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Incentive Programs

Companies often come to the conclusion that in order to increase product sales and become a market leader, they must drive sales through incentives. It is important to understand that the underlying rationale of incentivizing channel partners is to motivate them to sell more. Some of the more common forms of incentives include:

  • Awarding an additional discount based on sales volume
  • Awarding an additional discount based on margin requirements
  • Creating incentives through rebates
  • Adopting a program around MDF or Co-op funds


Many channel partners have products and solutions from other manufacturers - your competitors - that they are also selling.  Therefore, it is important to understand, develop and implement an incentive system that directly ties financial rewards to your channel partners.

Gaining mindshare from your partners increases brand loyalty but it requires a formal incentive plan that both you and your partners have agreed to and a system in place to help manage that plan. Remember, each channel partner is different so what works well for one partner may not work as well for another. It is critical to consider an incentive program that benefits your partners not only from a company-level but all the way down to the individual sales reps. After all, they are typically the ones on the front line that have the most interaction with the customer and the most influence over the sales process.

Establishing goals, maintaining frequent communication with your partners about your incentive plan, and analyzing the effectiveness of these measures over time will help ensure you get the most out of your program.

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