Today’s business environment is moving so quickly that many vendors have come to rely on a network of channel partners to generate sales and boost growth in new markets.
If these partnerships are successful, vendors can acquire a competitive advantage over other firms with a strong and educated force of brand champions. However, if they are not managed effectively, vendors can be left scrambling to hit sales targets because they have not competently convinced retailers and distributors to play their part in getting the products to market.
Using rewards to incentivise channel partners.
In a study from Maritz Motivation Solutions, researcher and vice president of solution thought leadership Michael Speeley found that a clear majority (81%) of channel representatives feel they have stronger relationships and are more engaged with vendors that offer rewards.
Such programs do more than just solicit loyalty, as Maritz found, they also obtain better results. In fact, nearly one-third of all sales are incentivised for by rewards, and 77% of retailers and distributes reported that incentive programs were highly influential in the time and effort they invested in promoting manufacturers’ products.
Interestingly, in this space, major rewards also work, as over 80% of retailers and distributors were prepared to work hard to earn more valuable rewards. Even so, the quality of the program and the benefits are central to how effective it will be, as over one-fifth of respondents also stated they were involved in six or more channel incentive programs.
Channel incentives help motivate retailers and distributors to push your products over competitors. Making your loyalty program stand out.
The insights uncovered that channel partners can make around two-fifths of their overall profits from cash incentives. However, Maritz revealed that most channel partners will respond best to a combination of monetary and prize incentives.
So, while there are great possibilities for using loyalty programs to enhance channel partnerships, the fierce competition means that it is essential to offer a program that is compelling and valuable. Simply providing trade and quantity discounts may not be enough to get retailers to push your products.
For channel partners to really want to sell your products, they need to crave your incentives. By analysing exactly what they desire and how they behave, an incentive program can be strategically designed to achieve your business goals.