Channel partner incentives have little effect on their own. Paired with the right strategy, though, and they can become valuable building blocks for loyalty.
On any given day your channel partners will interact with a number of other organisations all vying for attention. If you don't have a great professional relationship with the sales representatives marketing your product, your revenue could suffer a major blow.
While clearly an important factor, incentives can only buy so much trust on their own. After all, over $70 billion was spent on channel partner incentives in 2016, Loyalty360 reported. Unfettered brand loyalty is the ultimate goal, and spending just as much as every other company does on vendors won't necessarily achieve it. At some point you have to take a look at how you're building and maintaining the relationship.
Organised communication needed
There are many reasons that channel partner relationships don't live up to their potential, but one that's alarming in this digital era is a simple lack of communication. With many sales representatives handling between 20 or 30 different brands at any given time, it's up to you to make it easy for them, according to Channel Marketer Report.
Partner portals should be as simple as possible for sales representatives to use. By customising it to prominently display the most important information on the front page, companies will create a more enjoyable experience for the sales representative. It's likely they won't bother to look for product specifications or training material if they're buried within multiple navigation pages.
Incentives to condition behaviour
While sales representatives should always be rewarded for closing deals and achieving certain goals, organisations may also want to use them to establish trust among vendors. By implementing a point-based digital platform, businesses can assign a value to completing training seminars, getting certifications or attending profitable exhibitions. In turn, these participants will see the value your company is placing on the relationship, rather than just the sales figures.
"Use incentives to inspire brand loyalty."
Consider offering a multitude of rewards in the form of exclusive event tickets or the latest technological gadgets. While cash will likely remain the preferred option, this type of strategy gives sales representatives more control over just how active they are with your brand. If they invest more of their time with your company, they should be compensated fairly for it.
Incentives can be a powerful tool, but only in the right programme. By pairing them with a point-based system, organisations are more likely to entice sales representatives to devote more attention to their brand.
If you're interested in upgrading your channel partner incentives programme, contact a Power2Motivate representative today.