Four tips for reseller incentive schemes

reseller incentive programmeIf your business depends on distributors and resellers then engaging them through a reseller incentive programme can help you boost sales, improve your market share, deliver better profit margins or a combination of all of these.

Reseller incentives, sometimes known as reseller programmes, are great for industries such as IT, automotive and telecommunications. But to get the best out of any rewards you offer then you need to consider carefully how you will implement your reseller programme.

In today’s marketplace resellers have access to numerous channel incentive schemes from differing partners, so how do you make sure that your reseller scheme stands out from the crowd and delivers a return on your investment? Here are four tips to help you get the most out of your scheme:


1. Build awareness

Communication, communication, communication. It’s the most important part of your reseller programme as no-one will participate in it if they don’t know it exists. And once you’ve got partners onboard you need to continue to engage with them to keep your programme front of mind.

Directly target the sales reps, as well as the dealer principles, to ensure they are aware of your programme. There are several ways to raise awareness including emails, posters in break rooms, direct mail and visits by your channel sales managers.


2. Encourage average performers

Top performer awardsLook at your top performers for inspiration but don’t forget the average performers, as this is where you can often make the most gains. By moving average performers up you can make significant gains, but if they feel that only the top performers will benefit from your programme then they won’t actively participate.

Identify the key behaviours of your top performers and then use this information to incentivise your average performers by encouraging them to adopt similar behaviours to those in the top tier. Set achievable, yet stretching, goals and make sure that they have the tools, training and resources needed to be able to achieve those objectives.


3. Choose the right rewards

If you want to motivate your resellers to sell your products you need to offer them rewards that entice them as individuals. There is no one-size-fits-all reward but there are plenty of rewards available to suit every taste and every budget.

A prepaid card is a popular reward option, especially when branded to your organisation as it reminds people of their achievements whenever they use the card. And by issuing a reloadable prepaid card you can save money on admin fees. Catalogues of merchandise rewards, travel, and experiences are other attractive rewards. By segmenting your resellers you could also offer a range of rewards based on factors such as past performance or programme tiers.


4. Make your programme easy to use

A reseller programme that requires people to fill in a lot of forms, or keeps information buried, will not engage your audience. Remember that these organisations will have lots of other channel incentive schemes vying for their attention, so make yours stand out by keeping it simple.

Make it easy for people to register for your scheme and to opt-in to different promotions. It should be simple for them to participate in the programme and they shouldn’t have to jump through multiple hoops to achieve their targets or receive their reward. Make online portals easy to navigate, and give your resellers the information they need to confidently sell your products with brief, clear messaging about your products.


Download our whitepaper Sales incentives: but not as we know it

Sales incentives whitepaper

This whitepaper investigates the many areas open for programme managers to explore to enhance their incentive structure, delivers guidance on how to avoid potential pitfalls and advice on scheme structure to ensure engagement of your entire sales force - not just the top performers.

Click here to download


When points mean prizes the pressure to get your reseller reward programme right can be huge. Take a look at this video guide for further guidance on the issue >>


John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
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