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A sales channel is a way or a path taken to sell products or services to the end customers from a manufacturer or vendor. Sales channels can be direct or indirect depending upon how products reach customers. The difference between direct sales and indirect sales (or channel sales) is the distance between the product and the customer.
In direct sales, the manufacturer of the product (or the vendor) sells directly to the customer and gains all the profit. With channel sales or indirect sales, vendors outsource to other companies, primarily for larger distribution or partner network around the world. For example, Microsoft - local businesses don’t place an order directly from Microsoft but work with the partners, that help to choose the right solution, implement, support, and provide services around this product.