Just imagine how awesome it would be if your channel sales partners exclusively sell your products or solutions. But sadly that isn’t the case. Apart from selling your offerings, they also deal with your competitors.
So, how do you ensure that they remain loyal to you? By creating effective and excellent channel loyalty programs for them. Your competitors are investing, or going to invest more, in channel loyalty programs. As per one recent data from SmallBiz Genius, nearly 65 percent of B2B companies plan to apply for a new loyalty program or upgrade their existing programs over the next 12 months.
At LoyaltyXpert, we have enabled many businesses to create effective channel partner loyalty programs and B2B Loyalty programs by using our sophisticated loyalty program software. If you’re looking to create an effective channel loyalty program, then these seven strategies will help you to create an effective and excellent channel loyalty program.
1. Set goals and define responsibilities
The very first step of building a successful channel loyalty program is to set goals that are SMART—specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. First of all, determine what you want from the channel partner program. Do you want to increase the sales of your entire product range and enhance your market share? Do you intend to add more channel partners and expand your existing channel? Some other goals can be to enhance partner registration rate, partner lifetime value, channel retention rate, partner redemption rate, repeat purchase rate, referral rate, SMS subscriber count, and more.
When setting goals, make sure to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) and define responsibilities for your partners. Build a feasible and detailed timeline as well as select a launch date, and fix the completion date.
2. Select qualified channel partners
In an open and free market, there will be a huge number of sales intermediaries. But among them, you need to choose the most suitable ones to be your qualified channel partners. Choosing the right ones will help you achieve your objectives quickly and effectively.
During the selection process, determine how well they know your products and offerings. Find out who can enable you to expand your products and solutions swiftly and steadfastly. Understand their commitment to your products or solutions. Find out the average volume they sell on an annual basis. Also, know about their engagement with your competitors.
If you’re a manufacturing company, then dealers, distributors, retailers, and sales representatives are suitable qualified channel partners. If you’re a vendor, then agents and retail partners are the right qualified channel partners.
3. Determine the training needs of the potential channel partners
After handpicking the right qualified channel partners, determine their training needs and what they need to be trained on. Do they need to be trained on products and solutions? Or communication and marketing strategies? Do they know how to cross-sell and upsell products and solutions?
After finding out answers to the relevant questions, create training modules for each of them. While distributors and sales representatives will require more product training, some channel partners will need to be trained on how to handle the products and give demos.
While imparting the training, make sure to make the modules as engaging, comprehensive, and informative as possible so that your channel partners won’t forget the crucial details and spend time re-learning those.
4. Select a suitable channel loyalty program and define rewards for each channel
After knowing more about your channel sales partners and determining their training needs, select the type of channel partner loyalty program that’ll be suitable for your business and work best for you. After that, define the most suitable rewards for each channel to enhance your channel partners’ value in the ecosystem.
This will enable the channel partners to get rewards as per their performance and outcomes. Also, it will allow them to receive their preferred rewards. A wholesaler is more likely to value special discounts for bulk orders or flat tariff schemes, while a retailer will be more excited about branding and targeted promotion for different customer groups.
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5. Select the right channel loyalty platform
Selecting the most suitable loyalty platform is the key to tailoring the most efficient and effective loyalty programs for your channel partners. So, among a large number of loyalty solutions providers, how do you know which is the right one for you? There are many ways to do that.
Search for some of the most reputable and trustworthy channel loyalty platform providers. Find out if they can customize tailored channel loyalty programs. Also, contact them and ask for a demo to know more about their channel loyalty solution.
One such platform is LoyaltyXpert, which offers a wide range of features and customized channel loyalty solutions to help businesses reward and motivate their trade associates. By using our advanced and sophisticated loyalty program software many businesses have achieved desired results from their loyalty campaigns.
6. Keep the communication channels open for channel partners
After selecting the right channel loyalty platform, make sure that you have a proactive and responsive communication strategy to communicate with channel partners effectively. Leverage suitable communication tools to communicate with channel sales partners.
Send SMS and emails regularly to keep in touch with them and communicate important messages. Segment your channel partners to make the communication and message more relevant. Have direct communication to develop a robust relationship.
7. Track results and modify the approach to meet expectations
This is the last but extremely important step in creating a channel loyalty program. The first step starts with setting goals and the final step is to ensure that you achieve the desired results. Look at the KPIs as well as the other objectives and find out how many of them have been achieved.
If you’ve ticked a majority, or all, of the boxes then all kudos to you. You’ve done a great job! But if you’ve been unable to achieve some key goals, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board and modify your approach to meet expectations.
Overall, it may be said,
In a time of rising competition, creating an effective channel loyalty program is extremely crucial for B2B businesses. It will help them to keep their channel sales partners engaged and committed to their business as well as result in more sales, revenues, and profits. If you’re looking to create engaging and effective channel loyalty programs, then consider the solutions of LoyaltyXpert.