Things to Consider When Instituting a Channel Incentives Program

These days, numerous enterprises depend on strong channel partnership networks in order to maintain their growth and sustainability. These indirect channels—whether distributors, affiliates, dealers, resellers, or independent sales agencies—all play a vital role in your success, as they help you expand your business’s sales volume, geographic reach, and brand equity without you having to shell out the resources typically required for such expansions.

In order to improve and cement your competitive advantage when it comes to business-to-business sales, it is important that you come up with well-thought-out channel incentives programs. Needless to say, it can take time to put such plans into place, but once you have established your goals and expectations, determined your incentives metrics, decided on appropriate rewards values and segmentations, and finalized your methodologies, you can expect to have an overarching program that is truly tailored to your needs. Here are a few tips that can help you get started.


Use the Right Channel Incentives Platform

Before anything else, you have to make sure that you have a fully integrated channel incentives management solution that will allow you to curate and choreograph the various aspects of your channel incentives and loyalty programs. Having the right software and associated tools will ensure that you can properly orchestrate your strategies and streamline the programs’ administration. The right channel incentives platform should offer the right mix of dashboards, graphics, social media tools, and analytics. This way, your program participants will always be aware of where they are in the partner journey cycle,and you can make sure that you have a partner experience that is truly engaging,interactive, and actionable.


Establish Your Goals

Your business’s goals and objectives should be very clear right from the get go, both to your internal stakeholders and to your channel partners. Your goals should also be anchored to the universal objectives of channel partner incentivization in general, be it fostering stronger relationships with your channel partners, motivating these partners to do more business with you, or improving your overall go-to-market strategies.


Identify Your Audience

In order to ensure that your communication and rewards system will be effective, you have to know who exactly you are talking to and incentivizing. Is it distributors and business owners, sales representatives, or agents? Is it people from specific corporate tiers or geographical locations? Your communication, strategy,incentive rules, and rewards arsenal should vary depending on for whom a particular program was designed


Determine How the Program Will Be Managed and Funded

Funding plays a central role in the success of your program, so it should also be clear right at the outset how your program will be paid for and how it will affect your company’s profitability. You should also determine whether executing the program will be possible given your existing material and manpower resources. If not, then you should make sure that you have the necessary means to carry it out.


Make Sure That the Program Is Measurable

Your program will all be for naught if you can’t measure its success. See to it that you have the necessary analytics and data mining tools that will give you the capability to collect data and measure performance and trends. By knowing which products or strategies are successful, you’ll have a more comprehensive idea about what sort of programs to deploy in the future.

In today’s channel environment, enterprises must establish stellar partner experiences to engender loyalty, encourage better performance, and build long-lasting business relationships. In the long run, a well-planned channel incentives program can make your business more lucrative, more competitive, and more innovative.