How the West Was Won: A Look at Improving Channel Performance from the Vendor's Perspective

By The Channel Insider Staff  |  Print this article Print

Vendors and partners must work together to seize opportunities, align business goals and drive channel performance.

How the West Was Won: A Look at Improving Channel Performance from the Vendor's Perspective - Look Beyond Best Partners

Opportunity No. 4: Incentives to Keep Partners on Track

To drive real behavioral changes with both best and emerging partners, you need to offer incentives and recognition programs that are attainable and meaningful to them. In our experience, a tiered rewards system is best because one size does not fit all. Providing opportunities for partners at all levels to earn rewards for performance drives alignment and engagement with you, leading to increased sales and loyalty.

A points-based accumulation approach creates a virtual bank account for each partner. It provides the motivation needed to bump channel partners up to the next tier of performance by encouraging them to work a little harder. Of course, growth expectations must be attainable.

Consider allowing points to be redeemable for MDFs to pay for vendor-sponsored business-building activities. MDF options should align with plans already co-created with your partners and also be meaningful to emerging partners. Both best partners and emerging partners can benefit from the flexibility surrounding the use of MDFs. These options could include local incentive programs, business planning, tech “road shows” that promote vendor products, sales skills training, vendor-sponsored conferences and more.

Remember the large office equipment manufacturer? As part of its solution to drive sales in a stagnant market, the company offered an expansive training curriculum—not just to enhance partners’ product knowledge, but to help them target and acquire accounts, sell more strategically, and improve presentation skills. As a result, the partners wanted to learn more, sell more and make more. The inevitable result was a strengthened relationship with the vendor.

A Shared Destiny Realized

Vendors and channel partners know they can help each other succeed. When vendors apply these channel strategies and remain committed, they can ride off into the sunset, having won the West.


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