Earlier this week, we explored two of the most challenging aspects of running a channel incentive program – how to maximize a partner program budget and how to keep things fresh without needing to reinvent your strategy ever quarter and year. As I said in my previous post, the challenges I outlined last week and the ones I will detail in this post come from the real experiences of some of my clients, and I believe that finding innovative solutions to these problems can make any channel incentive program successful. The other two challenges are:
3) Rewarding the right person at the right tier (Point of Impact). With an incentive program targeting direct sales, you know exactly who to reward. This can be a bit difficult with a channel program. Identifying, tracking, and incentivizing the point of impact (in many cases the VAR salesman or sales engineer) becomes more challenging the further down the channel you go. One innovative strategy devised by HMI to combat this problem involves automated tracking & approval, in conjunction with claims and workflow solutions. The key is rewarding the right person in the channel, while not overwhelming them with paperwork.
4) Balancing Regional and Global Strategies. As your channel clientele expands to include companies with international capabilities, balancing your respective regional and global strategies becomes critical. Can you provide consistent solutions to these companies even when each region has their own budget constraints and might work with 5-10 different vendors? Can you micromanage these obstacles and still maintain flexibility with the programs? Most importantly, how do you measure the success of these efforts when so many variables are in play? If clients want the capability to roll up all regional programs into one global bunch, can you offer real-time reporting in terms of the program’s global and regional impact on sales and market share? With HMI’s On-Demand platform, this two-headed challenge can be addressed with one single solution.
The four challenges I have highlighted in these two blog posts are by no means the only obstacles that will be faced when coming up with an innovative incentive solution, but they are the biggest problems that my current clients are facing. Feel free to leave your thoughts on the challenges you have faced in the comments section below, or you can find out more information by contacting us (click here for the form to load in a new window). If you're interested in learning more about what it takes to run a global incentive program, download the free whitepaper below.