One necessity in any channel incentives campaign is the ability to gather, organize and use data that informs you on how various elements are performing.
After all, strategic promotions can be an art as well as a science. Without a capable digital tool that can provide real-time feedback, you’ll be unable to make the immediate adjustments that could maximize your money and manpower, and help your campaign reach its full potential.
“Companies that depend on manually entered program data often don’t spot opportunities until it’s too late,” notes Jason Atkins in Incentivemag.com. “By using a centralized platform, marketing leaders can use heat mapping to see current sales instantly by territory, dealer, retailer and more, gaining decision-grade insights to make enhancements on the fly.”
Some examples of the power of such feedback:
- If partners are declining to participate in your training sessions or failing to complete online training modules, the material may be too obvious, cumbersome, or time consuming to be helpful. Consider replacing it with shorter, more direct material that’s geared toward real-life sales challenges.
- If partners are completing demos but customers are still choosing rival products from competitors, you need to examine why. You might try adjusting your marketing strategy to build awareness, and over the course of the campaign you might beef up your value proposition and/or lower prices to gauge those effects.
- If reps initially earn impressive incentives then stop performing midway through the campaign, you might re-motivate them by adding better rewards tiers for greater sales achievements.
- If you’re experiencing an interval of lackluster sales and rewards, you might introduce a temporary promotion-within-a-promotion. “Short-term promotions of 60 to 90 days can drive short bursts of excitement and activity,” notes one HubSpot article. “You must keep the program top of mind with consistent communication and occasional disruption.”
- If certain reps, partners or regions are underperforming in comparison to their peers, you could either provide them additional training and support or phase them out of the program entirely.
- If program participants are consistently choosing certain rewards, you can offer more of those preferred rewards and discontinue those that are of little interest.
- If certain audiences are performing far better, you may need to take a deeper dive into your segmentation strategy to get a better handle on who your target audiences should be.
- If participants aren’t opening your motivational and/or informational emails, you might get better results by improving your subject lines, making your messages more engaging, shortening your copy and/or switching to SMS messages.
- If reps are selling and claiming rewards at a faster rate than you anticipated, you may need to immediately boost your campaign budget.
- If your platform is revealing unauthorized claims, you’ll want to take action against the personnel involved. Atkins points out that fraudulent claims account for some 2.5% of all claims in U.S. incentive campaigns, though capable platforms like WorkStride have safeguards to counteract these risks. In one study, he reports, every dollar invested in incentive compliance tools was found to save $3 in reduced fraud and noncompliance.
- If participants aren’t receiving their rewards in short order, you need to find out why and correct that problem. Immediate rewards are key to keeping your partners motivated, building your credibility and establishing the trustful relationships key to increasing ROI.
“With many organizations conscious of the economy’s effects to their bottom lines, delivering strong ROI from channel incentive programs is critical,” Atkins concludes. “A data-driven strategy can help leaders make sure they’re maximizing performance across their teams — all without spending another dollar on channel marketing.”