Data doesn’t sleep. In the US today, there are about 312 million internet users, meaning most of us leave digital “footprints” everywhere. From Fitbits to Echo speakers to Androids and iPhones, these gadgets have become de facto extensions of who we as consumers are. From user to behavioral, geographic to bank, your phone and other gadgets become an aesthetic and customizable visualization of your collected experiences (data).

Existing everywhere, including in your channel, data should therefore be cultivated, analyzed, and explored as a fundamental channel asset. This abundance of data exists in your channels because multiple moving pieces come together to form one ecosystem. Indirect channels “tend to be nebulous…hard to measure…time-delayed, as you are collecting data through a complicated multi-tier supply chain.” As Jay McBain, Principal Analyst, Forrester, accurately states, “a channel chief is a part-time sales leader, marketer…product manager, strategist…and futurist” so, using their expertise and making accurate use of data is imperative to company growth.

A small section of the channel data pie is channel incentive data, which is data used to generate lift in your incentive promotions. Critical to the efficiency and functionality of your incentive program, important user data must be uploaded and integrated, and then analyzed. This allows you to make informed decisions about the current and future progress of your promotions.

This channel incentive data is important because it gives administrators the ability to:

  • Have total line of sight into sales activities, inventory levels, and other program KPIs. This sheds insight into whether an incentive program or promotion is successful, allowing for necessary strategic changes if there are roadblocks in your workflows. Perhaps a partner isn’t fulfilling their end of the bargain-how can you measure or observe lackluster partner sales without the necessary promotional sales data?
  • Identify opportunities to acquire new sales, up-sell, and cross-sell. Knowing what your partners and end consumers want takes a holistic view that is not possible without aggregating several inputs of data, complimented by incentive program data. Furthermore, low performing segments are identified and tactical impact is quantified, fostering a data driven indirect sales strategy.
  • Reproduce historical successes by establishing standardized relevant sample sizes, key bench marks, and other leading indicators that signify promotion success. A minimum amount of data is necessary for segmenting audiences, spotting current trends, and forecasting future ones.
  • Pay out your promotional sales reps accurately and efficiently. Remember, during a promotion, sales reps are the greatest vehicle for getting your product to a consumer (your bottom line). Identifying your strongest and weakest performers, and rewardingly accordingly, “correlates strongly to greater overall corporate performance” writes the Society for Human Resource Management. Reward them with fast and flexible payouts.