Channel Fusion Insights

Key Components to Give Your Incentive Programs a Competitive Edge

Key Components to Give Your Incentive Programs a Competitive Edge

Time to Read: 3 minutes 


Incentive programs are an extremely valuable tool for brands and their channel partners to help increase revenue, demand, and brand loyalty. If implemented correctly, sales incentive programs can give your company a competitive advantage over your competitors. Unfortunately, execution of SPIFF programs can become a burden for your trade partners and result in irritated sales teams, poor program utilization, and poor local brand demand. This can cause frustrated channel partners to move their attention to a competitor’s brand. Therefore, it is critical that your incentive programs are effective.

Here are key components to give your incentive programs a competitive edge:

  1. Make the program easy to use
  2. Make SPIFF reporting available  
  3. Offer comprehensive fraud prevention
  4. Provide multiple forms of payment/reward  redemption, travel, and merchandise options


Make the Program Easy to Use: When it comes to any good program, it will be easy to use, offer an intuitive platform, and preferably be mobile. It will also review a claim and provide feedback within 24-48 hours. Channel partners are known to be highly motivated by sales incentives, but if you are not providing them with a quick turnaround time on their claims, and they don’t receive their money or reward quickly, they will get discouraged and disinterested in the brand. Because of this, in the end, they will turn towards a competitor. Make sure you are always providing quick and accurate claim reviews to give your incentive programs a competitive edge. Participating should never be a burden. Make sure your service is always strong.


Make SPIFF Reporting Available: Do your channel partner’s sales associates know the status of their claim? Has it been received? Has it been processed? Did it get approved? Denied? When will they receive their incentive? When it comes to incentive programs, a good SPIFF software management tool should provide all of this information with ease.


Offer Comprehensive Fraud Prevention: As much as we hate to admit it, fraud does exist. In fact, 5-10% of claims are fraudulent. With proper fraud prevention devices in place, you can ensure that the brand can continue to pay out SPIFFs to channel partners, and ensure the channel partners are given a fair shake at competitive compensation for their participation in the programs. Whether the fraud prevention device is serial number verification, repeat offender profiling, or invoice/store number verification, fraud should be caught and prevented.


Provide Multiple Forms of Payment/Reward Redemption, Travel, and Merchandise Options: Another way to give your incentive programs a competitive edge is by offering something your competitors may not. One example includes multiple forms of payment and reward redemption options. When your channel partners have a variety of options when it comes to payment, such as branded pre-paid visa gift cards, checks, ACH, travel or merchandise, you are giving them a larger selection to choose from. Implementing SPIFF programs involves dispersing funds. Make sure it’s always a seamless process and you always get the proper ROI. In the short term this means sales, but in the long term, it means loyalty and engagement. When you offer more, channel partners are more satisfied with trusting your brand and selling your product or service over a competitor.  


Today, business is becoming more and more competitive. Your programs should be operating smoothly and your systems should be giving you an edge. By implementing the practices listed above into your sales incentive programs, you will overcome confrontation and see more engaged and eager salespeople. In the end, this will cause stronger loyalty and local demand. What are your thoughts? We would love to hear from you. If you want to talk further about this topic or have any other questions about your channel programs, give us a call at (319)-294-7501 or email us at


Kind Regards! 

Haley Corkery
Corporate Marketing Specialist 
Channel Fusion


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