When is a corporate incentive program more than an incentive program? When it produces escalating ROI, sales and customer data, and facilitates strategies to increase market share.
The original purpose of incentive programs is still a powerful one: incentives drive behaviors. Behaviors drive results, revenue, and competitive advantage. By structuring an incentive program with the right tools and technology, you can steer the power of incentives to where it’s most useful—maximizing effectiveness and ROI. Here are three strategies I recommend:
Use cost-effective budgeting to achieve higher ROI, faster.
Like anything else, you can reap more returns from your incentive program by budgeting strategically. Invest specifically in the rewards and approaches that are most beneficial to your goals, for example, and allocate funds from outside sources. Here are some smart incentive program budgeting practices I recommend:
Use product mark-up dollars to fund the program.
When you have a great product, you likely have some elasticity in terms of pricing. Your customers won’t mind paying a little more for a brand they love and trust—a customer experience study collected by Forbes, for example, showed that 70% of Americans spend more money on companies that offers great service.
Share incentive program costs with partner companies.
You’re not the only one who could benefit from your strategies to increase market share. Take a moment to consider who shares in your success. Any non-competing company you work with could potentially be on this list. These are all organizations that could share the cost and resulting success your incentive program. Use marketing development funds (MDFs) or create co-ops to share the investment.
Split incentive program costs between sales’ and marketing’s budgets.
An incentive program is a tool that’s relevant and beneficial to both departments, after all. On the sales side, you have the promotions, competitions, or training opportunities for salespeople. On the marketing side: campaigns to raise awareness, engagement, and participation around the program. Getting both departments invested can prove very lucrative.
Work with ROI-certified incentive experts.
An incentive provider who’s developed a proven, ROI-based approach will help you maximize your results with expertise, strategic tools/features, and enhancing incentive services. Learn more about ROI-driven incentive planning from The Beginner’s Guide to Incentive Program ROI.
View your incentive program as an asset that can boost revenue and contribute to sales and marketing strategies. With this approach and an excellent pitch to the C-suite, you could get approval for multiple incentive program funding sources.
Segment incentive participant groups for targeted messaging and sales strategies.
Segmenting your incentive program participants has great potential to increase your incentive program’s efficiency and effectiveness. Incentive software like Extu’s allows you to use segmentation tools to separate your audience into various groups according to department, regions, corporation, role, or performance tier. These are a few things you can do to improve incentive program performance when you’ve created these segments:
- Set up multiple, simultaneous sales promotions with participation rules and goals specific to certain segments.
- Restrict certain segments’ incentive program access and permissions to only areas pertaining to them.
- Pull different sets of analytics and billing buckets for each segment.
- Personalize incentive program website content, emails, and other messaging using dynamic tokens that pull participant contact info.
Segmentation delivers personalized experiences to your incentive program participants and allows you to create more informed incentive processes and marketing campaigns. With these capabilities in your pocket, you can work more strategies to increase market share into your incentive program.
Structure your incentive program to yield more sales and customer data.
Your incentive program isn’t just a tool for administering rewards. It can also be used to capture valuable sales and customer data that can enhance strategies to increase market share into your incentive program. Here are three ways you can use your incentive program to gain data and insights:
Use an open enrollment form.
This allows anyone to sign-up for your incentive program from a public website, no invitation required. This is especially useful for B2B companies who have knowledge and data gaps regarding their sales channel members. Your end-users may purchase your products from dealers, distributors, or other third parties, leaving you in the dark about their product purchase and usage experience. Using an open enrollment incentive program form, you can capture data about end-consumers or end-users you didn’t even know you had.
Utilize an online file upload and verification feature.
Allow your incentive program participants to upload and submit files directly to your incentive program, in order to prove their claims to rewards. For instance, you may require .pdf, text, or image files of invoices, receipts, warranty registrations in exchange for sales incentive rewards. By providing your program participants a quick, easy way to submit data and get instant rewards in return, you facilitate a constant flow of sales and customer data that helps you improve sales plans and marketing campaigns.
Harness the high engagement of incentive marketing.
Particularly in industries such as HVAC or machinery where the product or service isn’t exactly touch-feely, incentives can make a splash in terms of tapping into customer emotions and personal meaningfulness. For example, Incentive Solutions found that incentive-related emails for one manufacturer client returned click-through rates 400% higher than non-incentive marketing emails.
If you leverage the high engagement rates of incentive marketing, you can get a much better response to requests for data and feedback. The approach could be as simple as an email saying, “You have 500 points in your incentive program account! You could earn 100 more by completing this survey!”
Why settle for an incentive program that only serves to dole out rewards, when you can have so much more? Incentive software allows you to get hyper-targeted with strategies, engage and motivate multiple different groups in varying ways, all while producing sales and customer data that helps your business grow. Multiple strategies to increase market share await!