OTHER VOICES: Get more out of your business’ sales incentives via mobile tech

By Steve Damerow,  August 24, 2016

Special to Tire Business

Simply put, the purpose behind all incentive plans is to motivate participants to do something they otherwise won’t do.

There are many reasons why your tire distribution partners or customers may not be swallowing the incentives you’re dangling in front of them.

Maybe they don’t have time. Or your incentive rewards don’t impress them. Maybe the thought of filling out a sales claim form makes their brain go numb with boredom.

The good news is that incentive programs have undergone a facelift, thanks to mobile technology.

Just think of this equation: Online reward points + mobile technology = instant gratification.

Cyber currency and mobile technology make excellent bedfellows. With an online incentive program based on digital reward points, participants can access your program from their smartphones any time, earn rewards instantaneously and spend them in an online rewards mall—as easy as shopping on Amazon.com.

 Smartphone and rewards app technology add even more conveniences to the process. When a dealer or distributor makes a qualifying sale, they can capture the invoice with their phone’s camera, process it and send it for redemption.

The invoice is uploaded into an online incentive program with powerful claims auditing capabilities. Technology designed for sales channel incentive programs—such as Loyaltyworks incentive software—allows you to configure the claims auditing tool to automatically verify purchases based on UPC, region, department, etc. You can flag claims that are over a certain amount—more than $1,000, for example—to safeguard against fraudulent claims and errors.

Then you can instantly deliver reward points to the salesperson and file away your nice, shiny new customer information.

You also can fan the sales motivation flames with a digital leaderboard, which keeps your supplier or distributor on their toes, especially when it’s keeping track of a big reward, such as a trip to Hawaii for the five sales channel partners with the most sales at the end of the year. Maybe their bitter rivalry with Bill from “Big Pile o’ Tires” puts a little fuel in their sales motivation tank.

Maybe they get a thrill every time they receive a push notification on their smartphone that they’re ranking first.

Competitive instinct is a powerful driver for many salespeople, and having that little reminder of their “high score” on the phone that’s always by their side? That makes leaderboards even more effective.

Fun training, fast rewards

Mobile incentive technology also can make training more fun by delivering rewards for passing quizzes or answering daily trivia questions.

Once upon a time, sitting down with a manual and taking a certification test, or even taking the time to complete an online course on a PC, was a tedious and time-consuming process. But now, with a few taps and swipes, channel partners can easily educate themselves on your products and earn reward points to save up for that 4K HDTV their heart is set on getting.

In today’s crowded economy, many mature markets are simply treading water. But technology is still providing new, better ways to establish differentiation and gain market share.

Online and mobile incentive technology has opened up new possibilities for your channel sales reward programs to be more fun, enticing and profitable—so take advantage of it before your competition does.

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