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Written by: Wade Johnson
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Tactics to help drive early participation in channel incentive programs



At BI WORLDWIDE Canada, we use the principles of behavioural economics to create the best engagement strategies on the planet. We work with expert academics who advise us on the latest research on human behaviour, engagement and decision-making. We use non-cash rewards and recognition to engage and motivate employees and sales teams.

A company can assemble an impressive channel sales incentive that is easy to understand and highly rewarding for participants, yet the program doesn’t gain the immediate traction (measured as program enrolments/registrations) as expected. Why?

There is no single answer…and no simple answer. The answer is: “It depends.” Many different factors can impact how quickly a new incentive initiative gets off the ground, including the following:

• Level of channel leadership support
• Additional demands on the audience
• Access to the audience
• Incentive and general business message clutter
• Quantity and quality of communications used, including
call-to-action messaging
• Owners/managers acting as “gatekeepers”
• Rules structure(s) used and eligible participant perceptions
regarding their own opportunities to earn
• Hesitancy to provide sensitive personal information (e.g., Federal Tax ID,
Social Security number) during enrolment

A BI WORLDWIDE (BIW) client recently launched a program to sales personnel at an independent sporting goods retailer. Unfortunately, program results fell short of expectations. From BIW’s perspective, the incentive sponsor (our client) seemed to do everything right. They worked with retail leadership to gain retail leader support, they used a creative print brochure to drive engagement and move recipients to enrol, they created a launch overview document that store managers could use to introduce the program to eligible retail reps and they even included incentive earning opportunities for
store managers. These manager earning opportunities typically result in high engagement among management personnel that then carries over to reps on the sales floor.

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