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Brad Callahan
Vice President, Business Solutions Group

5 Reasons Your Channel Incentives Aren’t Working

Many businesses, in various industries, rely on dealer networks or channel partners to sell their products and use incentives to make sure that happens. However, despite their widespread use, incentives sometimes fail to deliver targeted sales goals and acceptable returns on investment.

If your organization relies on dealer networks or channel partners to move your products, but is falling short of achieving what you want—or if you just want to move the needle on sales from “good” to “outstanding”— here are some roadblocks that might be in your way and how to get around them:

  1. Program enrollment is missing participants. This happens more often than you think. If you’ve got an internal marketing database, it needs continuous updating, which can be an administrative burden and delay the addition of some participants or even miss them altogether. Think about making the move to a platform that allows open enrollment, where participants can add their names, contact information and more. Increased participation will result in higher sales.
  2. Your incentives aren’t exciting enough. Your reps’ worlds are full of compelling distractions, and perhaps your incentives just aren’t among them. Capture attention, and incent sales, by making sure the rewards you’re offering are outstanding. If you’re rewarding with a prepaid card, think about adding one that extends the value of your brand and does more for the participant, For example, allowing them to add other sources of money through free direct deposit or mobile check deposit; receive cash back when they shop in-store or online; and make free cash withdrawals and bill payments.
  3. Tracking and analyzing is inefficient. Are you sure you’re capturing all the data you need to make spot-on analysis? Missing just a few important data points can keep you from promoting your products or services in the future and extending the reach of your brand. Take another look at your tracking process, or consider enhancing it, to be sure you’re getting the information you need for reliable analysis as you sense and respond to the marketplace.
  4. There’s too much paperwork—on both ends. No one wants to drown in red tape, especially your channel partners when he or she could be making sales instead. Moreover, your in-house administrator already has enough to do. Consider going paperless with a SaaS platform that enables any time, any place data inputs and updates, as well as insightful report generation.
  5. Claims are hard to execute. Think about it: what could be more de-motivating than having to wait for a reward you earned six weeks ago? Ensuring that participants receive their payouts fast will motivate them to produce more sales while improving sales velocity. Think about enabling your sales claiming process with an online application that streamlines administration and speeds up the disbursement process

From auto dealerships to medical equipment sales to home services, the concepts of dealer networks and channel sales are deeply ingrained in U.S. businesses. However, to be effective, these partnerships must be backed by exciting, immediate, and hassle-free incentives.

Are you thinking your channel incentives need a refresh or are you just now thinking of putting a program in place? Talk to a Marketing Innovators solutions expert today.

To learn more about successful channel partnering check out our other blogs:

Incentive Programs Help Aftermarket Channel Partners Adapt to Industry Trends

3 Reasons Customer Satisfaction Must Drive Automotive Channel Incentives

Can Cross-Channel Collaboration Make Your Sales Incentives More Effective?

10 Questions to Ask Vendors About Claims Before Selecting a Channel Sales Claiming System