What is the difference between channel sales and direct sales?

Channel sales are referred to as “indirect” because the people doing the selling are not employed by the company that makes the products being sold. Instead, that company has recruited partner companies who purchase those products at a discount for sale to their customers. By leveraging the channel, a manufacturer can put more “feet-on-the-street” actively selling without expanding their own payroll. In most cases, the manufacturer could not afford to hire as many salespeople as they can access through channel partnerships. They are best served when they invest in training and supporting these indirect salespeople.