Why motivate your middle-tier channel partners? Your top tier partners are the ones really keeping your company in the black, right?
The top 20% are already motivated and they deserve your recognition. However, shifting the focus to the remaining 80% of your channel partners can pay big dividends for you and your company. Studies show that a 5% increase in performance from the middle 60% of your partner sales force can produce an increase of 70% more revenue than the same 5% increase in performance from the top 20% of your partners.
By sheer volume, turning your middle-tier partners into top performers will increase your bottom line dramatically. Companies that don’t recognize this fact aren’t taking advantage of an excellent opportunity to gain new customers and increased revenue.
Obviously, the rewards that motivate your top 20% of partners aren’t the same rewards that appeal to the middle 60% or the lower 20%. If they were, all your partners would be top performers.
Look for rewards that appeal to the two lower groups. For the lowest 20%, cash bonuses or product rebates might work, where that would not necessarily be the prime motivator for higher-earning partner sales staff.
Whatever the incentive, it needs to have an emotional significance to the recipient.
Psychologically speaking, the greater the emotional attachment to the reward, the higher the performance of your partners both before (in anticipation) and after receiving the reward.
What’s more, motivated channel partners become brand advocates. They are eager to learn more about your company and its offerings so that they can sell more product and receive their rewards. In learning about your product, they also become better sales staff. They know the product inside and out and can sincerely recommend it to end users who then become brand advocates as well.
Demographics matter when it comes to figuring out the proper inspiration for your channel partner sales staff. Like most things, one size doesn’t fit all.
A Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows just that that. Employees aged 18-34 – now make up the largest portion of today’s U.S. workforce—and while age is certainly not the sole determining factor in creating a rewards program, it should be considered. These younger partners are often buying their first home, starting a family, or perhaps paying off student loans. Such expenses leave little room for lavish vacations or vacations at all. Other worker cohorts, such as Baby Boomers and GenX, would also enjoy travel incentives to locations that they would not necessarily choose, or be able to afford, on their own.
The only problem is that, like most manufacturers, your company probably does not have piles of money lying around just waiting to take award recipients to exotic locations. Likely, you do not have the time to spend planning such a rewards program either. That’s where ESG Incentives comes in.
ESG Incentives partnered with Lenovo to create just such an awards program for their channel partners. Our curated program flew the recipients to an exotic location, provided specialized experiences for them, generated increased brand loyalty and awareness AND stayed within budget.
Furthermore, the program generated interest among channel marketing partners, increasing competition for the reward and boosted profit margins for both Lenovo and its partners.