effective spiff programs

Create effective SPIFF programs with holistic channel management

  • December 01, 2016

Running effective SPIFF programs gives brands an opportunity to influence how specific products perform in the channel. A successful SPIFF program can help move products more quickly than they would otherwise sell, influence disengaged channel partners to emphasize your brand and even encourage channel partners to sell older products that linger on store shelves. These types of benefits can be exciting, but they come only when SPIFF programs are managed effectively from beginning to end.

“Executing a SPIFF program is becoming more complex than ever.”

Getting effective SPIFF programs off to a good start
Executing a SPIFF program is becoming more complex than ever. A recent Advertising Specialty Institute report explained organizations are not only using SPIFF initiatives to achieve a wider range of outcomes, they are also becoming more dependent on digital technologies to support sales incentives. The rise of millennials in the channel is combining with a growing reliance on data to make digital engagement methodologies more important than ever. Finding success with a SPIFF program begins with having the right tools in place to engage salespeople. Channel management software makes it easier to gather data from digital tools and lets you interact with partners using a mobile app.

Brands must also consider their primary targets when they establish SPIFF programs. For example, a report from The Balance pointed out most sales are completed by 20 percent of channel associates, and brands don’t need to target these leaders too heavily, as top sales performers are already motivated. Instead, it is essential to reach the next 20 percent. As a result, the incentive program can push good-but-not-great, salespeople to be their best. Identifying this group of users is easier with visibility into historic sales data within your channel management system, letting you quickly identify sales performance across various markets and aim SPIFF efforts accordingly.

Maintaining effective SPIFF programs to keep momentum going
Launching a SPIFF initiative is hard enough, but it can be even more difficult to keep the energy that projects start with after the initial push has passed. The benefits of going digital and gathering sales data in a channel management software platform become incredibly beneficial at this point. Getting immediate feedback on SPIFF program performance enables brands to react to trends – such as a specific market not responding well to an initiative – and adjust accordingly.

The previously mentioned report from The Balance emphasized the need to recognize market conditions and what salespeople care about to find success with any incentive program. Channel management systems provide the data needed to gain more accurate insights.

Paper-based data gathering is falling by the wayside.

Debriefing and reflecting for long-term success
The information that allows organizations to refine SPIFF programs in action can be especially valuable when it comes time to assess the initiative’s successes and failures. For a long time, companies were unable to gain clear, timely access to SPIFF-related data because sales information was being gathered from diverse sources, in varied ways, making it nearly impossible to share across stakeholders. Digitizing all of this data makes it much easier get accurate sales records and use that information to assess incentive programs in hindsight.

Many organizations end up moving from one SPIFF effort to another without really being able to adjust based on past results. Having the right data on hand enables brands to analyze SPIFF performance and develop strategies to maximize future efforts.

Don’t charge ahead blindly into SPIFF initiatives
Optimizing sales incentive programs isn’t rocket science, but it is much easier when businesses have all the information they need at their fingertips. Channel management tools provide the capabilities needed to improve SPIFF management from beginning to end, providing holistic guidance to inform incentive operations.

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