If you work in the channel, you are sure to have heard the phrase channel incentives automation, but just what is it and how does it help you achieve your goals?
Channel incentives automation technology automates and scales channel growth by motivating the appropriate sales actions across a broad set of partner types on a global scale. Just like customer relationship management (CRM) took direct sales from an art to a science and marketing automation took direct marketing and added the levers and dials to demonstrate return on investment (ROI) for the first time, incentives automation (IA) today is taking incentive programs from intuition to a science, ensuring brands deploy the right mix, level, and cadence of incentives to improve revenue and profit from the channel.
Incentives Automation (IA) is a unique cloud-based software solution preferred by top brands that deploy hyper-targeted incentives at the partner company level (Rebates, MDF), and partner individuals’ level (Rewards, Spiff) across a variety of partner types—who may have different go-to-market (GTM) models—on a global basis. IA combines multiple incentive modules into a single behavior-based incentive strategy designed to accelerate your partner’s time to revenue and increase partner loyalty.
Channel marketers often struggle to find the right level of investment between programs to optimize the sales and marketing performance of their indirect partners (effectiveness) without overspending (efficiency).
IA platforms today can include artificial intelligence-based features that use learning algorithms to help decide whether a partner requires an incentive and if so, what level of incentive. In other words, instead of launching the same incentive program to your entire partner ecosystem, or grouping partners in broad categories, IA can help decide which promotion will be most effective by each partner type, GTM, tier, and more based on the partner profile and behavioral history of each partner.
Another way IA simplifies and accelerates partner enablement incentives, is by using a separate learning algorithm to review campaign funding requests and the associated claim history by partner. Looking into the approval/rejection history, ROI of campaign funding request and overall sales actions associated to each request, IA then recommends to first- and second-line approvers on the approval/rejection action. After 2 or 3 quarters IA can approve/reject campaign funding requests and claims on its own!
Let’s face it, anything your partner must perform manually is going to slow them down. There is plenty of research that confirms this. Plus, your partners are most likely managing upwards of ten brands. This can be overwhelming at best, overwhelming and expensive at worst if they must take on new hires to manage the partnership and see a return on their investment.
Onboarding a quantity of new partners inside a developing ecosystem puts additional strain on automation—especially if many of the partners are non-resellers or non-transacting. This is why it is so important to implement IA to future-proof your front- and back-end systems, even before accelerating your channel program. An automated cloud-based IA platform will enrich and simplify the management of your program and help you outperform your competition without outspending them.