Are you looking for distributor incentive ideas to maximize profitability in your channel? Distributor incentive programs can be a powerful tool to increase sales and accomplish business objectives. But distribution channels can be complicated, with a lot of moving parts. Many manufacturers and distributors are plagued by poor communication, incomplete data, and a lack of personalization with their channel partners.
Distributor Incentive Ideas and Best Practices:
Analyze Your Audience
Mark Herbert writes: “The success of your distributor sales incentives and rebate programs depends on being able to personalize your marketing to your distributor sales reps (DSRs).” Mark Herbert suggests using the incentive program registration process to collect accurate contact, firmographic, and demographic data to ensure that you have a complete picture of your target audience.
Align Promotions with Organizational Goals
Mark Herbert recommends having specific, measurable objectives for your distributor incentive program. Setting up multiple promotions by margin, region, or product type allows you to maximize the strategic benefit of your program.
Strategically Select Rewards
Your reward selection should scale to the performance of your participants. “After all,” says Mark Herbert, “you wouldn’t want to award VIP accounts and part-time customers with the same amount of value.”
Regularly Communicate with Your Distributor Sales Reps
Incentive rewards build engagement and personalize your relationships with DSRs. Use every chance you can to communicate with them through your distributor incentive program. Your distributor incentive program provides new touchpoints like:
- Rewards website content.
- Site announcements
- Monthly statements.
- Seasonal emails.
- Promotional marketing emails.
- SMS and push notifications.
Track Distributor Incentive KPIs
Even the best distributor incentive ideas will have limited impact if you’re unable to accurately track and analyze your program data. To quote Mark Herbert: “It’s important to have software in place to monitor these KPIs and capitalize on opportunities for cross-selling, up-selling and reengagement with your DSRs.”
Offer Sales Enablement for Eligible Products
Distributor sales reps sell what they know from brands they trust. Make it easy for DSRs to sell your products to dealers, contractors, and wholesalers by providing sales enablement. Mark Herbert recommends:
- Creating interactive quizzes and training.
- Requiring qualification courses and training for eligibility to earn rewards.
- Using reward program communications to educate your DSRs on your products.
- Rewarding DSRs for attending tradeshows and conferences
Provide Convenient Platforms for Claims Submissions
Distributor sales reps spend a large portion of their workday in the field. Using mobile-ready document attachment tools makes it easy and for DSRs to submit sales claims verification. Doing so will improve the quality of the data you receive, make your program more rewarding for DSRs, and streamline admin functions.
Switch Things Up to Keep Your Program Fresh
Even the best incentive programs can get stale and lose their effectiveness over time. Mark Herbert recommends switching things up to keep your program fresh. Bonus points, limited-time promotions, and gamification are all distributor incentive ideas that keep your program exciting for the long haul.
Seek Feedback and Analyze Results
Chances are your DSRs have plenty of good ideas for your distributor incentive program. Don’t hesitate to ask them for advice on how to improve your program! In addition to surveys, use program data and analytics to make decision to continue to improve your program.
More Distributor Incentive Ideas
Make sure to check out the full article! Or, if you need more distributor incentive ideas, check out the following blogs:
- Channel Loyalty: 6 Key Things the Best Loyalty Programs Have in Common
- Your Rewards Program Needs These 5 Reward Categories in 2020 [Infographic]
- How to Train Distributors and Increase Channel Sales