Incentive programs shouldn’t be perceived as a constant drain on your budget. In fact, incentive programs are a cost-effective way to enable your indirect sales channel to sell more of your product, growing your return on investment.
In order to ensure you’re optimizing your budget here are three adjustments your brand needs to make with your sales incentive program:
1.Implement an Easy to Manage Software Platform
Find a software platform that works for your organization, that will allow you to build and manage your programs.
Switching your program from paper to digital enables you to effectively remove time from all processes – time to fill out forms, time to mail, time to collect and open mail, time to input data, time to handle checks – providing a one stop digital platform for the sales channel.
With a digital platform, you give your sales channel partners an easy way to navigate their claims. With the access to a web portal the sales channel only needs to enter their claims and data from retail sales associates once. Each claim then becomes a digital file that moves through your system and the original, accurate data remains intact.
With a digital program you can then eliminate people and unnecessary steps, shortening the time to payout on your claims, and reducing friction between your brand and claimants, thereby paving the way for future opportunity with your sales channel and ultimately putting you at the forefront of client engagement.
2.Enforce Automated Validation
With the implementation of an exceptional software platform enters another way to optimize your spend: automated validation. Instead of paying out claims that are invalid, duplicate or flat-out fraudulent, a software platform can give you access to technology that provides accurate and meticulous claim verification. Instead of hoping that one day someone in consumer marketing will manually audit all the sales channel submissions, you end up with a clean and sophisticated database with the data keyed in by prospects themselves.
To put it numerically, most of 360insights clients see an 8-9% reduction in total claim volume within the first 90 days of launching with us and the reason for this is simple: 100% of the claims being processed through our system get audited and therefore 100% of the claims require a copy of the documents related to the claim. This 8-9% number can be directly attributed to fraudulent, duplicate or plain invalid claims being entered into the system. When fraudsters see their claim on hold and pending on the addition of supporting documents (which they naturally do not have) the claim drops out of the system. A client executing against a quarterly marketing spend of, for example, $20M sees a saving of $1,600,000, a value too large to ignore.
3.Pay out Electronically
Paying the sales channel out electronically can also save your brand’s budget. It costs an industry average of 15 dollars to generate one check. Now, multiplying that figure by the number of incentive payouts you are fulfilling in a month, and you’ve just taken out a hefty chunk of your budget. Using electronic payment eliminates that cost and makes it quicker for sales associates to receive their payment, further reinforcing the idea behind the incentive – sell more of a particular brand to get paid more.
Not only will electronic pay out lead to saved money, but over 60% (taken from the appliance vertical) of sales associates prefer it. In our organization today, pre-paid cards are the least expensive, most efficient, and most scalable solution, with the option of having your company’s logo and messaging branded, further reinforcing brand protection while marketing your brand towards your indirect sales channel.
Optimizing Your Spend
Having an incredible incentive program shouldn’t be viewed as a consistent drain on your channel marketing budget. Investing in a program that will grow your ROI and build stronger relationships can help optimize your spend in new and invigorating ways. It’s time to implement a digital platform that fits your brand’s needs.