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The reason your Incentive Program is not performing

Written by Heloisa Lorenzini
Why is your Incentive Program not moving the needle?

Did you know that 77% of channel incentive programs fail within the first two years of taking flight? This is in spite of the fact that companies spend millions of dollars to engage with their partners across the channel.

It is time to take a good hard look at what you’ve been doing repeatedly and yielding the same results. Actually, not surprising, isn’t it?
You can’t read the same book every so often and expect different results.

You need to think about incentivization differently, factor in the partner experiences and tie it to ‘their’ purpose.

Easier said than done.

Break the shackles of traditional incentivization models – The late 1990s onwards there was a surge in B2B Tech companies. The channel partner program for these companies exploded and suddenly all that was being incentivized was sales. And it made sense. At that time. Now times are changing. Incentivizing just one kind of outcome (sales) limits your growth. It also doesn’t give you any visibility of what else you can do amp up your program and engage your partners better.

Take a moment and see if incentivizing these behaviors make sense to you.

Lead development by content distribution, MDF utilization, and social advocacy. Think – can your customer experience be enhanced when they engage with your channel partners. Can you channel partners enable to customers to get a taste of your brand? On your part, what do you think will happen when you incentivize specific behaviors such as these.

Reducing time to close by incentivizing partner training and closely tracking opportunities. Also partners need to have easy ongoing communication with the vendor side to ensure that quotes and approvals don’t get stuck in the pipeline. Which brings us to – can you incentivize channel partner communication?

Partner experience is a non – negotiable aspect of any channel partner program. Can you incentivize event attendance, chatter activity and portal activity? These might seem like low hanging fruit, but it is probably the toughest to get your channel partners to use your portal for communication and to stay up to date on events with the vendor side.

On that note – don’t give up rebates just yet. Simply tie it to more than just sales.

Most importantly – what will this change?

Gamification: 3 companies that did it right

Fielo advocates conditional incentivization – tie up behaviors with results. Combine behaviors with outcomes such as: 

  1. Training + Sales 
  2. Sales support activities/ Marketing + Sales
  3. Partner Engagement + Sales

On that note – don’t give up rebates just yet. Simply tie it to more than just sales. 


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