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How Do Points-Based Channel Rewards Work?

Points-based channel rewards incentive programs have been employed for ages to increase partner sales and engagement. In fact, according to 360insights’ Channel Pulse™ Report: 2021 Trends, both B2B and B2C channel leaders are taking more advantage of points-based loyalty programs, which translate to behavior modification strategies. But, what are points-based rewards and how do they help your organization stand out from the competition for partner loyalty. Furthermore, what are the key considerations for implementation to make them successful?

Below is some need-to-know information and guidance about point-based rewards and how to make them work harder to achieve successful results channel organizations are looking for:

What is a points-based channel rewards program?

In the most basic sense, a points-based rewards program awards points for participating in activities that drive your business goals. For instance, if you want partner reps to learn the new digital buyer’s journey, you can offer points for completing training materials. Or maybe you want partner reps to focus attention on bottom of the funnel achievements? Consider awarding points for activities such as upgrades or cross-selling. The participant can redeem the points for merchandise, travel, experiences, gift cards, etc.

Points-based channel rewards are easy to work with.

When it comes to individual incentives, you can’t get more flexible than points-based channel rewards programs. You can customize these programs to any goals you want to achieve, and you can incentivize all levels of sales reps, not just the top performers. Points-based channel rewards programs allow you to take a more strategic approach by rewarding desired actions that are taken at different sales cycle stages, rather than just finish-line results.

Why do points-based channel rewards work better than cash?

Aberdeen Research* shows that for 63% of best-in-class companies use non-cash incentives / rewards as a vital component of their B2B sales performance management efforts. Why? Because choice is a great motivator. When you offer a mix of cash and non-cash incentives that are tailored to your partner audience and give participants the freedom to make a choice, you create an emotional attachment that monetary rewards cannot replicate.

10 Keys: Points-based Channel Rewards Program Considerations

  1. Start by defining the strategy, goals, and objectives of your program.
  2. Align individual rewards with your partner’s company-level incentive program and business models.
  3. Reward partners for skills and activity improvement.
  4. Assess and survey target participants and choose the type of reward that will motivate.
  5. Set points to accrue at rates that are fast enough to keep program participants enthusiastic.
  6. For global incentives, address regional and cultural factors.
  7. Automate the claiming process, leverage available data and integrate workflows.
  8. Use gamification elements to promote participation and awareness.
  9. Combine rewards with recognition elements.
  10. Consider legal, tax and regulatory impacts for rewarding both companies and individuals

Now more than ever, channel organizations are looking for ways to motivate their sales teams and their partners. Points-based rewards offer channel leaders an effective tool to drive sales, but to also allow for flexibility and choice with regards to rewards. It’s a win-win proposition in today’s uber-competitive sales environment.

 

About the Author

Claudio Ayub - Senior Vice President, TMT Practice, 360insights. Claudio brings over 20 years of global channel marketing experience to 360insights. Previously with Perks WW, Ayub has executed major go-to-market programs for a variety of vendors, including Bing, Cisco, Dell, EMC, IBM, Kaspersky, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola, Seagate, Symantec, and VMware among others.

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