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How to Structure a Channel Incentive Plan

Blog about how to structure a channel incentive plan

When channel partners are working for multiple vendors, presenting a strategic personalized engagement strategy that will deliver an exceptional experience for them is key. Partners are looking for simple and effective solutions that will solve challenges and drive revenue. To accelerate success, introducing a new incentive – whether that is to increase sales, enhance engagement or to empower them to sell more – can be fundamental in the onboarding process.

In this blog, we look at how to structure a channel incentive plan that will effectively meet your business goals, as well as those of your partner network.

Define Business Objectives and Goals

Since over 73% of all world trade is sold through a channel, you need to ensure that the right type of incentive program is implemented and the investment reflects the outcomes your business is looking to achieve.

To start off your incentive plan, you need to clearly define SMART, data-driven and measurable objectives, aligned with the organizations overarching goals. It will be easier for stakeholders to agree to the proposed plan if they can see the projected ROI.

Consider reviewing year over year sales performance statistics by partner activity, region and product. This analysis provides a current baseline, with targets to strive towards achieving in the areas for opportunity that can drive the most amount of impact.

Allocate the budget and agree the costs with key stakeholders - it's vital to get buy-in ahead of time to launch an incentive program.

Be Clear with Your Campaign

Clarity is always important when it comes to incentive rewards. Make sure your partners know four key points of an incentive reward program to ensure optimal engagement:

  • Why an incentive reward program has been put into place
  • What their goals or targets are
  • What is on offer as a reward
  • What they need to do to earn these rewards

You could make this simpler by using an incentive management platform to streamline the entire process. By doing this, partners will instantly be able to see what their goals are, how well they’re performing, and what sort of rewards they could be pushing towards if they perform well.

This would also have the added benefit of making their performance easy to track from a management perspective. This means that there’s little hassle involved, while still ensuring that your incentive reward program runs smoothly.

Tiered Incentives - No One Misses Out 

An incentive reward program can be a fantastic way to really push your partners to new heights. When channel partners come in various shapes and sizes, tailoring an incentive program to its audience will be a sure-fire way to maximize success. One size doesn’t fit all; think company size, location, distribution model etc. By personalizing a program through tiered incentives, with relevant objectives, you allow your channel relationships to flourish.

Tiered incentive programs allow you to introduce a variety of rewards that differ in value and scale. Offering several rewards, but tiering how they’re awarded to program participants, brings big benefits to an incentive reward plan. Firstly, your partner sales reps are encouraged to engage in a little friendly rivalry and compete to push each other to greater success. And secondly, it makes sure that no one feels left out — you can still reward good performance, even if some workers don’t quite hit the top spot or perform the best in your business.

Helping your Business with our Rewards Services

Making sure that your incentive plan is well-structured can help make your business’s incentive program more successful overall. Tailoring a plan to specific business needs and adding value through a range of rewards for different reasons can be a fantastic way for your partner sales team, as well as your bottom line, to benefit from your efforts.

To discover how 360insights can help you with your journey of understanding how to structure an incentive plan and utilize The Channel Success Platform, simply get in touch and request a demonstration.

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