The IT and technology sector is changing. Vendors of computer software are moving from consumers buying physical products, like CD-based software, to cloud-based software packages. As a result, more software companies are getting involved in selling into the industry. Resellers have more choice of the products they want to sell, and vendors have more competition.
The standard channel incentive is just not going to cut it when trying to get a reseller on board and keeping them engaged, which is why creating a personalized partner program will put the power in the reseller hands and encourage maximum participation.
The tiered approach and the problems with it
When it comes to standard incentives like points-based rewards programs, traditionally, many vendors have tiered their resellers under a bronze, silver and gold category. The tiering is dependent on a range of criteria such as the size of their sales team and their trading experience.
As partners are put into categories, they follow a one-size-fits-all approach, depending on their tier – where the objectives and goals are the same for all partners on that tier, meaning all participants are limited to the incentives on their tier, whether they’re right for them or not.
The glaring problem with this approach is not all partners are the same. They have different assets and needs and bring different things to a partnership, which is why personalizing partner programs is key.
Taking a personalized approach
Vendors are starting to turn this approach on its head – channel incentives are being created so they’re the right fit for the reseller, rather than providing tiers to fit the each one into.
As a vendor, doing this demonstrates that you’re thinking about the partner as an individual company, and that you’re considering the definition of a partnership a two-way relationship. In line with this, it also sends the message: if you invest in us, we’ll invest in you.
Thinking about your partner as a stand-alone company, rather than putting them into a tiered category, is about taking a tailored approach – creating a personalized partner program and adapting the journey and the incentive to suit their participants. Your channel incentive program should reflect this. It should keep the partner in mind and consider what’s right for them – their needs and their team, right down to the type of rewards program you provide.
With this approach, a vendor can help give their partner what they need to sell their products the best way they can. From the right training and tools to the right resources and rewards, partners can be kept engaged and their sales channel teams motivated to sell.
Getting the most from your partnership
With the changing times in the IT and technology sector, it seems that standard incentives in the industry are losing their relevance. Channel partners all have different needs, so, establishing a personalized partner program should reflect this.
In channel sales, the reseller needs the vendor‘s products and brand messaging, just as the vendor needs the reseller’s support in selling said products. The relationship is mutually beneficial.
At 360insights, our channel incentive programs aim to benefit both partners, from driving a high level of engagement to motivating reseller sales teams, to making a vendor stand out from its competition and increasing their product sales.