I was at a function recently and there was a person there who brought up the difficulties associated with channel programs. As she explained to the group of us, she really wants to roll out a channel incentive program, but the channels she would be rolling it out to don’t want to support it. The problem in her particular case is that the channel’s principals do not want their partnering manufacturers to offer channel incentive program to their employees, which she believes would be favoritism. After explaining her difficulties she asked me “what do I do when the principals don’t want to participate?”
This is a tough question as a program’s success is largely dependent on the principals embracing it. I thought long and hard about this question and the solution I offered to her was simple: demonstrate to them the value of the program by showing them how it relates to them and how it will help them grow their business. Providing hard data can really help channel partners understand in black and white terms how a program could take their business to a new level. For Dealers or VARs, embracing a manufacturer incentive program is another optional perk for working with that company.
The moral of the story here is that any vendor who is successful at running channel programs should have this type of solution on hand to help rally both internal and external support.