As a manufacturer, you’re at a disadvantage when you don’t have direct contact with and influence over your end-consumer. Much of today’s channel technology can help you overcome that disadvantage. Channel management software, marketing automation systems, CRMs, sales enablement platforms, and channel incentive programs can all contribute customer intelligence that empowers your B2B marketing and sales strategies. In this blog, I’ll show you the three-part process you can use to gather B2B sales data specifically with incentive technology. Incentive programs make great B2B sales data sources because people are more inclined to go after or submit data in exchange for something of value, i.e. incentive rewards.
Part 1: Use rewards to motivate channel partners to collect B2B sales data.
Before fancy, online technology, incentive programs were simple reward processes. A salesperson completed a desired action, then received a reward. That basic concept is the first and simplest way to use your incentive program to collect B2B sales data: reward your channel partners for doing so. Offer bonus reward funds or points when channel partners collect extra data such as:
- Extended warranty registrations
- Invoices and receipts
- Aftermarket service and check-up appointments
- Demographic data such as age, gender, lifestyle, marital status, etc.
Take it a step further than just rewarding channel partners for getting you this data. Make it easy for them to do so. With an incentive program that uses online claims submission and verification technology, channel partners can snap quick pictures of relevant documentation and upload it directly to your incentive program—all doable in real-time, while they’re in the field, using their smartphones. Then you can instantly verify their claim and deliver their rewards.
Part 2: Offer an open enrollment access to your incentive program.
With open enrollment incentive technology, you don’t have to run an invite-only program. Your channel partners and end-consumers can sign up through an open, public registration form that collects the specific details you request. Make the program available and easily discoverable directly through your website. End-consumers and channel partners you probably had little or no knowledge of can sign up and start engaging with you.
By using webmaster tools such as user ID tagging, you can follow a visitor’s journey through your website once they’ve signed in, learning more about the products and content that interests them. Detailed incentive program activity and engagement reports can lead you to valuable customer insights and help you demonstrate your incentive program’s value to upper management and executives.
Part 3: Integrate your incentive program with your channel technology.
Much of the channel software you’re likely already using—CRM systems, channel marketing, inventory management, and sales enablement, for example—is already collecting B2B sales data. Incentive programs can add unique information to your end-user and channel partner profiles. But that information isn’t serving you well if it takes your teammates hours to find it, export it, and get it into a presentable state. For that reason, I can’t recommend integrating your incentive program (and your entire channel tech stack, while we’re at it) enough.
Data is only as good as the insights it leads you to and the stories you can tell with it. Tech integration is your key to sharing those valuable insights and stories. Make sure you work with incentive providers that have reliable programming and onboarding support, as well as API integration functionality that plays well with your existing sales and marketing systems.
In the years I’ve helped manufacturers run successful incentive programs, I’ve learned that using the program to gather B2B sales data requires three crucial parts: giving channel partners a good reason to collect or provide the data, managing the flow of that data, and interpreting sales and marketing insights from the data. Using the incentive technology and strategies above, you can accomplish all three, and be on your way to more successful channel sales and marketing efforts.