Ifs, ands, buts, and tiny type: How to crush an incentive program


Too many disclaimers diminish the value of the incentive. By building in tight deadlines, restrictive conditions, exclusions, and all sorts of ifs, ands, and buts, you defeat the purpose of having a program to motivate your resellers. Your incentive program should not be just a way to placate channel partners with token value. In truth, a complicated plan will do the exact opposite, widening the vendor-partner chasm as they perceive you not as an ally but a foe.

Certainly, you have to establish guidelines and ensure that your program complies with the law. But as you build your program, take off your blinders and imagine how your partner will respond. How easy have you made it for them to actually benefit? Are your rules allowing for them to be readily rewarded in a timely and manageable fashion? Have you provided an incentive that will motivate them to take action? How does your program meet their needs and challenges? Remember the key word in this arrangement: partner.

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