Can Channel Incentives alone encourage partners to stick with your company and products/services?
Frankly, not always, but they do help.
Coupling rewards as well as providing the best possible service is what will make your channel programme successful. These should make up the overarching structure of a great channel strategy. Motivating your partners is getting more and more imperative. Drive future success by adopting these quick tips:
1. Consider your partners’ growth as important as your own
When it comes to promoting channel loyalty, it’s a symbiosis that you need to nurture your channel partners. Your company should act as a long-term collaborator to each of your channel partners. Identify and react to changes within the market as quickly as possible. Show that you are interested in their company, their development, their success. After all, it ties in with your own. Reinforce the joint efforts as often as you can.
2. Treat them to exclusives
Make sure they know about new products and services, changes and updates before anyone else. If information is sensitive, have them sign a non-disclosure agreement. Encourage a feeling of inclusion and it will bolster the channel loyalty program.
There’s nothing worse than having a surprise question about something.
3. Pick up the phone
As well as ensuring your channel partners aren’t missing important updates via email (because let’s face it - in-boxes are like black holes), developing a personal relationship with your various channels is vital. It promotes loyalty through open communication. As well as the phone, provide an opportunity for channels to feedback any concerns/changes/requirements at any time. Emphasise this tool for feedback at every given moment!
Don’t assume they know that it’s there.
Be truthful about upcoming changes to products or services - don’t make promises you can’t keep.
Don’t imply something ‘big’ is coming in order to keep them interested, only to fail to deliver. Building trust by being truthful can only fortify loyalty.
The competition might tell them what they want to hear, but can they deliver? By showing that you can and do, partners are less likely to switch based on an empty promise.
4. Give them added value
Go above and beyond your remit. Share best practices and tailor-made solutions to problems they might have; and you’ll know about those problems, because you followed tip #3 and picked up the phone and talked to them! Motivation doesn’t always have to be monetary.
A great working relationship is built on many building blocks.
Can you offer training, support, demonstrations, facilities or added value extras that the competition can’t? Enriching their ability to sell works both ways!
5. Offer incentives that matter
By far the greatest incentive to sales is offering financial reward or other valuable benefits. A good channel incentives campaign encourages both parties to work closely together to achieve better results. Reward certain behaviours that are important to your company, with incentives that are attractive to those taking part. Your key objectives are to strengthen partner relationships, increase performance and promote loyalty. Personal rewards and company rewards are known to equal long-term loyalty.
The marketplace is a fickle one. A company must do everything they can to nurture existing channels. Hopefully the tips above have inspired you to think about the way you handle channels. Even when everything is running smoothly, it doesn’t hurt to check in and catch up with partners - seeing how you can make their job easier. This will also help to promote loyalty.
Read our Case Study on Sky on how we were able to increase sales, and capture key marketing information from individual reps and tailor the information sent to them.
To discover more about how Ovations Channel Incentives can help you to promote loyalty amongst your channel partners, click here.
We offer fully customised incentives solutions from a hand-picked global team of experts. So we can help organisations achieve their sales goals - whether they’re an SME or a global organization.