As you consider creating a channel partner incentive program, it can be easy to develop tunnel vision and focus on one thing: increased sales. In reality, the benefits of starting a program are much more wide-reaching than that. They include:
1. Increased market share and product adoption
With your partners being diversely located, your company can see results in addition to your consumer base. Your partners have the flexibility to offer additional services or products to your desired customer base. Not only does this benefit your channel partners – they can upsell from a generic brand to your brand, as well as offer their services – but it can help to increase the sense of dependability of your brand. Your channel partner sees returns, and your business is tied as a relation to the success of their services. This helps your partnership because your products and their services paired well together in a complementary fashion.
2. Reinforcement of a positive brand interaction
Because your channel partner is complementary to your product, you’ve found a distribution source that has their local market knowledge, distribution channel, sales experience, and customer relationships already built. The collaboration between your business and the channel partner can significantly increase profitability. Your channel partners want their clients to be happy, and so offering them a product (your product) that they know will be reliable and in turn create a positive customer experience is integral to their success as well. This establishes the reinforcement of positive brand interaction, as your channel partner is as invested in the success of your product as you are.
When you offer channel partner incentives, this leads to even more loyalty on the partner’s end to sell more of your brand.
3. Adoption of desired training behaviors
When you launch your product, or a new product line, there are specific training behaviors that you establish to utilize the product most efficiently. A benefit of channel partnerships is that you can give your channel partners detailed training materials, and they will follow them. After all – they want your product to work effectively, too. When you communicate with them on a regular basis, as well as provide detailed marketing and training materials, you set up an equation for success. Your vendors want to succeed in selling your product, so by giving them training seminars, or certifications, or however else you train, you create a system in which achieving the goals of your company is paramount to their business’s success.
4. Business building and improvement for your partners’ business
Effective channel partner incentives can help to build your partners’ business, all while growing yours. As your channel partner creates and follows up on leads, it turns into a higher sales volume for your company. When you pick a channel partner who is a good fit for your business, who complements your capabilities and can offer even more value to your customers in tandem, it can help to build your business in a more sustainable way. Start small and work your way up–partnering with businesses that are comparable in size will make sure that you both receive the mutual benefits and attention that are necessary for a successful partnership.
5. Establishment of beneficial relationships with channel partners
Tangible rewards have a significant impact on your channel partners’ performance. By rewarding their successes, you’re building a sense of appreciation and long-term trust in your product. The more loyal a channel partner is to your brand, the higher profits your business could see, which is why it’s important in building that long-term relationship that you’re offering the right incentives. If they are incentives that the channel partner can appreciate, it creates a beneficial relationship in which both businesses see profits and the channel partners are rewarded.
6. Creation of wider availability for your product
Channel partners help to get your products into physical locations, which increases your local and even global visibility. With the array of areas, you can count on channel partners to be fluent in the languages they represent, which in turn translates to tapping into markets that you may not have been able to get to without considerable expense. Additionally, your partners have relationships with their buyers, so they have a better understanding of how to market your products in ways that see higher conversions. Whether your channel partners are local or across the country or around the globe, your company gets to take advantage of the more diverse marketplace they represent.
7. Positive return on investment (ROI)
One of the best outcomes in a channel partnership is how both parties save money on sales teams. The costs add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars when you take into account benefits and commissions and salaries. When you have a partner program in place, you can rely on the sales team of your partners to grow your product base in the marketplace. Since your channel partners are selling your products for you, your company can realize the returns – without having to spend as much on marketing and advertising, which nets your company higher profits.