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Structuring A Channel Sales Incentive Program

Counting on various sales channels to make your business successful can prove tough sometimes. With all the different pieces moving to get your product to market, it helps to have one common denominator between them to help keep all the pieces moving in the right direction. Channel sales incentives do exactly that. They motivate all of your various distributors, dealer, agents, and resellers to move your product ahead of your competition’s. We’ve developed these programs for over 35 years, so we wanted to share some tips with you on how to structure your program to drive the maximum amount of participation and ROI.

  1. Management Buy-In – It’s key that you have all of your leadership on board. It’s even more important that you have one authority over the program that can make decisions, shift resources, and make changes to the program as circumstances dictate.
  2. Set Objectives – Your objectives, goals and strategies should be clearly defined from the start. Every person who will be involved in the program must know beforehand what the program entails; how long it will run; what the rewards and payouts are; how they get rewarded; and who to contact with issues. If you don’t lay this all out and communicate it early on, you’re likely to fail.
  3. Target Audience – Obviously, your program isn’t going to just include everybody. No marketing strategy ever does. Know which markets, regions, and demographics you’re pursuing with your program.
  4. Data Collection – Know how you’re going to collect the data from the program beforehand. A channel sales incentive program like the ones we run here at Loyaltyworks, using our advanced organizational structure and reporting module, give you all the data gathering capabilities and hierarchical structure you need to ensure the proper data collection for you.
  5. Present Value – Your participants have to know what’s in it for them. It’s that simple. Communicate clearly to them which products they need to buy, how many, and in what frequency, if you want them to drive your sales. They’ve also go to know about the reward structure. That will ensure that they don’t disengage from your program because they can’t figure out how to get their rewards.
  6. Don’t Go Overboard With Rules – K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. If you make your program rules too complicated, count on your participants giving up before they buy even one of your products.
  7. Budget – Be realistic here. Don’t set up a program that’s going to have you paying out more than you can afford. But you also don’t want to go the cheap route and turn your participants away because they feel there’ nothing in it for them.
  8. Analyze – Throughout your program, use the data collected in the reporting module we mentioned above in order to find out exactly which aspects of the program are producing results. This will let you see which structures to keep, which ones to dispose of, which ones to replicate, and what to do in the future.
  9. Cycles – To ensure maximum results, have your programs run in predictable life cycles that your customers can depend on. Run them at the same time every year, like clockwork, to ensure they come back to you exactly when you want them to. The only downside of this is that you have to plan on slow spots where people aren’t buying as much because they’re waiting for the next program to start.

Like we mentioned earlier, we’ve been running programs like this for over 35 years. We can help you launch and manage your own program, so call us at 1-800-844-5000 or fill out a contact form today. Google+


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Atlanta, GA 30341