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While the idea of incentivizing salespeople has been around since the dawn of commerce, only in recent years have channel incentives become truly streamlined through the use of digital tools.

These days, a well-designed channel incentives platform that’s optimized toward partner success can go a long way toward making partners want to participate in your programs. The easier and more helpful your platform, the greater your chances of making your program a win-win for all. That means your choice of targeted technology could very well make or break the success of your campaign.

What capabilities do you want in a platform?

  • The ability to gather data about your audiences and use it strategically. Ideally, your system will be able to compile data on your channel partners and allow you to segment that data by past behaviors and demographics so you can customize messaging and rewards toward their needs and motivations.
  • The ability to customize campaign elements ranging from structure to rules to rewards. You should be able to run multiple targeted promotions simultaneously according to your business strategies and program goals. Changing components on demand should be straightforward.
  • An effective training module. Your system should include capacity for easily accessible and customizable training resources, preferably with the ability to auto-trigger rewards after your partners complete certain programs.
  • A capable communications system. You should be able to track delivery, open and clickthrough rates of your messages so you can gauge their effectiveness and tweak future campaigns accordingly.
  • The ability to continually engage participants. Interactive features and gamification elements should be available to help spur friendly competition among salespeople.
  • The ability to dole out a variety of earned rewards quickly. Your platform should be able to speedily and accurately distribute accrued rewards so your partners need not wait for weeks or even months to get their gift cards, open-loop prepaid cards, cash, and other rewards.
  • User-friendliness. Understanding how to operate your platform and optimize your dashboard shouldn’t be too time-consuming or convoluted, and the data and structure presented should be transparent to partners. Claims should be ultra-easy to submit and allow for multiple SKUs of eligible products, quantities, custom fields, documentation attachments, and more.
  • Ease of integration with other business systems. For efficiency across the board, your system should be able to adjust to other data file formats to seamlessly trade information with your other key systems, such as your CRM, LMS, PRM or POS solutions.
  • Mobile accessibility. Your system should be available via any internet-connected device so users can instantly check up on their performances and upload key documents (invoices, warranty registrations, etc.) while out in the field.
  • Ease of reporting. You and your partners should find it quick and easy to build a relevant campaign or promotion reports customized to your needs.

By doing your homework before you begin or upgrade your channel incentives program, you can find optimal digital tools that make the process efficient, cost-effective and friction-free for everyone involved.