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The Effective Use of a Channel Partner Loyalty Program

A successful B2B channel partner loyalty program is an effective way to develop long lasting, loyal, profitable relationships with your most valuable customers, dealers, influencers, channel partners, and resellers. They’re vital for brands to remain competitive in a fiercely globalized, competitive economy in which multiple brands are fighting it out for the attention of key distributors, influencer and retail partner partners. A channel program helps minimize brand risk by aligning the channels and their offerings with one another in a common cause. This creates a synergy that provides a consistent revenue stream from multiple channels that strengthens the brand’s position within the customer’s mind as well as providing multiple return opportunities.

Brand Loyalty Rewards – The best channels provide multiple tangible benefits to their customers including access to a deep portfolio of top-notch resources. In order to be a part of a channel partner loyalty program, channels must demonstrate a commitment to building long term, strong, mutually beneficial relationships with their valued customers. They should also have an established reputation for providing customers with access to information and content they’re interested in, solutions for their business problems, value added offerings, and the expertise to help them succeed. They must be able to demonstrate the ability to deliver the benefits to their customers. If the channel partners don’t deliver these benefits consistently, then they won’t survive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Affiliates Benefits – Affiliate marketing is an important strategy for real estate businesses of all sizes. In addition to providing the direct sales force that creates a strong customer base, it also provides the infrastructure and the support to make that infrastructure work. Real estate companies rely on affiliate marketing partners to build their lists, to create ad campaigns, to help them create and manage their email lists, and to market their products and services. Affiliates provide the advertising dollars that a real estate company needs to stay competitive. And affiliates are rewarded when their customers find them and purchase the products and services offered by the company through the agent’s links.

A strong channel partner loyalty program requires that a company develops an appropriate program and develops a long-term sales strategy and methodology. The long-term strategy works because a company develops the kind of trust and rapport that enables it to generate new business. It builds long-term income from transactions instead of from one-time P&L activities. Channel partners also become habitual, over time, to look to their agent for referrals, to seek out their advice and opinions, and to engage their business in what they do best. That kind of relationship creates a strong foundation for a long-term revenue stream.

It’s important to understand how to measure performance from channel partners in any industry. The question is not “how much are my channels earning?” but “how much do my channels’ earnings potential represent the value of my business?” The value of your business determines your ROI. Therefore, a good channel partner loyalty program needs to motivate your partners to increase their revenue and/or spend more, and reward them for doing so.

A great way to motivate your partners for increased revenue is to offer them a channel partner incentive program. In an incentive program, your company offers a cash bonus to your partners if they reach a specific target. Some common target sizes include: monthly recurring basis, recurring semi-annual or annual targets, or a one-time top-tier performance goal. These programs typically reward your partners if they exceed the averages for sales, clientele, or performance of their own company.

Another popular way to reward channel partners for their loyalty is to provide them with special discounts or promotions. One of the most powerful ways to reward your partners for increasing their revenue is to provide them with incentives that increase their spending. For example, if you offer special savings on your products and services, or if you offer discounts at conventions or over the holidays, these special savings opportunities can drive your channel partners to spend more, increasing your company profits.

Regardless of the rewards you decide to offer, you must ensure that your channel loyalty program and your other marketing and customer service programs are profitable relationships. If you provide good incentives, but your business isn’t earning enough money, you will quickly find yourself in financial ruin. Make sure that your incentives help you achieve your overall business goals and the goals of your partners, too. Incentives are one of the most effective methods of encouraging our customers to spend money.