Manufacturing companies routinely use incentives to motivate their channel partners. Following are some basic strategies for success in this distinct incentive arena.
Make sure the reward is desirable to the audience
According to a white paper by the Incentive Research Foundation, “Channel Incentive Travel: A Case Study,” 62 percent of participating dealers’ loyalty was based on their overall impression of incentive travel, whether destination excited them and whether they would have a chance to mingle with top leadership at the sponsoring company. If incentive travel in general or a certain destination in particular did not have appeal, the program was less likely to succeed.
Make it fair
Participants need to feel that a program’s rules are fair and don’t discriminate. Companies should review their qualifications or bring in an incentive company to advise them, so that the program has the same appeal to all potential participants.
Focus on behaviors
Shift your focus from incenting sales alone to rewarding the foundational behaviors that result in more sales, say the incentive strategists at Blackhawk Nework. Companies that consider rewarding their resellers and distributors for performing the behaviors that generate success now will see dividends in the future as well. These behaviors can be anything from hosting customer events to participating in vendor marketing programs to community engagement.
Program details need to be available to channel partners whenever they want them, whether that means first thing in the morning or late at night, via their phones.
Keep it simple
Various companies are competing for your channel partners’ loyalty, so the easier your program is to understand, the more user-friendly your web site and the simpler it is for them to view their progress, the better chance you have of keeping them engaged.