When you think about channel software solutions, do you think about incentive programs? Maybe it’s time you should. If you look at this infographic by Jay McBain, one of the world’s foremost experts on channel partnerships, you’ll notice that incentive companies make up a significant portion of his “Channel Software Tech Stack.”
In addition to motivating channel partners to increase sales growth, channel incentive companies like Incentive Solutions provide channel software features that fill other areas of need for manufactures and distributors who sell into a channel. These include tools for data collection, partner management, communications, and channel enablement.
Channel Data Collection Software
Registering for the chance to earn rewards give channel partners a reason to share data. But it’s important to have channel software in place to capture that data and package it into dashboards and reports where you can easily access it.
Important channel incentive software features for data collection include:
- Custom Enrollment Forms – When channel partners enroll in your rewards program, you need to make sure you’re getting the contact information and firmographic data you need to inform your marketing and data analytics.
- CRM, ERP, and BI Integrations – Having a hundred different data points in a hundred different places isn’t a workable solution. Integration allows you to tie all of the data points from your incentive program to specific partner profiles.
- Hierarchical Reporting – For complex channels, it’s important to be able to group reports by region, organization, and department to structure targeted promotions for growth and reengagement.
- Sales Claims Submission, Invoice Upload, and Verification Tools – Supplying partner with mobile-ready channel software for seamless sales claims submission, invoice uploads, and document attachment tools increases the visibility and data access manufacturers and distributors have into their channel.
- Outbound Surveys – Once channel partners are enrolled in your program and experiencing exciting interactions with your brand, surveys are a great way to collect additional data and give your partners a chance to share feedback.
- Tax Information – Finally, giving your participants platforms for submitting W9s lets you round out your partner profiles with any other data points you need.
Channel Partner Management Software
Channel partner management software gives manufacturers and distributors tools to expand their value proposition for channel partners in ways that go beyond rewards and incentives. Incentive Solutions’ incentive technology includes the following tools for channel partner management:
- Partner Portals and Mobile App – How well does your organization give channel partners opportunities for digital engagement and connectivity? Our channel incentive programs include digital and mobile hubs where channel partners can learn more about your brand, get up-to-speed on your latest promotions, create wishlists, and redeem points for rewards!
- Single Sign-On – How many separate log-ins do you ask your channel partners to keep track of? Providing your channel partners with single-sign on for all your business platforms drastically improves the channel partner experience.
- Organizational Structure – Personalization starts with organization. Segmenting your channel partners by organization, department, or a host of other metrics allows you to get specific in providing the support that’s right for each partner.
- Communications Platforms – Oh no! Not another boring flyer or content-heavy email that looks just like all of your competitors’! Channel incentive program software includes omnichannel communications tools, email templates, and options for custom plans to engage your partners with compelling incentive-based marketing.
- Channel Marketing Services – In addition to providing platforms for communications, Incentive Solutions provides options for custom channel marketing campaigns to build brand awareness and reach sales goals. Based on years of best practices and A/B testing, our channel incentive marketing consistently outperforms industry benchmarks.
- Social Recognition Software – Social recognition platforms are a powerful partner management software feature that help transform business arrangements into real, emotionally connected relationships.
- Partner Qualification and Certification – Using online training incentives to qualify partners for your rewards program or to gain certifications is mutually beneficial for channel partners and manufacturers alike. Qualification software gives channel partners credibility and the product knowledge they need to be able to effectively sell your products.
- Personalized Rewards and Promotions – Finally, does your channel partner management software give you the ability to provide personalized rewards and promotions to your channel partners? Effective channel partner management software helps you manage partners both collectively and on a personal level.
Channel Enablement Software
Channel enablement software platforms help your channel partners do their job more effectively. Being able to provide channel enablement is a major competitive advantage for manufacturers and distributors. Your channel incentive platform can help you provide enablement to your partners in the following ways:
- Online Training Incentives & Trivia – Online training incentives or daily trivia help your channel partners understand the value of your products and convey that value to end-users. Helping channel partners to sell your product is an important component of channel enablement.
- Goal-Tracking Software – Do you help provide structure for your channel partners with clear, measurable goals? Setting clear expectations helps channel partners direct their focus in ways that benefit them, while helping you achieve your goals.
- Identifying Opportunities for Relevant Cross-Selling and Upselling – Being able to provide your channel partners with the right products or bundles at the right time improves partner experience, while increasing your profitability.
- Positive Reinforcement – Providing positive reinforcement in an emotionally impactful way enables partners to understand that they will be rewarded for taking actions that help your brand. Rewards strengthen relationships and build trust, which is the foundation of effective channel enablement!
Gain a Sustainable Competitive Advantage in Your Channel
Using the right channel software helps manufacturers and distributors gain a competitive advantage in their channel. And that’s not even taking into account the enhanced benefits you get from pairing that software with compelling rewards. If you’re interested in learning more, we’d love to chat and discuss ideas for your channel!
- "10 Types of Channel Incentives and How to Use Them"
- "Influencing the Influencers: How Channel Partner Incentive Companies Help Manufacturers Increase Sales"
- "The Latest in Channel Enablement: Insights from Jay McBain at BthruB 2019"