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How to choose the right incentive for your business

Posted 8th December 2022
Google Core Update

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If you’ve never run a channel incentive before or want fresh ideas for your next one, this blog is for you! The aim is to provide you with inspiration and direction on some of the most effective incentives you can deliver. When devising a Kick-Ass Channel Incentive, the traditional approach is to reward the participants for closing sales. However, before going down the typical route, you should consider what you want to achieve, such as generating sales revenue, skill up your channel partners, capture mind share or build long-term relationships. Once you are clear on your objective, you can explore the different type of channel incentives available to help you achieve your goal. 

Start with an end goal in mind 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: “Start at the end.” Before deciding on your measurable outcomes, you should start by establishing the main objectives of your incentive – your goals could be one or more from the list below: 

  • Generate sales and revenue within a set time frame 
  • Acquire new logos (customers) 
  • Educate sales reps from your channel 
  • Skill up pre-sales / technical people from your channel 
  • Capture leads within named accounts 
  • Book product demos for a specific product or solution 
  • Develop cold leads into warm leads 
  • The list goes on…. 

Do a deep dive in your data 

To help ascertain and validate the key objective(s) it is important to examine your sales data. Analysing your revenue, pipeline, conversion rates and the sales cycle will help you to establish what type of channel incentive will work best for the products and/or services you want to promote through your channel. It will also provide an indicator of the best time to run an incentive based on your historical sales reports. 

Lead the way with the right incentive 

Once you’ve determined the objectives of the incentive and carried out the data analysis, you can choose what type of incentive you need to launch to generate your desired results.  

Here are the incentive types that deliver the strongest results: 

Sales Accelerator 

The most common objective for an incentive is to bring in more revenue. A sales accelerator incentive does precisely that. When defining your incentive, focus on encouraging the acceleration of promising deals, rather than rewarding the closure of deals that are already likely to close. Remember, your aim is to shorten the sales cycle and increase deal volume – rewarding sales teams for closing deals that are going to close anyway is not the aim here! 

Deal Registration 

In business, the sales pipeline is crucial – no pipeline and your sales will soon dry up! A deal registration incentive (DR) focuses your channel sales teams on registering new sales opportunities. This medium-term strategy contributes to revenue generation but may have a delayed conversion from opportunities to closed deals, depending on the sales cycle. Analyse your data to predict the closure rate of deals at various stages in your sales pipeline. It’s important to consider the relationship between DR and Sales Accelerator incentives. If you are pulling forward deals you are moving forecast revenue. That forecast revenue needs to be replaced with new opportunities in the pipeline!  

Enablement 

A longer-term play, but by no means less valuable, is the enablement incentive. This ensures the sales and/or technical teams at your channel partners fully understand how to use, position, and sell your products and services. Incentivising key channel roles to become more knowledgeable about your products/services will give them the confidence to lead with your products in their customer engagements and become brand advocates. Helping your channel partners develop their expertise and become the trusted advisors of your mutual customers will protect your existing customer base. It also increases your channel partner’s propensity to choose your products over your competitors’ when talking to new prospects. Incentivising technical teams to gain certifications increases technical capabilities, improves marketing effectiveness and enhances a channel partner’s stature in the channel and marketplace. An enablement incentive will often precede or accompany other types of incentive, culminating in sustained growth for both you and your channel partners. 

Find Success with Incentives 

Achieving successful outcomes and delivering results using Incentives is not rocket science, but it does require a systematic approach, commitment and investment.  

  1. Analyse your data to validate your goal 
  2. Identify and set the goal(s)
  3. Select the type of incentive(s) based on the results you want to see, and when. 

Things start to become more strategic as you move towards a holistic approach; looking across different type of channel incentive, targeting different roles within channel partners, but we’ll get to that in future posts… 

Ready to launch a channel incentive but unsure of where to start? Book a meeting with us! Share your current initiatives and goals, and we’ll provide tailored recommendations to help you succeed.  

Let’s start the conversation today! 

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