Maritz Motivation Solutions study finds 70 percent of channel partners have two or more incentive programs competing for their attention
Do channel rep incentive programs really work? That’s the key question for companies hoping to better engage their channel partners to drive their sales strategy. According to new research from Maritz Motivation Solutions, incentive programs do work in the channel, but businesses need to implement a participant-centric approach in order to stand out from the influx of competing offers.
The 2013 Maritz Channel Market Study, which surveyed more than 1,000 sales professionals from a variety of industries, indicates that there’s stiff competition for capturing and maintaining channel partner loyalty. The study revealed that 70 percent of participants are offered two or more incentive programs from manufacturers, channel loyalty partners and employers, and nearly one out of every four respondents had the opportunity to participate in six or more manufacturer-sponsored programs.
“For manufacturers aiming to ‘get things done’ in the channel, it’s never been more difficult to get salespeople’s attention,” said Mike Spellecy, vice president of solutions thought leadership at Maritz Motivation Solutions. “With that said, our research resoundingly confirms that channel rep incentive programs are effective. In fact, more than 75 percent of managers, owners and sales representatives reported that manufacturer-sponsored reward and incentive programs had a high influence on their willingness, interest and energy to sell that manufacturer’s products and services.”
In addition to increased selling effort, incentive programs also have a positive effect on driving business results. According to the study, more than one-third of all sales are attributable to the efforts put forth to compete for and earn rewards and incentives. Once channel reps earn rewards, they are less likely to consider offers from competitors. The study indicates more than 80 percent agreed or strongly agreed that rewards go a long way in creating increased loyalty to the company sponsoring the reward and incentive program.
“Clearly incentive programs in the channel have a significant impact on a business’s sales strategy and building loyalty towards your brand,” Spellecy said. “But to ensure that channel reps remain loyal and resistant to competitor offers, you need to develop a compelling program that focuses on the individual.”
According to the study’s findings, a focus on the individual was a particularly important element of a successful channel incentive program. Approximately seven out of 10 individuals believed manufacturer-sponsored incentive opportunities should be based on personal performance as opposed to team performance.
“To get the greatest return on investment, design is key,” Spellecy said. “The most effective channel incentive programs—and the ones that command attention—take into account individual motivations, individual communication preferences and an ongoing awareness of an individual’s performance.”
For more information about the 2013 Maritz Channel Market Study, including white papers and blogs on this topic visit www.maritzmotivation.com/channelstudy.
The 2013 Maritz Channel Market Study surveyed 1,008 people about their use and attitudes of manufacturer-sponsored reward and incentive programs. The online study was conducted in May 2013 and tested 138 variables. Read more about the study at www.maritzmotivation.com/channelstudy.
About Maritz Motivation Solutions
Based in St. Louis, Maritz Motivation Solutions is part of the Maritz family of companies. It offers full-service employee recognition, sales incentive and channel loyalty programs to U.S. and global companies. Maritz Motivation Solutions provides reward strategy and fulfillment for consumer loyalty programs and delivers best-in-class rewards and fulfillment services, including purposefully-chosen merchandise and experiences that excite, motivate and recognize people around the world. The people who work for Maritz Motivation Solutions are dedicated to being the best in the business, fun to work with and their clients’ most valuable ally. For more information, visit www.maritzmotivation.com, subscribe to our blog, follow us on Twitter or call 1-877-4-Maritz (1-877-462-7489).