Channel partners play a huge role in driving sales and generating revenue for a business. A well-incentivized partner can sell more products and remain loyal to the company over a longer time. To ensure that they stay motivated and get suitable rewards for their efforts, every business should create an effective channel partner loyalty program.
This blog post discusses the characteristics of an effective channel partner loyalty program, the benefits they provide to businesses, and how you can create a successful channel partner program.
Traits of an effective channel partner loyalty program
Here are six characteristics of a successful channel partner loyalty program:
1. Personalized for partners
The key behind designing an effective channel partner loyalty program is personalization. Instead of creating a one-size program, successful companies work with their partners to tailor the incentives according to their needs and preferences.
2. Easy-to-understand and transparent communication
Successful channel partner loyalty programs are easy to understand as well as transparent and well-communicated to all relevant parties involved. When clients and partners know everything about the available incentives and rewards, they are more prepared to fulfill their obligations.
3. Realistic and reasonable with targets
Effective channel partner loyalty programs have realistic and reasonable targets. By putting in the right amount of effort, partners can easily achieve the targets while delivering value to the business. If your partners often miss the targets, consider revising them. An extremely challenging sales channel incentive program can affect the goodwill and sales of a business.
4. Measurable results
The results of the efficient channel incentive programs are measurable. Successful companies take the help of reliable incentive program software to collect key data and measure their performance. Metrics and reports can provide insights into the performance of all programs.
5. Engaging and fun
An effective partner loyalty program is engaging and fun for all parties involved. Ensure to have an incentive platform to make the loyalty program fun. The platform must be smooth, simple, and user-friendly.
6. Begin with the end in mind
The effective channel partner loyalty programs begin with the end in mind and work backward to achieve measurable goals. Be clear about what the loyalty program intends to achieve and start with the plan keeping the objective in mind.
Benefits of successful channel partner loyalty programs
There are several benefits of channel partner loyalty programs. Here are five of them:
1. Build strong relationships with partners
Effective channel loyalty programs keep partners motivated and incentivize them to bring more business. They help businesses build robust relationships with their partners.
2. Co-branding opportunities with another company
Well-incentivized channel partners are more motivated to benefit the company they work with. They can co-brand the company with another vendor or offer its products or services as complementary offerings.
3. Expand a business’s reach into new markets
Apart from providing co-branding opportunities, partners can also expand a business’s reach to a new customer base and new markets. They play a big role in enhancing businesses’ visibility and reach.Increase sales and revenues
When partners get the right rewards for their work, they strive further to keep up the good work and bring more business. This helps a company to boost its sales and revenue.
4. Saves money
By turning partners into brand ambassadors, channel incentive programs save businesses a lot of money that would be otherwise spent on excessive advertising and marketing campaigns.
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How to create a successful sales incentive program
Here are five strategies to develop an effective and successful sales incentive loyalty program:
1. Define objectives and communicate the information to all parties involved
Discuss with your business’s important stakeholders and define the goals and objectives. If possible include some key channel partners in the meeting. Discuss short-term and long-term goals, how to measure those, select people who will be responsible for meeting the goals, and the desired results. If communicating the loyalty programs and incentives with the partners gets tough, consider rethinking the communication and strive to make them understand.
2. Establish program guidelines
Select the type of incentive program and identify the participants who are going to take part in the channel sales incentive program. After that establish program guidelines and specifics, which must include:
- Program timeframe
- Requirements and reward levels
- Tax information (if applicable)
- Any restrictions
3. Select the rewards as well as the desired behaviors
Choosing the rewards is one of the most crucial parts of the program. Rewards must be of such value that partners and participants will give their best efforts to achieve their targets. It must be meaningful and useful to each participant. Between cash rewards and non-cash rewards find out which one is suitable for the business and the partners. The latter is as effective as the former. An Incentive Research Foundation study found that 81 percent of the top-performing companies had non-cash channel reward programs. Some examples of effective rewards include reloadable Visa cards, gift cards, lifestyle merchandise, and more. Apart from the rewards, select the behaviors that should be rewarded.
4. Implement the incentive program on a reliable platform
Before selecting a platform, design a budget for the program. A properly structured incentive program will cover its costs. After that, choose a loyalty service provider that can host the incentive programs on a mobile-friendly platform that can manage the following:
- User experience
- Audience targeting
- Sales claims
- Sales validation
After implementing the program make sure to reward the behaviors in an accurate and timely manner.
4. Monitor accurate POS data for all partners
Monitor the point of sale (POS) data for all partners. Also, create a system to measure the results of sales incentive loyalty programs. This will help in rewarding the partners as soon as they achieve the set targets. It also enables a business to identify the best-performing partners as well as the opportunities where they can incentivize them more and improve the existing loyalty programs.
Overall, it may be said
If a business wants to boost its sales and revenue, it should consider creating an effective channel partner loyalty program. To ensure an effective program, it is crucial to know its traits and the strategies to implement it. This will enable businesses to have more motivated and loyal channel partners who will go the extra mile to generate higher sales and expand market reach.