For decades, vendors have used channel incentives to drive behavior—suppressing old behaviors, establishing new ones or completely repositioning partners for a new opportunity. Rewards have played a large part in promoting successful partnerships, but new research reveals it’s time to look beyond just rewards.
To explore the topic of how vendor programs are evolving and what motivates partners, a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of ITA Group surveyed channel partner owners and channel partner sales reps who are responsible for channel relationships and/or incentives.
Our research shows that rewards are not the top motivation for participating in vendor programs; product and staff development are. Vendors should focus on simplifying the entire program experience without losing the program's fundamental qualities that partners find valuable like lead sharing and opportunity management.
Key findings from the study include:
- Top motivations for participating in vendor programs are rooted in business benefits—not rewards.
- The most challenging aspect of vendor programs is the amount of effort it takes to participate, qualify, or advance, and the sheer number of competing promotions.
- Respondents indicated that personalization and strong communication would encourage them to increase their investment of time, resources and revenue with vendor programs.