When it comes to channel partners, loyalty is a huge goal for almost any company. Knowing that a company will work with you every time they need to collaborate on increasing their sales lets you have confidence in your ability to grow your business. If you’ve been trying to gain more loyal channel partners, you’ve likely noticed that it isn’t always an easy feat. People tend to want to go with whatever company is most convenient or gives them the best perks, regardless of whom they worked with before. However, if you develop exciting incentives for people to come back to you for repeat services, you can turn a fair-weather customer into a loyal channel partner!
Why Is Channel Partner Loyalty Important?
Channel partner loyalty is essential for B2B companies because they tend to have fewer customers than B2C companies. With fewer connections, it’s even more important to make a lasting impact so that the connections you do have will stick around and use your services regularly.
Building up channel partner loyalty will allow you to have a core group of clients that will return to you regularly for assistance and may also spread the word of your company to others in their line of business, gaining you more connections!
Challenges to Overcome When Increasing Customer Loyalty
According to a recent survey, 86% of B2B buyers stated they saw little to no difference between their suppliers. When your potential customers aren’t noticing one supplier over another standing out from the crowd, they don’t have a reason to stay loyal to one.
Why do all suppliers look alike to channel partners? The answer depends on the industry, but it often likely comes down to one of two things (or both): the infrequency with which customers or channel partners buy a product, and product standardizations or regulations. Regulations in many B2B industries prevent brands from making themselves more noticeable based on the products they offer. Not being able to market yourself based on what you’re selling to potential clients can make it hard to figure out ways to pull clients in and have them keep coming back to you.
Finally, you are often fighting a lack of visibility in the distribution channel itself. Many times, manufacturers or suppliers don’t know who is buying their products. Since you’re not able to make a personal connection with these buyers, you aren’t able to understand what their individual needs are or what they think of your product. Not having a personal touch with your customers makes it much harder to make a lasting impression that will lead to customer loyalty.
How to Increase Your Customer Loyalty
Now that you know why you want customer loyalty and what you’re fighting against to achieve it, you need to know what you can do to accomplish your customer loyalty goals. Fortunately, a few different options have proven effective, so you can choose one or mix them together to achieve your intended results!
Making a personal connection with your customers will often make them stick around and work with you again. In fact, research has shown that as many as half of B2B purchasers say they are more likely to make a purchase when they understand a personal connection to it. Not only that, but they’re also eight times more likely to pay a premium for an item that they are personally connected to.
It’s important to remember that your potential customers are people and making connections with people is the best way to get them to stick around. Get to know your customers and what they’re looking for specifically. Putting in this extra effort will amaze your customers and have them coming back for more!
Your customers are more likely to come back to you if they gain something for their loyalty. Loyalty rewards should be personally valuable and meaningful to have maximum impact. For example, offering your customers an online rewards store where they can earn points and redeem them for any item they choose is a great way to gain loyal channel partners!
Another rewards option is debit card rewards, which simply offer your customers rewards payouts for every purchase or sale of a qualifying product.
Sales Claims Submission Tool
You can use loyalty program tools to encourage more sales and customer data submissions. For example, with Incentive Solutions’ Performance Tracking module, partners can upload sales claims documentation such as invoices, receipts, and warranty registrations directly to the online loyalty program. The claim is quickly verified, and partners can instantly receive their reward. This easy, instant gratification makes partners more likely to submit more claims.
A sales claim upload tool does more than make claims submission easier for channel partners. From the sales data partners submit, you can glean insights that steer better channel sales and marketing strategies. You can better personalize your offerings to your customers, building even more channel partner loyalty!
Collaborating is another excellent way to build relationships with your customers and learn what they’re looking for. Have conversations with your loyal channel partners and see what they would like to see regarding future offerings or changes. You can also plan events like retreats and conferences, where you can sit down with your loyal channel partners and brainstorm together about how you can help them all in more personal ways.
Extu’s incentive trip offerings allow you to collaborate with your channel in engaging and memorable ways. Incentive travel can be much more than just a fun trip for your channel partners! Our technology helps create a complete marketing program out of your incentive trip while also keeping all your data in one place.
Plus, we will work with you to create a custom trip that meets your needs instead of giving you a list of possible packages. Every company is different, and your incentive trips should reflect that! Incorporating a well-organized trip into your loyalty program can help boost sales by up to 18%! They’re well worth the time investment.
If you’re ready to set up a channel incentive program, then you’re in the right place. Here at Extu, we are dedicated to giving you a channel incentive program that does more for you and your customers. Our mix of resources, including rewards, tracking tools, incentive management services, and more, give you everything you need to keep your channel partners coming back to you!
If you’re ready to get started on an amazing channel incentive program, contact us to get started!