“No man is an island,” John Donne’s famous quote tells us, and the same can be said of most companies. Businesses need partners and the better your partner relationships, the stronger your business can be.
This is particularly true of companies that operate through a sales channel. Your sales channel partner should be one of your greatest assets and they need to be motivated to sell your product well. To do this they need to know you and your product well, and achieving this should be easy and rewarding. This is where channel partner incentive programmes come in.
With many businesses competing in the same space for attention from the same partners, it’s vital that you stand out from the crowd. It’s also worth putting quality before quantity – creating a core team of really engaged and informed partners is far more effective than having so many that you can’t keep on top of them. Once your key partners have been identified, setting up a channel incentive programme can help make sure your sales channel works its best for you.
Rewards are key to the relationship you have with your partners. They can tap in nicely to a channel partner’s aim to achieve success, along with the status that comes with it. An effective channel incentive programme rewards successful partners who hit targets and higher performance levels, as a way to motivate them to perform better.
The best incentive schemes will offer a range of rewards than can be chosen according to preference – making it personal – and awarded according to performance – making it competitive. A bit of healthy competition can be an excellent motivator. You should also be able to monitor progress and track targets to see how well your partners are doing.
It’s also worth pointing out that the rewards on offer should be desirable for them to be fully effective – the more desirable the reward, the more effective it can be. Providing something like incentive travel has a wow factor. A night in a luxurious London hotel or a weekend away in mainland Europe, for instance, are A-list rewards that are more likely to get your sales channel teams excited.
If your channel partners are going to sell your brand, they need to know it inside out. To achieve this, training is crucial. Providing simple, regular training, which your salesforce can engage with and easily absorb, is key.
A contemporary incentive scheme can offer this, which is usually run online and can facilitate plug-in e-learning modules. It also places information in one place, making it easily accessible. The scheme links together learning and incentives, with rewards being given out when a training module is complete. This encourages people to learn more and quicker. And, the more your channel partner is incentivised to learn, the better they’ll know your brand and the easier it will be for them to sell it.
Hype days, or SPIF (Sales, Performance, Incentives, Fun) days are energetic and motivational training days that can make a serious impact. They can be used to launch a product or rebrand, and can be run by an on-site event manager. Read our blog Q. What's a fun, inexpensive yet effective way to run a tactical sales incentive? A. SPIF days - for further details on this.
The idea is for the event manager or team to take over the channel sales floor for a day, as a way to keep the salesforce fully informed, motivated and energised to sell. The day can involve holding fun activities and competitions to reach set targets, as well as giving out product information and branded goodies. Leaderboards can be used to keep everyone aware of who’s racing ahead and who needs to catch up.
Spot prizes can be handed out to those people who hit targets quickly, along with larger prizes given at the end of the day, for the team’s overall top performers. All this creates some friendly competition that gets everyone involved, while motivating staff to achieve higher and faster sales.
SPIF days can have an immediate effect on results, but the added bonus is that they have a positive impact on long-term results too. The increased knowledge and engagement left in the wake of your SPIF day, for instance, can linger and build a loyal and informed channel partner. They are not only well-equipped to sell you brand, but motivated and keen to do so.
Corporate Rewards specialise in implementing incentive programmes within your channel, as well as having a dedicated Events team to run your Sales Floor Days and training.
We’d love to help you engage, motivate and inspire your team with our innovative Channel Incentives services. To speak to a member of our award-winning team, call us on 0370 405 2020, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or make a quick enquiry to find out how to drive your business performance today.