Strategies for channel loyalty & reward schemes

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on November 28, 2008

The relationship between vendors and their partners is coming under increased scrutiny, and the new paradigm in multi-channel sales is to move beyond the simplistic 'cash for sales' approach, toward channel loyalty programmes where vendors can offer more attractive incentives that focus on areas of strategic importance, according to a white paper from RewardStream.

The paper, entitled 'Best Practices in Channel Loyalty', outlines how to increase partner loyalty in order for vendors to grow their business and develop more productive, effective working relationships with channel partners.

Author and CEO, Peter Oxley, asserts that channel partner loyalty programmes should aim to encourage long-term engagement with vendors, yet these very programmes can sometimes prove to be frustrating and restrictive both for partners and manufacturers. The white paper outlines best practices for channel and sales incentive solutions, with a view to increasing sales effectiveness in a multi-channel environment.

For example, a successful B2B loyalty programme can accomplish many things:

  • Reward partners who are engaged with the business in the long-term;
  • Increase partner satisfaction;
  • Provide a tactical tool to head off competitive offers.

According to Oxley, "Running a loyalty programme can be a frustrating and restrictive process because it is not easily measurable. It is therefore necessary to take a more effective approach to channel loyalty that makes it possible for results to be accurately measured."

So, to help maximise channel effectiveness, loyalty programmes need to offer a wide range of incentives and be tailored to different kinds of partners, rewarding both sales people and their companies. Differentiating partners and treating sales people distinctively within the programme - and offering a range of compelling rewards - is central to building a successful sales incentive programmes, the paper warns: "Channel loyalty programmes must reflect the complexity of vendor partner relationships."

Encouraging long-term engagement with the partner eco-system through points-based reward programmes can - and indeed has in dozens of existing cases - produce significant results for the vendor, as well as boost sales effectiveness.

The full white paper has been made available as a free download from RewardStream's web site - click here (free registration required).

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