TECH STRATEGIES to Streamline Incentive Programs and Enhance ROI
By Steve Damerow, CEO Incentive Solutions
Exclusive to Counterman Magazine
Those with ample experience in business-to-business (B2B) sales and marketing have undoubtedly wrestled with this question: Should we implement an incentive program? Incentive programs have traditionally been tough to administer due to lack of staff to manage the program and inadequate or non-existent methods of measuring its ROI. Today’s technology has changed all that, turning incentive programs into smart investments that produce better, faster results.
Traditionally speaking, incentive programs for counter salespeople weren’t a wise endeavor for manufacturers because of “shoeboxing.” In order to claim their incentive rewards, salespeople saved up all their sales receipts over a long period of time, until they could mail them off all at once in a shoebox. All the important channel marketing insights manufacturers could glean from the point of sale information came far too late to be useful. Today, we have technology that makes incentive programs easy to implement, instantaneous and sustainable. We have agility and mobility.
- The counter salesperson scans the receipt with an app that has intelligent character recognition (ICR) technology.
- The ICR technology identifies the manufacturer’s qualifying product in the receipt.
- The counter salesperson sends the receipt scan to the manufacturer.
- The manufacturer uses their incentive program’s automated claims verification software to validate the sale.
- Incentive program software automatically distributes an allotted number of online reward points to the counter salesperson.
- The counter salesperson receives their reward points instantly and spends them in an online rewards mall. Easily won, instantly redeemable rewards with high personal value give counter salespeople much greater incentive to promote a particular brand’s aftermarket services, sell supplemental or high-margin items and promote impulse purchases of their products.
Benefits for everyone in the sales channel The speed of information exchange and reward redemption benefits everyone in the automotive parts sales channel:
⦁ For the manufacturer, incentive program mobile apps help to increase sales and greatly eliminate fraud. With receipts sent in containing buyer information, channel partners are less inclined to game the system by sending in falsified receipts for rewards.
⦁ Counter salespeople no longer have to fill out claim forms or mail in receipts. Mobile technology allows them to send their receipts in instantly and earn rewards with a few taps.
⦁ The sales channel distributor enjoys the drastically reduced administrative burden of validating sales. Sales can focus on selling, instead of spending time validating sales claims or saddling someone else with the task. Today’s technology has made it easier than it’s ever been to exchange point of sale information between channel partners, deliver instant rewards and reap the increased sales and market insights from incentive programs.