How To Design a Channel Incentive Program

How To Design a Channel Incentive Program

January 21, 2016

Keeping your sales reps and channel partners focused on your products and services can be a challenge, particularly when your competitors are offering exciting incentive programs.

Here are some things you’ll need to consider to keep your products moving through the pipeline and to keep your offerings front of mind for your reps:

Addressing the Audience

As with any program, you have to know who you’re talking to if your communications and incentives are going to be effective.

  • Who’s the target? Business owners? Their agents or associates?
  • Do you have contact information for them?
  • Are there tiers or segments you should keep in mind?

Tracking and Approvals

Every program needs a solid business case and that means tracking sales. An online platform can really help here, bringing all of your data together.

  • Can you track sales down to the individual agent or rep?
  • What information do you need to be able to to verify sales?
  • How will you handle approvals?

Reporting – Collect the Data that Will Help You Succeed

To know that you’re succeeding and to improve on your program, you’ll need data you can look at in many different ways, including:

  • Determining results by group, location, and/or individual.
  • Can you measure engagement activity in the program?
  • How many rewards were issued for each campaign?

The Fine Print – Rules and Budget

Keep in mind, you’re vying for the attention of your reps or agents and so are your competitors. Programs must be both inspiring and straightforward.

  • Rules should be easy to understand and achievable.
  • Do rules change by tier, quarter, or product?
  • What is your budget and what is each activity (referral, application, closed sale) really worth to you?

Rewards and the Myth of Cash

welding-pipe-300x200For participants, great rewards can be a big differentiator for your organization, and your products and services. They will want to do what’s best for their customers, but – if all things are otherwise equal – will remember that they share in your success.

  • Consider allowing participants to accrue rewards, and keep them coming back for more.
  • Are participants allowed to redeem for awards at any time or just at the end of the program?
  • Remember that what motivates each person is unique. A wide array of choices will give motivation a big boost.
  • Tangible rewards are better for your business and more memorable program participants.

Many of your competitors will offer cash. What they don’t know, though, is that tangible rewards are proven to be more motivating. Program participants remember who took them to Hawaii or who provided that awesome new Bose system in the corner, but a check will go straight to bills and be forgotten. Research even shows that participants inflate the perceived cost of tangible awards to be more valuable that the cash equivalent.

With engaging communications, easy to follow rules, and exciting tangible rewards, you’ll be on your way to remaining the partner of choice for your most valued channel sales reps.

Check out our Agent Rewards platform, which can help you run campaigns and drive sales every day.