There are several ways a sales and channel incentive program can benefit and improve B2B marketing efforts across the board -- when done right. Similar to how success and failure for B2B companies can be determined by a number of factors -- product quality, the effectiveness of sales reps, the loyalty of customers, etc. -- the success of an B2b incentive program can be determined by how well a brand builds and organizes their incentive program for their users.
While there are numerous details and factors that go into program design, here are four points in particular to consider when designing your B2B sales or channel incentive program:
1. Include Training And Product Education Within Your Program
Training and education is extremely valuable within the B2B companies for both employees AND customers. Employee training can help sales reps perform better by improving their knowledge of your different products and services, which makes them more confident when selling your brand. Providing specialized education and training for customers helps to familiarize them with your products and lets them grow their skills at using different products and features. This makes your brand even more valuable because you’re helping customers get the most out of their purchase while also demonstrating your dedication to their ongoing success.
You can help drive participation in your training and education courses by allowing employees and customers to receive reward incentives for doing so. Individuals can earn rewards or points for completing different learning courses, quizzes, surveys, webinars or workshops, and more.
2. Ensure Program Goals Do Not Clash With Performance Goals
It is important to establish goals and tracking metrics for your incentive program. Tracking progress helps you get honest evaluations of program performance and enables you to identify opportunities to improve and optimize. However you need to keep in mind that your incentive program exists to support the work of your sales team. You don’t want the program to become a hindrance that prevents your teams from hitting their numbers.
If program goals and performance goals are not aligned, this can cause conflict later on and impact your company’s overall performance. To ensure that doesn’t happen, you need to make sure that your program goals do not conflict with the performance/sales goals of your program members.
3. Types Of Earning Actions To Include, OTHER Than Sales
There are several important steps in the sales process that can be just as important as the final sale. Without those steps in the pipeline there most likely would be no sale. Offering some kind of positive recognition or reward for achieving certain pipeline steps can be a good motivator for team members even if they don’t always close the sale.
Training, proposals, meetings, and demos are all examples of actions that could be included within your program. If one of your concerns is keeping program members focused on the final sale and not just on the little step rewards, you can always cap the reward values or establish a limit for the number of times an individual can earn a certain type of pipeline award.
4. Utilizing A Single “Umbrella” Program Or Creating Department-Based Values And Opportunities
Depending on your industry, products, and brand, your individual sales teams and channel partners could be responsible for wildly different products or services. This can complicate how you determine the earning structures or opportunities, and the criteria for achieving certain tier-level benefits and perks. Creating a single umbrella strategy -- something like the common “one point per dollar spent” model -- is often the easiest for program members to understand and follow. However this can cause disparities across your organization due to factors like noticeably different sales volume for separate product groups or categories. In such cases the best idea is to design unique earning criteria and offers for separate divisions or groups. Yet this option also runs the risk of seeming "unfair" across your organization and could demoralize your program members into not participating
The key is to carefully consider how your brand recognizes and evaluates performance metrics and goals across your entire organization, and utilize that knowledge to create an incentive program structure that enables all included parties to earn rewards. Once your structure is set you then need to make sure everyone is able to access and understand the process for earning and redeeming rewards. Implementing a program FAQ section, creating an on-boarding campaign with email, video, or webinar tutorials, and providing helpful articles are all good ways to ensure your enrolled members get the maximum value out of your program.
Getting Into The Details
As we stated before, there are dozens of details and questions to ask when designing an incentive program. In the end it all goes back to your main goals and purposes behind instituting an incentive program: whether it's providing value to customers, empowering your sales teams, motivating your channel partners, all of these and more, your program design can help you progress towards successful results.
If you're looking for a B2B sales or channel incentives partner to help you get your future program started or if you want to grow your current program, Brandmovers can help! Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you achieve your goals.