If you work with a large number of channel partners, you’re likely already using a pretty sophisticated software tech stack.

After all, trying to manage business interactions with multiple partners can be very tricky if you don’t have the automated ability to track metrics related to compliance, revenue and loyalty. Most firms need an easy, low-maintenance way to simplify the complex processes involved, measure results from multiple activities, boost two-way communication and continually look for ways to control expenses.

That growing demand is why the global market for channel software now amounts to $1.32 billion annually1, according to Jay McBain of Forrester. “Running a successful channel program is a complicated endeavor,” notes McBain. “With 90 key operational attributes of a strong channel partner program, no one piece of software can (today) manage all moving parts effectively.”2

The question is, have you considered building channel incentives capabilities into your tech stack so you can automatically reward your channel partners for driving sales, while communicating important messages along the way? Completely automating the incentive promotion and rewards process can remove grueling administrative work and tedious data tracking from your plate, freeing you up from that constant monitoring to focus more on the nuts and bolts of your business.

Such automated tools are increasingly important at a time when channel incentives programs are growing in scope, complexity and scale; McBain points out 22% of marketers worldwide already see managing channel partners as one of their greatest challenges.3 That’s partly because of the wider range of programs implemented as partners increasingly seek customized incentives instead of more traditional tiered programs.

“It is difficult to run incentives in an increasingly diverse, highly fragmented environment. What works for one set of partners won’t necessarily work for the next.”4
-Jay McBain, Principal Analyst, Forrester

No matter what variety of programs you’re running, your channel incentives initiatives could be much easier to manage if you install a tool that can take over such key attributes as design, allocation, tracking and distribution of financial incentives. Today’s channel incentives and program management (CIPM) software can cover everything from channel incentive promotions, partner loyalty and rebates, training, gamification, and rewards with a multitude of fulfillment options, both monetary and non-monetary.

Many businesses have already recognized the value of such tools, which explains why revenue from CIPM software already generates an impressive $200 million in global annual sales, reports McBain.5 That makes it the third most-purchased channel software category after through-channel marketing automation (TCMA) tools and partner relationship management (PRM) tools. As for the future, the market for such products is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17% to reach $935 million by 2024.6

If you haven’t already looked into the possibility of CIPM software, now would be a good time to think about how that improvement could make your channel incentives program much more effective and friction-free.