A Partner Lifecycle Approach to Channel Incentives

September 27, 2013 Deb Broderson

We have many conversations with clients and prospects that go something like this: QUESTION:  How do you want to structure your channel incentives program?  ANSWER:  The should earn points for sales of our product.

Why is that an issue?  Rewarding for the end-result does not ensure that everyone knows how to sell your products and services, it only rewards people who already know how to get there.  If you want to move the middle,  change your approach.  Everyone knows the saying:

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for the day.  Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”

sales_incentives_solutionsThe same thing is true for your Channel Incentives Program.  To generate more mindshare, partner engagement and increase sales, use your Channel Incentives program to teach partners how to be successful and then reward them for sales increases.  It’s important to start at the beginning and assess the activities needed to drive success.

  • What training is required and how can you “chunk” training to make it easier for participants?
  • Which programs are pre-cursors to a successful partner?
  • What types of materials should your partner be looking at and downloading?
  • How can you help a new partner build a pipeline?
  • What have your most successful partners done to become successful?

Then, incorporate activities that are pre-cursors to success into your Channel Incentives Program.

  • Recruit: Consider incentives for completion of their profile and referrals
  • Enablement: Reward for each step of the training process, quick start programs, demos, etc.
  • Build demand: Demand Gen 101 materials, completion of marketing plans and demand generation events

When designing your program, remember to:

  • Reward participants for positive behaviors and incremental business.  Establish controls groups to help prove ROI.
  • Develop a segmented communication strategy and move away from complete reliance on email.
  • Integrate where possible.  Simplify as much as you can and let the Partners integrate your program into their business model.
  • Reward through-out the Partner Lifecycle.

Read our various blog posts about Channel Incentive Programs.  Tell us,  what are you doing and what’s working for you?

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