All too often manufacturers fall into the trap of only rewarding and incentivizing their distributors, sellers and marketers for quantity of sales. This means they ignore other, really important signifiers that their sellers are doing a great job, and adding significant value to their brand.
This is the first part of a four part series about ways you can track, evaluate and reward your resellers on activities other than 'quantity of sales'. Today we’ll be focusing on incentivizing and rewarding resellers based on their reputation.
The first thing you need to do is think of your online reseller portal as a form of social media. Everyone is connecting, communicating and influencing one another in this big media ecosystem. You can use that to your advantage: work out how popular and influential each of your sellers is, and incentivize them towards reputation building behaviours.
It’s a no-brainer that you want your distributors, resellers and contractors to be well liked by their customers. As manufacturers, you often don’t have a huge amount of direct contact with your end customers (if any at all), so you rely heavily on your resellers to develop strong, trusting relationships with the people who buy your products. Well-liked sellers means loyal, returning customers, so investing in customer satisfaction is a hell of a smart investment.
Nowadays, it is possible to monitor your resellers rating by checking out customer reviews and scores on your centralised portal. Your engagement software can be programmed to aggregate customer feedback for all of your sellers so it’s easy to quickly wok out how popular they are. You can then program your software so that these sellers get points towards rewards when they reach a certain popularity rating, or number of positive reviews.
You’ll be making them strive to be liked by their customer base, and likability means loyalty and increased revenue in the years to come.
You can also measure your sellers success and assess their value based on their ranking in comparison to others in your ecosystem. This ranking can be programmed based on a whole host of different criteria:
- Data logging
- Lead and opportunity management
- Customer rating
- And much, much more!
You set the criteria for what makes a top class seller, and you can nurture the very best characteristics from every one of your distributors, marketers and VARs. You can then use a leader board on your centralised portal to keep track of how well each of your sellers is doing. Make that leader board public so that all of them can see how they sit in relation to one another. This creates a bit of healthy competition, making them strive to excel in the eyes of their colleagues.
Here’s another, creative idea. Nowadays, portals can be used for channel partners to submit ideas for improving business performance. Other sellers in the portal program then ‘like’ those ideas, and can even ‘follow’ the seller to show their support and appreciation.
You then monitor the success and popularity of your sellers based on those ideas and reward them as a result. After all, you want creative astute business people to make up your core reseller base don’t you? So it’s smart to keep track of the people who have the most business acumen, and are making waves and gaining popularity amongst their peers.
Manufacturers need to use online portals’ to their full potential, harnessing the social element which allows them to track and reward reputation and influence. Being well-respected by customers, highly ranked amongst peers and skilled at coming up with influential ideas, are some of the most valuable characteristics a reseller can have so it’s time to start monitoring, evaluating and rewarding those revenue-driving skills in a structured and systematic way.