6 B2B Marketing Strategies That Motivate Distributor Loyalty

by: Luke Kreitner March 5, 2020

I hate to break it to you, but you’re not the only manufacturer in your distributor’s supply mix. Even your top distributor sales reps are only a tradeshow or SPIFF away from being swayed to another brand. For manufacturers, it’s necessarily to craft effective B2B marketing strategies that motivate distributors and build distributor loyalty.

What Do Distributors Want from a Manufacturer?

An effective B2B marketing strategy that motivates distributors requires asking yourself: “What do my distributors want from a manufacturer? And how can I provide that?” Below are a couple key factors that drive brand preference and build distributor loyalty:

  • Personalization – Distributors aren’t interested in one-size-fits-all solutions; they expect personalized value-adds from manufacturers.
  • Enablement – Distributors look to manufacturers for tools and strategies to make selling their products easier.
  • Communication – Distributors rely on manufacturers to provide timely, relevant information about products and pipelines.
  • Engagement – It’s easy to think of a “distributor” as an abstract, inanimate entity. But your distributor is made up of a collective of people, who want a fun, engaging customer experience.
  • Trust – The manufacturer-distributor relationship is a business partnership with money on the line. Trust is essential.
  • Responsiveness – Distributor sales reps are increasingly millennial. Digital natives, these reps expect fast, responsive brand interactions from manufacturers.
  • Connected Experiences – Although many manufacturers still struggle with digital transformation, today’s wholesale distributors want connected experiences, with web-based and mobile interactivity.
  • Preferred Treatment – Everyone wants to feel like they are recognized and valued for their contributions. Your top distributor sales want to feel like they matter to you.

6 B2B Marketing Strategies That Motivate Distributor Loyalty

In today’s hyper-competitive channel, manufacturers have to constantly expand the value proposition of their B2B marketing efforts. You have to find new and creative ways to engage and motivate distributor sales reps in order to stay ahead of the competition. Below are 6 B2B marketing strategies you can use to build distributor loyalty.

1. Launch a Distributor Loyalty Rewards Program

A rewards program is an effective component of a B2B marketing strategy. Distributor loyalty rewards are an easy way to differentiate yourself from competitors. Plus, rewards have emotional value and can be used to motivate sales growth and build distributor loyalty.

 2. Maximize Engagement at Tradeshows and Conferences

Tradeshows and conferences can be a valuable chance for manufacturers to generate brand awareness with distributor sales reps…but only if you don’t get lost in the shuffle. Offering on-the-spot reward points or program enrollment bonuses can be an effective way to generate traffic to your booth and give distributor reps a reason to follow-up.

3. Communicate with Distributors Across Every Touchpoint

Find ways to share relevant information with your distributors across every touchpoint. This includes email, phone, and SMS. However, today, you need to take things a step further. Try launching a new web portal or mobile app where distributor sales reps can connect to your brand!

4. Use Data to Personalize Your B2B Marketing

As data becomes a competitive differentiator, a two-way data exchange has become an important factor in building distributor loyalty. Sales claims submission and verification tools make sharing sales data more intuitive. Manufacturers can use this data to personalize their B2B marketing strategies in ways that build distributor loyalty.

5. Provide a Sales Enablement Program

Do you know a sure-fire way to become your distributor’s preferred supplier? Make it easy for them to sell your products. Inviting distributor sales reps to attend conferences on-site or take online training courses can make a big different when these reps recommend products to their customers.

6. Create a VIP Program for Top Distributor Reps

Effective B2B marketing strategies don’t treat all of your distributors like a one-size-fits-all equation. Offering preferential treatment for your top distributors is essential to building distributor loyalty. After all, why would they stay loyal to you if you treat them just like everybody else? For this segment of your audience, you can offer premium rewards like generous rebates, incentive travel, and custom reward fulfillment to build lasting distributor loyalty!

Tech Platforms to Drive Your Distributor Loyalty Program

What if you could manage all of these B2B marketing strategies from a single platform? The good news is you can! Contact us for a demo of our distributor loyalty software platform.

Start your B2B marketing program BEFORE your competitors do!

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About Luke Kreitner

Luke Kreitner is the VP of Sales at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that specializes in helping B2B businesses accelerate growth, increase sales, motivate channel partners and retain B2B customers.