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Scaling your channel incentive program: moving from spreadsheets to a cloud-based IPM
When channel marketers first launch a partner incentive initiative, it’s usually with the hope
of increasing short-term sales of a particular product, or perhaps as a means of testing the
ability of incentives to boost the engagement and loyalty of their partners. Either way, most
marketers manage these early-stage efforts using everyday tools like spreadsheets.
While these tools might meet your needs during the test-and-learn phase of an incentive
program, when you are ready to roll out a more sophisticated, more compelling program,
management-by-spreadsheet is sure to hold you back.
Incentive programs have shifted from being purely tactical to becoming a valuable strategic tool. Channel marketers and corporate managers have found that incentive programs are an effective tool for:
• Aligning partners to corporate goals
• Working through disruptive changes in the market
• Influencing and changing partner behaviors
The Shortcomings of Spreadsheets
Because of the complexity of managing thousands to millions of dollars of compensation for hundreds to thousands of partners, spreadsheets are not a scalable solution. A spreadsheet system will quickly become unwieldy, and is prone to breaking, leading to errors and management difficulties.
Transitioning to an incentive program management platform
An automated cloud-based IPM platform will enrich and facilitate the management of your program and help you avoid the many common issues of running a partner program manually.
So how do you get from the “here” of spreadsheets to the “there” of an IPM platform?