Toshiba sets channel goals

Toshiba will kick off a long-term Middle East channel promotion next month. The programme will challenge distributors to increase channel breadth and encourage resellers to boost Toshiba sales. The 18-month promotion will offer quarterly prizes and culminate with trips to the FIFA football World Cup in 2006 for overall winners.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  November 16, 2004

Notebook vendor Toshiba will kick off a long-term Middle East channel promotion on the 14th December. The programme will challenge distributors to increase channel breadth and encourage resellers to boost Toshiba sales. The 18-month promotion will offer quarterly prizes and culminate with trips to the FIFA football World Cup in 2006 for overall winners. Ahmed Khalil, general manager Middle East and Africa at Toshiba, explains: “Toshiba is a major sponsor of the FIFA 2006 World Cup in Germany. We are rolling out a promotion for dealers across the region that gives them the opportunity to win trips to the finals. Distributors will set up a points-based web system for their in-country dealers. Points will be awarded to dealers not just on volume, but also on stock rotation, product knowledge and attendance at Toshiba courses to educate salespeople.” “While the World Cup is the main goal, we will also offer quarterly prizes to resellers based on mini-targets with incentives and rewards on offer. This reseller promotion will motivate small and medium business-focused resellers to reach sales targets,” he adds. The FIFA Partner Challenge Programme will pit second tier resellers against their in-country peers. With Toshiba typically using a single distributor per country, they will have the chance to compete against each other in a separate regional competition. “The distributors will also be able to participate,” explains Khalil. “Because we typically have a sole distributor per country their challenge will be in terms of sales volume and channel breadth. For instance, if they currently have ten resellers, they will be challenged to build that number up to 20.” Behind the glitzy prizes on offer, Toshiba’s promotion has a solid channel objective: to increase sales into the SMB sector by building reseller breadth. In the notebook sector, Khalil estimates that the SMB space — defined as companies with between ten and 200 employees — accounts for 50% of total units sold in the region. To encourage increased channel breadth, promotions form a vital part of Toshiba’s rewards strategy. “There are three main ways to motivate dealers to sell our products,” adds Khalil. “The normal dealer incentive programmes setting sales targets and offering a certain percentage back as an incentive is one way. The second way is to offer a direct incentive to the sales people. This cannot be done with power retailers but can be done with small to medium-sized dealers. The third way is specific promotions such as the FIFA Partner Challenge Programme.” Toshiba continues to pursue a selective distribution policy in the Middle East with one distributor per country. The only exception at present in Saudi Arabia, where Khalil contends that the overall market size justifies appointing distributors focused on specific market segments. At present, Toshiba uses Jarir Bookstores as its retail distributor in Saudi Arabia with ABM targeting enterprise customers. A third distributor, focusing on the SMB sector, will be appointed shortly.

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