers.

Sales channels are an important part of the marketing and sales process, as they determine how products and services are offered to customers and how they are purchased. Different types of sales channels can be used to reach different segments of the market, and they can have a significant impact on a business’s revenue and profitability.

In order to choose the right sales channels for a business, it is important to consider factors such as the target market, the product or service being offered, the competition, and the business’s resources and capabilities. By carefully selecting and managing sales channels, businesses can maximize their reach and impact, and can increase their chances of success in the marketplace.

Personal Selling

Using a sales force to establish a network of customers and sell to them. Common in areas such as business-to-business sales.

Sales Outsourcing

Using a third party as a sales force.


Selling through physical locations such as a shop or product showroom.

Automated Retail

Automated retail such as self-service kiosks.


Selling through digital channels such as a website, app or game.


Firms that purchase your products and services to resell them such as sellers on an ecommerce platform.

White Label

Allowing your products and services to be branded by resellers.

Direct Marketing

Directly reaching out to prospective customers by telephone, mail, door-to-door or digital communication tools such as email.

Value Added Resellers

Firms that add something to your products and services. For example, a system integrator who installs, configures and customizes software for customers.

Original Equipment Manufacturer

A model whereby parts suppliers sell to manufacturers of a finished product.


Distributors that sell to retailers and online sellers.

Import & Export

Distributors in a foreign market that import products or local distributors that specialize in exporting products.


Agents are intermediaries who are authorized to represent you in a transaction. In some industries, sales are primarily driven by a network of agents who work on commission.

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