Where to start when setting up a channel sales incentive?
When you're setting up a channel sales incentive for your business there are a few key questions you need to ask yourself. Who are your partners? What motivates them? What are you hoping to achieve, and how?
Who are your partners?
To really make an impact, you need to ensure your channel sales incentive programme targets the right audience. It sounds simple, but the foundation of any programme's success is gaining a greater understanding of who you need to target - and therefore who you want to take part in it. If you're able to target participants who can genuinely bring something to your business then you'll see a much better return on your investment.
A couple of the key questions to ask:
It's also worth considering whether your incentive should include roles which may not be directly related to sales but can still have a direct impact on performance, such as customer service representatives.
What are your objectives?
You need to define your goals clearly at the start. Remember, channel sales incentives don't have to be purely about setting sales targets. There are generally other factors at play within the channel that may well be impacting your business performance - and ultimately sales.
Consider incentives that:
The design of sales incentives can be 'make or break'
Channel sales incentives are almost always a good idea in theory. However, the implementation can be problematic if the programme has been badly designed or is not a good fit for the channel.
So, it's important to:
Communication, communication, communication
Communication is a key part of any sales incentive programme. So you need to map out a communication plan that covers every stage of the process. From the launch - where you're looking for partners to sign-up and communicating the targets - through to sending regular updates about the programme and performance to maintain engagement.
It sounds obvious, but when planning your communications, don't forget to take into account the way your partners prefer to be reached. Do your partners prefer to be contacted by email, phone, direct mail, SMS, social media or face-to-face? And what contact options are available to you? If you're going to be communicating primarily by email, for example, have you got email addresses for all your participants and permission to contact them in this way?
Keeping your channel sales incentive constantly in the mind of its participants is an essential part of ensuring its success.
If you'd like to know more about how to implement channel sales incentives - and what else you might need to consider - Active can help. Contact us to find out more.
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