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Channel Incentive Frequently Asked Questions

Debbie McGowan 25-Jul-2023 10:13:37
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FAQs about Kick-Ass Channel Incentives

Are you looking to boost your channel sales? A motivated and engaged channel is critical to success in today's competitive landscape. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is through the implementation of Kick-Ass Channel Incentives. They are a powerful tool to stimulate sales growth and promote your products or services.

How do you Incentivise Channel Partners?

To effectively incentivise channel partners, it is essential to offer them a well-crafted incentive programme that is both simple and engaging. The programme should capture their attention and ignite their enthusiasm. By aligning the benefits and rewards with their interests, it creates a sense of personal relevance, making the incentive even more enticing.  

This tailored approach taps into their motivations and fuels their desire to go above and beyond to achieve the set incentive targets. The Channel Incentive becomes a powerful tool that not only drives their performance but also strengthens the partnership by fostering a deep sense of mutual benefit and shared success.

What is a Channel Incentive?

Also known as a Channel Partner Incentive, Channel Sales Incentive or Sales Programme Incentive Fund (SPIF). Channel incentives are rewards offered to pre-sales, sales, sales support and customer success persons within channel partners, such as resellers, managed services providers, system integrators and distributors. They are designed to drive lasting behaviours and encourage channel partners to meet or exceed sales targets.

In its simplest terms - you motivate channel partners with your incentive.

What Types of Channel Incentives are Commonly Used?

Through our extensive experience, we've pinpointed the incentive types that reign supreme in the channel and deliver success. 

Deal Registration

This type of incentive focuses purely on growing the number of opportunities in the pipeline. This approach aims to motivate and incentivise channel salespeople to proactively seek out and secure new business opportunities. This could be from qualifying marketing leads, leveraging existing customer relationships or prospecting for new customers.

Sales Acceleration 

This is about CLOSING sales in the pipeline. Rewards are only given when a deal in the sales pipeline is won.

Enablement Led

This incentive rewards technical personnel for gaining accreditation, certification and completing specific training courses. It will also work to train your sales teams - If they don't understand the benefits of a product, how can they sell them? 

Rising Stars 

This pertains to the creation of "special" incentives for a specific company or group of companies. The purpose is to provide preferential treatment to companies that are regarded as having high potential.

There are various activities that can be tracked for each type of incentive, including creating new opportunities, closing deals, scheduling meetings or demos, signing customers or prospects up for in-person or online events and securing customer trials.

How do Channel Incentive Programmes Benefit my Business?

Channel incentive programmes can significantly benefit your business by motivating your channel partners to achieve sales targets, increasing their engagement, loyalty and overall productivity. With channel partners working across so many vendors, an incentive programme is a great way to increase your brand awareness within your partner base and reward participants for choosing your products over your competitors.

These programmes also help strengthen your relationship with channel partners and drive revenue growth.

What Types of Rewards are Most Effective in Channel Incentive Programmes?

The effectiveness of rewards depends on your channel partners' preferences and motivations. Cash bonuses, travel incentives, gift cards and exclusive experiences are often highly appreciated. However, it is crucial to tailor the rewards to align with your partners' interests and aspirations.  
Important note: It is crucial to understand that some companies may have rules about acceptable gifts and rewards. Educating yourself about these guidelines can prevent any legal consequences.

How Often Should I Update My Channel Incentive Programmes? 

Market dynamics, partner needs and competitive landscape can change over time, so it's important to keep your incentives fresh and relevant. Consider conducting surveys or gathering feedback from your channel partners to ensure your programmes continue to drive motivation and meet their expectations.

It is a balancing act! We recommend that you review and update your channel incentive programmes regularly – no more than monthly. By doing so, you can adapt to changing circumstances and ensure your incentives continue to inspire and encourage your partners to achieve their goals, whilst helping you to achieve your business goals.

How Can I Measure the Effectiveness of a Channel Incentive Programme?

To effectively measure the efficacy of your channel incentive programme, it is essential to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) such as sales growth, revenue generated and partner engagement before your incentive commences.

By consistently monitoring these metrics and comparing them against benchmarks or historical data you will get a true understanding of how effective your incentive is.

Additionally, asking for feedback from your channel partners via surveys or interviews can yield valuable insights into their satisfaction and perception of the incentive programme.

Should I Offer Different Incentives for Different Types of Channel Partners?

Yes, it can be beneficial to tailor your incentives to different types of channel partners. Understanding the unique needs and motivations of each partner type and designing incentives accordingly will maximise their effectiveness and will reap greater rewards.

How Can I Communicate and Promote My Channel Incentive Programme Effectively?

Communication is key to the success of your channel incentive programme.

Establishing a clear communication plan will help. Ensure you consider when, and what you need to communicate to your channel partners and how you will do it. Don’t forget to include internal stakeholders and promote the programme internally to your Account Managers.  To maximise engagement with your incentive programme, communicating performance is key. We recommend updating at regular intervals (not just at the end of the programme). Providing this information throughout the incentive gives the participants time to respond to the intelligence you share with them.

To maximise engagement, carefully choose the delivery method across various channels such as email, partner portals, webinars, and internal communication platforms.

Are There Any Legal Considerations When Implementing a Channel Sales Incentive Programme?

When implementing an incentive programme, it is critical to comply with relevant local laws and regulations, including competition laws, tax regulations and data privacy regulations. It is advisable to seek legal guidance to ensure that the incentive programme is 100% compliant.

What Challenges Can Arise in Implementing a Channel Incentive Programme?

Ensuring that your incentive programme ignites interest and engagement within your channel partners can be challenging, it is vital to design a fair and attractive incentive structure that motivates people to engage but also aligns with the goals you want to achieve.   Other challenges can include ensuring accurate tracking and reporting of sales data, addressing potential conflicts or disputes that may arise, and managing the enablement needs of partners at different levels.

In our experience, smaller partner organisations often lose out with poorly designed incentives - particularly when the incentive is designed to pit one partner against another (i.e. “the best partner wins”) this can be VERY demotivating and drive down engagement.

How Can I Make Sure My Incentive Programme Delivers?

Many components need to be combined to deliver the best incentive programme and to achieve the greatest possible return.

Keep it Simple and Easy

Channel partners want to spend their time selling, not reading up or doing admin for incentives (and you want them selling too!) Make sure it’s easy to grasp what the incentive programme is all about and painless to claim their rewards!

Show Them Progress

Plan communications and give partners regular updates on where they are versus their goals. Make it visual - a clear leaderboard will encourage friendly competition more than an Excel spreadsheet full of numbers!

Collaboration

It is crucial that all relevant individuals, including account managers and support staff, are well-informed about the incentive and its objectives. It is important to help them understand their role in the incentive programme's success. By ensuring everyone is on the same page, you can guarantee a positive outcome!

Relax, we're the experts who have got your back! Release the full potential of your next incentive programme by booking a kick-ass incentive platform demo. Get in touch and let us pave the path to incredible engagement and unstoppable profitability.

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