When a majority of businesses, particularly B2B companies and traditional manufacturers, take their products to the market, they need the help of several intermediaries such as distributors, dealers, wholesalers, resellers, stockists, and agents. As per Forrester’s research, channel sales partners account for three-fourths of global commerce. Most businesses, 63.5 percent of companies surveyed, said that they rely on their channel sales partners for a massive portion of revenue, found another research by CSO Insights.
This is where a well-designed channel loyalty program comes in. It focuses on enhancing the ties between a brand and its channel sales partners from a transactional relationship to an emotional and longstanding one.
At LoyaltyXpert, we have crafted channel loyalty programs as well as brand loyalty and influencer loyalty for all sizes and types of businesses across industries. In this blog post, we discuss the steps to implement channel loyalty programs effectively.
1. Determine what you want from the partnership and set SMART goals
First thing first, decide what you want from the channel partnership and set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound) goals. This will help you get a clearer picture of why you want to get started with a channel sales program in the first place.
While setting the goals take all the necessary steps to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) and clearly define the expectations and responsibilities for your channel sales partners. Chalk out the things your channel sales partners need to do and define a clear channel partnership structure.
2. Handpick the right channel sales partners
After deciding the things you want from the partnership and setting the SMART goals, it’s time to handpick a select number of channel sales partners according to the types of partners you want. This is where you need to spend quality time researching the background and experience of the prospects.
While making any decision, make sure that you test their product and industry knowledge as well as understand their motivational drivers. Find out if they are already dealing with any of your competitors and how much volume they are selling. Also, try to get the right mix of channel partners for better speed to market.
3. Provide adequate training to your channel partners
After choosing the right channel sales partners, you need to focus on the training needs of your channel partners. Make sure that you have the bandwidth to create useful and valuable and relevant content for your channel partners so that they can know everything about your products before dealing with them. Training manuals, modules, videos, and forums are great support platforms for channel sales partners.
Even though training channel sales partners will cost some time and money, the results will be worth a lot more than the investment. It will motivate them to give their best efforts and walk the extra mile with you. Apart from increasing the average partner satisfaction score, effective training will also enhance the average sales cycle length.
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4. Choose a sophisticated loyalty platform
To create a successful channel partner program, make sure that you choose a highly sophisticated loyalty platform that can help you craft tailored and well-design channel loyalty programs. But the challenge is the market is flooded with a plethora of loyalty platforms and it’s extremely crucial to find the right one for your business.
To be able to do that, take a look at some of the most reputable loyalty solution providers out there and compare their features, specifications, and price. Find out if the platform can help you scale up your brand loyalty and channel loyalty programs as you grow in size. Apart from helping you design customized channel loyalty programs, the right loyalty platform can do a lot of things such as calculate the revenue generated by your channel sales partners and streamline all relevant channel data.
5. Monitor the results and analyze the outcomes
After setting the goals and running the loyalty programs, the final step is to monitor the results and check the gaps between them and the expected outcomes. Make sure that you define the key performance indicators to efficiently measure the success of your loyalty programs. A sophisticated loyalty platform will help you in tracking all necessary channel data and access the performance of each channel sales partner.
After measuring the outcomes match them with the expected or desired objectives of the channel loyalty program. If the obtained results are on par or better than the set goals, then the loyalty program is on the right course. However, if the actual results fall short then you need to find out the problem areas and take corrective actions to bring the program on the right track.
Taking everything into account,
Every business that relies on sales channels must implement a channel loyalty program to motivate their channel sales partners and keep them loyal for a long time. At LoyaltyXpert, we create channel loyalty programs for all types of businesses, especially traditional manufacturers and B2B companies, and help them forge strong bonds with their channel sales partners. If you are considering creating a channel loyalty program for your business, then contact us today to know how we can help.