The need to evaluate the performance level of the channel members is just as important as the evaluation of the other marketing functions. Clearly, the marketing mix is quite interdependent and the failure of one component can cause the failure of the whole. There is one important difference, with the exception of the corporate VMS; the channel member is dealing with independent business firms, rather than employees and activities under the control of the channel member, and their willingness to change is lacking.
Sales is the most popular performance criteria used in channel evaluation. Sales might further be subdivided into current sales compared with historical sales, comparisons of sales with other channel members, and comparisons of the channel member's sales with predetermined quotas. Other possible performance criteria are: maintenance of adequate inventory, selling capabilities, attitudes of channel intermediaries toward the product, competition from other intermediaries and from other product line carried by the manufacturers own channel members.