In competitive industries, it can be tough to promote loyalty amongst distributors and resellers in a positive way. Get it wrong, and you risk alienating a key channel of revenue. Here are our top tips for running a channel sales incentive programme.
1. Perfect your communications
This is an opportunity to build your relationships with your channel partners, to ensure that they are aware of the scheme, its direct benefits to them personally and how they can take advantage of them. It’s no use simply sending out an email about the scheme and expecting distributors to keep the rewards scheme front of mind. Use automated emails, staff room posters and your channel sales staff to remind resellers periodically about the programme. You can update them on their progress and anything else they might need to know. This gentle reminder system will help to re-engage distributors with your brand, product and services. Be sure to target not only the sales reps but the dealer principles too. Even better, adopt a platform that staff can log into and see real-time progress.
2. Don’t just reward the top performers
Yes, those top performers should get their fair share of rewards, but never forget that the average-performing staff members can make serious gains for your company. You can promote their active participation by providing rewards for adopting the habits of the top performers. You could use gamification elements to your programme such as implementing eThank you badges to rewards positive behaviours. Set reachable and challenging goals for your sales partners and provide the tools they’ll need to achieve them; this will keep motivation high throughout your programme and yield better sales results. Maintain your brand exposure across the whole team, rather than just the top performers.
3. Get the rewards right
Not providing the correct rewards for the channel partners can have a severe impact on the success of the programme. Channel Incentive rewards must be relevant, usable and attractive to a broad range of people across locations and countries. When using gift vouchers in your programme, having a single global supplier can help alleviate the admin and fulfilment costs as well.
Your programme must also be able to reward individual sales and team or location success. Putting thought into setting the right rewards for the value and effort of each sale can be decisive. Having campaign rules set up along with real-time integration with the sales CRM in your channel incentive programme can automate the rewards process and provide instant gratification.
4. Make it accessible, easy and direct
There’s nothing worse for a salesperson than to have to wait for data to update, as mentioned earlier, having real-time integration with the sales data CRM can facilitate reward fulfilment. As well as that, integrating the sales data through an API to your distributor or channel incentive platform can help provide more insight for the programme members. Having not to wait until the end of the day or week to know their performance is valuable for a sales person striving to improve their results or finding out how they’re doing compared to the rest of their team or area. Ovation Incentives provided such a branded platform to Sky as part of their channel incentives scheme for third party agents.
5. Use, analyse and learn from data
If you’ve managed to launch and achieve success from a channel incentives scheme, one of the most important elements of its life cycle is to analyse as you go. Having a unique platform or portal for your distributors and resellers can provide you with a large amount of data that you can use to your advantage.
The data will help you answer the following questions:
- What’s working and what isn’t?
- What can average performers learn from the top performers?
- How can you encourage more sales?
- Do you need to invest in additional sales tools?
- What feedback can you give sales staff as they are participating in the scheme?
Don’t forget to review the results at the end of each financial year.
To discuss how Ovation can quickly and efficiently implement a channel sales incentive scheme to suit your requirements, contact our offices today.