This white paper represents the third time since 2010 that CCI Global Channel Management has conducted its Channel Benchmark Study of technology and telecom vendors. This year, vendor professionals in B2B2B and B2B2C channel-related roles of marketing, sales, finance, operations, and executive leadership participated in sharing a wide range of detailed information related to how they approach channel management, what their goals and challenges are, and how they engage partners operationally and financially to drive shared revenue growth.
This Aberdeen Research Brief provides a detailed exploration of a key findings from a primary research study on channel incentive programs, including key performance indicators, Best-in-Class insight and vendor insight.
Over the last few years, deal registration programs have evolved from simple mechanisms for providing additional margins to partners to closed loop systems that are designed to influence partner behavior that impacts key business objectives. Also, deal registration programs that were targeted primarily where the price point was high and the sales cycle was complex are now increasingly aimed at products that have lower price points and shorter sales cycles. In response to the changing landscape of channel programs, many companies have re-thought and re-launched their deal and opportunity management initiatives.
CCI conducted a study in Q4 of 2010 to assess the utilization of various incentive program types and their relative importance and/or effectiveness as perceived by both the vendor community and its channel partners. The incentive program types spanned a broad range to include: Co-op/MDF, SPIF programs, rebates, opportunity management rewards, trade-in programs, and end-user purchase rebates. Separate surveys were tailored for vendor and partner audiences with the goal of identifying similarities as well as differences between the two (manufacturers/vendors and their channel partners).
Promotional allowance programs (such as MDF and co-op programs) are the most popular programs that vendors offer their channel partners. What’s more, these programs often represent the largest single expense line item across the broad range of channel programs offered. If not properly administered, they can needlessly cost vendors thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars due to: over payment, incorrect balances that overstate available funds, missed expiration dates for funds, and inefficient management. This white paper outlines the areas of inefficiency and waste inherent in the management of promotional allowance programs without the appropriate financial controls in place.
This eBook is a primer for organizations who are considering the addition of a referral program as a lead generation marketing tool. Referral Programs are an increasingly popular resource for marketers to add new sources of revenue or to streamline sales processes with existing business partners. Effective referral programs typically generate higher close ratios at a lower cost of acquisition than other marketing programs.
Deploying and sustaining a successful global channel program requires careful consideration, specifically with respect to financial elements. Challenges posed beyond financial controls, such as local, legal and change management requirements, must also be carefully evaluated to ensure your program objectives and goals will be achieved when expanding your channel sales and marketing program into the global arena.
Technology and market forces are driving a major shift in how companies motivate and enable channel partners. Rather than offering accrual funds that addict partners to “entitlements,” channel executives are seeking measurable sales lift for their teams’ limited time and monetary investment. On average only 20% of your partners provide the vast majority of return for your channel investment. How do you separate the partners that will make the most of what you give them?
Knowing how to develop, manage and measure channel and trade promotion programs that will endure changes in the economic and legal landscape and the scrutiny of “investors” can be challenging at times. The purpose of this white paper is to provide channel professionals with leading practices in channel and trade promotion programs that can ride out such challenges now and in the future.
In today’s channel, vendors are restraining their channel programs budgets just as the channel partner landscape becomes more fluid. Partner account managers routinely find themselves trying to attain very precise ROI metrics even as their head count either shrinks or remains static. Partners find their business models turning upside down as the move to the cloud changes the dominant revenue stream model. One clear path to stability amid all this commotion is joint partner planning whereby vendors and partners work together to maximize resources and align themselves for future success.
Regardless of how they are implemented, the MDF (Marketing Development Fund) is a large expense for most channel marketers. In fact, they can represent as much as 10-15 percent of the total channel marketing budget. But rather than treating these programs as merely an expense, think of them as one of your most powerful business tools to reach sales and marketing objectives.
The one constant in the channel is that it’s always changing. Being in the channel space for over 30 years, we’ve seen many programs evolve and grow with time. But just as often we’ve seen programs fail to keep up with technology and their business realities. In this eBook you’ll discover which channel practices are becoming obsolete and learn what you need to do to adapt and succeed.
The one thing in common with all sales reps is that they are “coin operated.” While many believe that sales commissions alone should be enough to promote sales, it ’s a proven fact that special incentive programs that supplement basic commissions are an effective way to promote desired behaviors. Targeting sales reps (or sales engineers) for incentive programs makes perfect sense because they direct the sale by recommending the brands/products that best meet the prospect’s needs. However, the task of designing, deploying, and managing incentive programs for channel partners is made more difficult for the simple reason that the sales reps targeted for participation in an incentive program are not direct employees of the sponsor. This indirect relationship requires special considerations to ensure program efficacy. While there is no single way to design a channel incentive strategy, this eBook is designed to present the important considerations necessary to optimize program success whether the program is designed to spur a short-term sales goal, or as a long-term sales strategy.
The creation and maintenance of Co-op and MDF promotional allowance programs is often seen as a cost of doing business. In this eBook we argue that these programs—when carefully designed, implemented, and annually reviewed—can be one of your most powerful tools to achieve sales goals and foster partner loyalty. For each of the benchmarks we address, we provide you with the key question to consider, best industry practices, industry trends, and potential legal issues. While these variables can be used to form the foundation of Co-op or MDF programs, the focus of this eBook is the use of these variables as part of your company’s annual promotional allowance program review process. Only by regular, planned review can you be confident that these programs align with your company’s goals, the marketing strategies of your partners, and your ultimate end user’s buying behaviors.
SPIFs are a great way to generate enthusiasm and mindshare, promote market adoption of a new solution, incent the sales of a specific combination of products, or even to reward soft skills development. However, execution is where most programs fall short of success. This SPIF best practices ebook will help you to sidestep the pitfalls and provide useful and practical advice to start a SPIF program and/or helpful tips to improve under-performing SPIFs.
This eBook presents a primer to help vendors design a Joint Marketing Planning (JMP) process into their channel strategy. It represents best practices gleaned from leading channel marketers and is intended for an audience who don’t currently practice Joint Marketing Planning, but may be in the process of designing such a system and related policies. It is also beneficial for marketers who may be practicing JMP, but feel the current program and process aren’t optimized to their full potential. The insights presented here offer general business practices and processes and are not bound by any special software or systems to implement.
Creating joint marketing plans between Marketers and their Channel Partners provides mutual benefits, including improved alignment of sales and marketing strategies, accurate and forecastable sales targets and business outcomes, and informed investment decisions. Planning processes, however, have historically been labor intensive and cumbersome, thereby limiting their use to large partners who warrant the investment in time and money. Automating Joint Marketing Planning streamlines the process, enabling its use for a broader partner base – resulting in greater ROI on channel spending and improved channel relationships overall.
Ever dream of entering data about a partner marketing campaign into an application, pressing a button, and having it predict ROI? In the last few years, technological steps forward in workflow automation, data integration, analytics, forecasting, and marketing automation have set the stage for a true closed loop. This evolution means finally being able to measure with certainty what efforts are working and which are a waste of time and energy, thus maximizing impact with limited budget. But the effect of connecting these dots has another, equally important benefit: each step in the channel planning, execution, and measurement lifecycle becomes dramatically more effective and efficient when influenced by the information captured in the other steps.
Marketers relying on indirect channels undertake unique challenges to capture partner mind share and maintain sales velocity throughout the demand chain. A comprehensive incentive strategy can help overcome these challenges.
This eBook covers best practices and trends that impact the program design, measurement, and execution of your promotional allowance program. Whether your company currently has a program or is planning one, the best practices recommended here can be applied to help ensure optimal return on investment from your promotional allowance program.
The quest for ROI supporting channel programs has never been greater. Various incentives offered at every level of the demand chain to influence behavior at each phase of the transaction represent a large portion of the overall channel budget. The broad range of incentive programs offered by vendors—including MDF, rebates, SPIFs, end-user purchase incentives, and even deal registration—make the challenge of isolating the effectiveness of any one program seem daunting. This eBook is designed for channel marketers as a guide to select and report on the appropriate metrics to use as a foundation for launching new programs, or optimizing existing programs.
This eBook offers practical tips that can be applied to optimize and improve channel ROI through key insights that enhance program effectiveness and efficiency. The tips presented herein can be applied to all types of channel incentive programs, including: Co-op/MDF programs, sales performance rebates, SPIF programs, deal registration programs, and more.