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5 Qualities of Successful Channel Partner Incentive Programs

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What is a Channel Partner Incentives program? 

Although very different, the relationship between supplier and partner in a channel partnership does share similarities to the relationship between company and consumer.

For instance, companies take certain steps and actions to secure consumer preference for their product or service in order to create regular returning customers (or customer loyalty) and secure future sales.

Triptych Rewards & Incentives Case Study


Similarly, suppliers must take certain steps to build a preference for their product or offering among their partners in order to secure channel partner loyalty and, ultimately, drive partner sales.

Suppliers often do this with a channel partner loyalty program, specifically a channel partner incentive program.

channel partner incentive program is a method for engaging partners and encouraging specific partner behavior to promote offering partiality and drive greater sales. 

Channel partner incentives could yield great monetary results, but they could also become a great financial burden. If executed improperly, a channel partner incentives program will have poor participation ratesabsurd budget waste, and partner programs that become stagnant.  

5 Qualities of Successful Channel Partner Incentive Programs 

  1. Structured. A common reason for the failure of channel partner incentives is alack of structure and design.Without structure it’ll be difficult to track program effectiveness, participation, or impact. This leaves too much room for error and neglect, and no room for modification and optimization.  
  2. Comprehensiveness. Channel partner incentives are often used only to reward sales results. A successful program will reward sale performance andencourage future desired behavior. If the incentive program isn’t comprehensive, it'll lack features that drive partner improvements. 
  3. Data Transparency. Collecting data from your incentive programs is essential for optimization. There is an opportunity to improve both the incentive program and overarching partner program with data. According to SiriusDecisions’ Principle Analyst, Jay McBain, partners are looking for better partner experiences and more innovative partner incentives. The data helps suppliers innovate and improve to better serve partners over time.
  4. Personalized. Another similarity between the supplier-partner and company-consumer relationships is the desire for personalization. Consumers and partners a like, want personalized experiences with the brands they're interacting with. Additionally, one-size-fits-all incentive programs won't yield the same results now that partner types are growing and changing. Different partners need different motivators. They’re more likely to find a preference for your offering if they know it can benefit their unique initiatives and goals, too. 
  5. Clarity. The increasing complexity of partner relationships can make incentive programs messy and obscure. Partners work with several brands, they don't have time for that. If they have to invest too much time, they won’t do it. Provide a clear and simple incentive program to reduce the amount of effort that your partners have to put forth. They'll appreciate that you respect their time, and you'll increase the likelihood that they'll take part. 

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Help Them Help You

When well executed, channel partner incentive programs can drive deep partner loyalty and consistently improve partner sales performance. Much like a buyer, no partner is the same—each have unique needs and wants that they hope the partnership will fulfill. Each of the above qualities are vital to creating and running a partner incentive program that is mutually beneficial, which is key to success in any channel partnership. Take the time to assess each partner's needs and then slowly weave them together with the goals and initiatives of your organization and the tools to collect data on participation and utilization. This will yield a clearly structured program with the necessary qualities to be successful.  

If you're interested in how Triptych helps our clients run efficient channel partner incentive programs, click the button to read about our Rewards & Incentives Module.

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