Why 2018 Is the Year for Incentives

Chris Largent | December 12, 2017

2018_Incentives_IMAGE.jpegYou may already have an incentive program. In which case, well done! However, if you don’t, take a moment to consider 2018 as your year to drive results by making a powerful investment in your company.

There are several benefits to an incentive program of any kind, no matter whether they target sales people, employees, customers, or channel partners.

Here, you’ll find a plethora of those benefits along with examples of strategies and tactics that you can use to maximize those benefits and unlock the full potential of your program.

Great Success and Significant Research

Now, you may not believe in the success of reward programs. Maybe you’ve led or been a part of one before that didn’t perform the way you expected. That’s ok. However, research has proven time and time again that incentive programs have proven reliability for companies that put their full backing into them.

For instance, the Incentive Research Foundation recently released a study that found that the success of the top-performing companies can be traced to 10 attributes, two of which are a strong belief in rewards and recognition and strong executive backing.

These top 300 companies, who invest their time and effort into consolidated, goal-oriented, and communication-focused programs, tend to benefit in the long run, driving business goals such as 5% stock and revenue growth annually. Customer and employee satisfaction for these companies also tends to be very high, often reaching upwards of 90%.

Engage and Enable Your Audience

One of the biggest issues for many channel marketing professionals is a lack of confidence in a channel partner’s ability to create a great buying experience for their customers. This can be the case with salespeople and employees as well.

So, if it’s the buyer’s experience that needs to be the focus of the sale, how is it that an incentive program can increase sales when the buyer isn’t the one experiencing the rewards?

One way is through rewarding the behaviors of the salespeople and channel partners who contribute to the buyer experience. Arm them with the tools they need to do so to create a buyer-experience trickle-down effect.

A strategy that you can enact, whether you’re looking for a flexible channel incentive program or a compelling points-based incentive program, involves targeting behaviors that you want your performers to adopt or strengthen.

For instance, you can have your salespeople complete training quizzes to become more informed, confident, and comfortable when selling products. Or, for channel marketers, encourage them to reach out to your district managers for helpful tips, tricks, or to help on a sale.

Through a well-designed incentive program, both of these tactics can inspire the desired behaviors by distributing points or other rewards that reinforce them. As a result, programs with eLearning, Engagement, and Enablement strategies in place can help your organization realize greater program satisfaction, increased brand loyalty, and higher ROI.

As an example, one company in the tech industry, saw an excess of $78 million over its revenue goal using these tactics.

Business Intelligence

One of the more compelling statements about the future of business has undoubtedly been that data is the new oil. The discovery of oil and the invention of its refinement thrust onto human kind the technological advancement that we see today.

The argument holds that the sheer mass of data we are accumulating, as well as its refinement, will have much the same effect on where technology takes us in the future.

This is a very compelling argument, and we have already seen the effects that data has had on business with the installment of business intelligence. So, what can incentive programs implement using this new “hot button” item?

With data capture technology installed into an online platform, massive amounts of the most useful kinds of data can be harvested from once-tedious processes such as invoice submission. By analyzing the data, a program administrator can recognize patterns in buying behavior, improve the focus of their initiatives, and ultimately provide faster and better services to their participants or customers. To learn more about business intelligence and incentives, click here.


If you’re employed by a manufacturer or distributor, it’s likely that you’re quite familiar with rebate programs. On top of this, if you sell commodities, you’re probably aware of at least two competitors that you compete with on a regular basis, grappling for that ever-shifting market share.

One of the ways to curb this issue and differentiate from the standard rebate program is to create a culture within your company in which relationships are built and maintained seamlessly with the best vehicle of all, an incentive program.

Start to grab more and more of that share of wallet by allowing your incentive program to be your value-added proposition for your customers. Give them a reason to come back by offering them more than what your competitors will provide them in their rebate programs. Build up relationships by providing fun and enticing ways to earn amazing rewards and arming your salespeople with the knowledge they need to make their buyer experience one to remember.

Still Not Convinced?

Reach out to us at 888.220.4780 or to learn more about how you can benefit from an incentive program in 2018.



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