How Do Incentives Stimulate the Sales Channel?
Often it’s not easy, as an HVAC supplier, to know where to begin when setting out to increase sales. Your end-consumers’ decisions often depend on input from distributors and contractors. Not to mention, people are generally uninformed or uninterested in the differences between HVAC brands. But there are effective marketing strategies available to you that have a great impact on the supply chain structure.
By using a reward program to give your distributors incentive to sell your products, you can simultaneously stimulate sales from the top down, and at every stop along the way— all the way to the end-consumer. Offering rewards in your sales channel begins this chain reaction that increases sales overall:
Increased Product Distribution
The dealers and distributors that sell your HVAC products often deal with many of your competitors’ products, too. In many cases, they have no incentive to promote one brand over another. If a contractor asks for the product with the lowest price, the distributor will probably refer the contractor to the cheapest unit, and the deal is done. Incentive programs help prevent your brand from being overlooked in this situation. Using online reward program technology, you can give your distributors points every time they promote your product; they can then redeem those points for items in an online catalog. Now that they’re saving up points for a brand new laptop or set of golf clubs, they have plenty of incentive and personal investment in pushing your products.
Sophisticated reward programs can also act as communication channels with mobile compatibility. With instant push notifications, you can alert distributors to special and promotions you’re running, so they can let contractors know there are discounts available that match their needs.
Increased Brand Awareness
Achieving brand awareness can be difficult in the HVAC industry, as end-users rarely know the difference between HVAC brands. Unlike when they pass distributor stores, see commercials and billboards, or try new brands they find at the grocery store, consumers generally aren’t invested in the difference between infrequently-purchased products like HVAC units. When they hear your brand name, they probably have no idea who you are or what you sell. By using a reward program to increase product distribution, you can steal market share from your competitors, which leads to greater awareness of your brand. As more of your products infiltrate the market, if they are high quality purchases with benefits like discounts and rebates, the more likely it is that people will say “My neighbor’s heating unit works great—I want the same kind.”
Rewards themselves make a lasting impression on your sales channel partners. That new laptop we mentioned earlier? Your channel partners won’t soon forget who allowed them to earn such a reward. This creates an emotional, personal connection to your brand.
Increased Customer Loyalty
Once you’ve increased product distribution and increased brand awareness through greater market share and personal connections, the last link in the chain is customer loyalty. As brand expert Denise Lee Yohn says, “Impactful, memorable, emotional connections lead to true brand loyalty.”
Once product distribution and brand awareness have increased your bottom line, you can keep those sales up by proving you’re a valued partner to channel associates and end-consumers alike. Continue offering great products at competitive prices, excellent customer service, convenience, and rewards. Every member of your sales channel will appreciate service and technology that makes their lives easier and provides them with appealing rewards.
As an HVAC manufacturer, you depend on supply chain management. The healthier your supply chain relationships are, the better the outlook is for your brand’s survival. In today’s competitive market, it’s absolutely necessary to make impressions on channel partners and give them incentives to push your brand. By using up-to-date reward program technology with competent, multi-media communication systems and appealing rewards, you can motivate distributors and pass sales boosts down along the sales channel, leading to increased brand awareness and customer loyalty.
CEO of Incentive Solutions, consisting of:
- Incentive Solutions, Inc.
Direct Contact: 678-514-0203
Sales Hotline: (800)-844-5000