Make Partner Incentive Programs Pay

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Hailey Lynne McKeefry
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Re: optimistic or pessimistic
Hailey Lynne McKeefry   9/25/2013 12:21:27 AM
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Thanks Michael. This one particuarly caught my attention:
4) Conduct some 1:1 interviews with a sampling of partners (large, small, long-time, recent) to understand how the incentives were perceived, communicated, processed, etc.


This one is hard to do but critically important. I think equally important is closing the loop after you've implemented changes. This is a more consumerish example, but I frequent Peet's Coffee. In fact every friday morning i meet a group of colleagues for coffee and pastries. well, they hae pastries...I'm gluten intolerant (can't eat wheat) and teh breakfast case at Peet's is a gluten  fest. i always felt kind of left out. One day, i wrote an email to Peet's saying "You know, there are lots of food allergies...how hard would it be to add a gluten free baked good to your offering? I would be all over that." I got a thanks for your input email...and six m onths later i got "Thanks ot your input we are adding gluten free offerings in our Northern California stores" Wow! I thoguht...and now every week i buy a pastry because i feel like i should support the change (and the GF Morning Glory Muffin is really quite lovely).  Post feedback feedback makes all the difference.

Michael Kerman
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Re: optimistic or pessimistic
Michael Kerman   9/24/2013 10:38:58 PM
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My pleasure!  I can't tell you how many man-months I have personally spent cleaning up data so I can analyze it and develop some conclusions and recommendations. 

While there is a lot of art in developing great incentives and programs, there's a lot of numbers too... and most executives are pushing marketing for more and more quantifiable value.  To do that, you must have clean data!

Michael Kerman
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Re: best in class
Michael Kerman   9/24/2013 10:36:34 PM
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Well, I generally don't like to mention specific companies because even with best-practices, there's lots of subjectivity involved and it's so easy to miss some top-notch companies.

One way to find the companies that are doing this right is to flip the perspective... look at it from the partner's perspective.  What do the channel partners say?  I am sure there are many surveys, across all industries, that are from the partner angle.

If you want to discuss best-practices and other learnings around improving channel performance, you can contact me at mkerman@revitasinc.com.

FLYINGSCOT
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best in class
FLYINGSCOT   9/24/2013 12:34:49 PM
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Would you be able to mention which companies you consider to be best in class so we can collectively study and leran something from them?

Hospice_Houngbo
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Re: optimistic or pessimistic
Hospice_Houngbo   9/24/2013 9:15:00 AM
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"1)  Make sure the data is as accurate and "clean" as you can get it"

The cleaner the data the better the accuracy of the results. 

Thanks for pointing to that. 

Michael Kerman
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Re: optimistic or pessimistic
Michael Kerman   9/24/2013 8:43:00 AM
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While this can be a challenge and time-consuming, it saves lots of time later on when people start to question the outcomes and eventually, the data integrity.  Good idea to spend some time and/or money to get it as clean as possible.

nimantha.d
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Re: optimistic or pessimistic
nimantha.d   9/23/2013 11:13:05 PM
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@Kerman: Yes if you can make the data clean and accurate, I think it's a good thing to start off things.   

Michael Kerman
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Re: optimistic or pessimistic
Michael Kerman   9/23/2013 9:36:31 PM
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Hailey,

Based on my experience working with clients and having run marketing departments in prior roles, I believe that most people over-estimate the effectiveness of their partner incentives. In terms of making the data useful, I think there are a couple of key steps:

1)  Make sure the data is as accurate and "clean" as you can get it

2)  Share the results with all involved stakeholders including other marketing functions, sales, finance, operations.  Transparency is the key to trust, respect and collaboration

3) Make it clear what the results are vs. plan

4) Conduct some 1:1 interviews with a sampling of partners (large, small, long-time, recent) to understand how the incentives were perceived, communicated, processed, etc.

5) Apply good root-cause analysis techniques to understand the variance (+ or -) vs. plan

I think one of the key issues is that steps 1-5 take time, resources.  Often times, channel teams are focused on banging-out the next dozen promotions... focus on results over activity.

Hailey Lynne McKeefry
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optimistic or pessimistic
Hailey Lynne McKeefry   9/23/2013 8:47:27 PM
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I'd be interested in knowing, Michael, whether you thought that people tend to over estimate or undrestimate the success of partner incnetive programs? Also, what are the best ways to make the information you get wiht these metrics actionable in terms of making partner programs more useful for everyone involved?



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