While there are ways to project or estimate ROI, there is no hard and fast rule for when companies can expect to see it. That’s because the when, like anything else in business, depends on a great number of variables. The good news, however, is that if you can identify your particular channel situation, you move one step closer to that elusive answer.
To start, is yours a well-established channel in a mature market—meaning growth rates of less than 8%? Do you have solid channel skills—as in good channel strategy and planning, good operational development, and good daily operations? If so, your channel focus is probably to win market share from a competitor. If you have managed to do so, or if your overall company market share has grown, you’ll likely see significant returns on your initial investment in a relatively short amount of time; a year, perhaps.
Meanwhile, companies shifting distribution from mostly direct to mostly indirect can expect ROI in about 18 months—less if they excel in the skills listed above and have a solid IT infrastructure.