6 Successful Channel Incentive Program Strategies

6 Successful Channel Incentive Program Strategies

Nichole Gunn

View of auto parts dealer from aisle POV - successful channel incentive program strategies.

A successful channel incentive program helps you boost engagement and drive sales through your channel partners. By leveraging effective strategies, you can motivate your partners, increase their loyalty, and enhance overall performance.

In this blog, we explore six proven strategies that can help you design and implement a successful channel incentive program. These are strategies used by real Extu clients to achieve their sales and marketing objectives. From involving vendors to incorporating fun and excitement, these tactics will ensure your incentive program stands out and delivers exceptional results.

1. Vendors Who Support a Successful Channel Incentive Program

Vendor or manufacturer brands often provide or sponsor incentive programs. Even if you’re a distributor, dealer, or other channel partner running your own incentive program, your vendor brands can still pitch in to help the program thrive—especially since they also benefit from the program’s success. Manufacturers and suppliers can fund incentive initiatives such as brand sales promotions or product training. They might even want to become a partner in sponsoring the program. By working together, you can increase sales for everyone involved.

2. Fun & Excitement

The most successful channel incentive program strategies engage participants with an interesting hook. Many of our clients got their incentive programs off to a strong start by holding contests and raffles to get participants excited before launch. Some have even hired celebrity spokespeople and shot commercials. Launching your program with a bang is one of the best ways to achieve peak awareness and get as much upfront adoption as possible.

3. Daily Trivia Rewards

Implementing a daily trivia feature into your incentive program platform is an excellent way to keep participants consistently engaged with your program. Think of this as a bite-sized training incentive to reward your participants for staying up-to-date on your latest products and promotions. Not only does it continuously reinforce learning, it gives your incentive program participants a reason to engage with your brand every single day.

4. Customer Retention + Purchase Incentives

When you’re dealing with channel sales, it may feel like the competition is always on your heels. A channel incentive program is an excellent way to generate customer loyalty by targeting different types of customers in different ways.

Like most companies, you probably have a system in place to nurture your top customers—those who generate the most revenue. Incentive programs help you harness the growth potential of your average customers, too. This is important because those average customers make up the majority of your channel. Average customers can earn reward points they can redeem on low hanging fruit like event tickets, or earn gift cards to their favorite coffee shops. This keeps your standard performers engaged without overextending your resources.

5. Specific Goals and Promotions

When devising your program, specific goals are key: just take a look at the strategy of one of our clients, Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating. By targeting contractors that sold their ductless HVAC units, the incentive program led to a 45% sales increase in ductless units, as well as achieving an ROI of 307%! Read more about it in the full sales incentive program case study.

Honing in on a specific product or segment of your channel can help you make a big impact with your incentive program where it’s needed most.

6. Event Management Services

Treat your best channel incentive program participants to VIP rewards, like incentive travel! There’s no better way to show them a good time and make unforgettable memories than in an exciting, exotic location.

If you are having trouble with implementing these recommendations, or would like to start a new one, give us a call at 1.866.567.7432.