Are you planning to implement a loyalty and reward program? Before you execute a program, it is important to understand the difference between B2B and B2C. An understanding of both these channels can help you to customize your rewards programs properly. Whether B2B or B2C, channel engagement usually works within complex and constantly growing economic ecosystems. These ecosystems may vary by factors like the type of industry, vertical, product/service, brand, and even customer segment. This blog will get to know about channel partner loyalty program and why it is important for businesses. Let’s get started.
What do you mean by a channel loyalty program?
A channel loyalty program plays an important role in the growth strategy of a business. It is a significant sales pillar that can affect sales volume and, ultimately, profits. A channel loyalty program is created to turn a transactional relationship between a business and its trade partners into a long-term relationship involving an emotional connection. Over time, a channel loyalty program has become critical for any business to succeed in today’s highly competitive marketplace.
Why must brands consider a channel loyalty program?
A B2B loyalty program effectively generates loyal, long-lasting relationships with trade partners, including dealers, retail partners, resellers, and influencers. Today’s marketplace is such where many businesses are trying hard to gain the attention of retail partners, distributors, influencers, and other traders. To survive in today’s competitive, globalized economy, businesses must create a well-planned strategy to attract, excel channel partners and build long-term relationships with them.
A well-planned and strategized channel partner loyalty program can help influence channel partners’ compliance and motivation to recommend the particular brands to others and help improve the sales of their products and services. The program can also help to uncover various new sales and revenue opportunities for businesses. Moreover, it also acts as a recruitment channel for new partners and increases the entire distribution network for better sales and profits.
Ways to foster better channel loyalty
Though achieving the loyalty of channel partners seems quite tricky, but it can be made easier by focusing on various key factors like:
- Implementing value-driven loyalty schemes
- Facilitating clear two-way communication
- Offering personalized incentives
- Driving emotional connections via constant engagement and experiences
All these factors play an important role in gaining channel partner loyalty. Businesses that solely focus on transactional and monetary rewards may not achieve the desired results from their loyalty program.
Importance of channel engagement strategy
Businesses that work with multiple channel partners must have a strong strategy to serve channel partners and build better relationships properly. As soon as after creating a channel engagement strategy and employing all the essentials such as a partner portal to facilitate support and information related to marketing, businesses can experience various benefits like:
- Better informed partners: With the help of a partner portal and other facilities offered under the channel engagement program, businesses can keep their channel partners well-informed about all their offerings and details related to those products and services.
- Enhanced performance: When channel partners understand all the details of their vendor’s offerings, they can perform better conversions and increase sales. Besides, with access to the right data and information, channel partners can work together to find any shortcomings and overcome these issues to enhance their performance.
- Allow open discussions: A channel engagement program allows better conversations and discussions between a business and its partners. If proper communication is not there, it may lead to disengaged partners. Connecting with partners and facilitating open discussion further help a business to create advocates for their brand.
Benefits of engagement strategy and channel loyalty program
Creating a well-strategized channel partner loyalty program can help businesses in several ways. Some of the important benefits are mentioned beneath:
- Increased sales and business reach: The way a channel loyalty program is executed can greatly affect the overall sales and revenue growth. The program helps in encouraging retail partners and influencers to recommend the brand to others and sell more and more products and services.
- Improved channel insights: The volume of data available via a channel loyalty program can better insights into customers’ key preferences and product sales. Businesses can use these insights to employ better strategies and practices to optimize their inventory and supply chain in the long run.
- Real-time partner engagement: Advanced channel loyalty programs help businesses to engage with their partners in real-time. This helps businesses to create transparent conversations with their partners to build loyalty. This further helps in increasing sales and profits.
- Lower acquisition costs: Since the loyalty program encourages partners to recommend the brand name to other new partners, it helps in reducing the cost of acquisition to a great extent.
- Long-lasting relationships: The key motive of a channel partner loyalty program is to create long-term, profitable relationships. When executed properly, these programs will help in generating long-term relationships while enhancing sales and brand value.
A well-planned and executed channel partner loyalty program can help businesses and their partners to break into new channels effortlessly while maintaining and supporting profits.
Similar to its B2C channel program, the key intent of a B2B loyalty program is to foster the relationship between a business and its channel partners from a transactional one to a long-term relationship. A well-defined channel partner loyalty program can help a brand to generate highly reliable, long-term revenue while improving its brand’s image amongst its partners as well as end customers.
About the Author:
Rakshit Hirapara is a professional content marketer at LoyaltyXpert. He holds spectacular skills in loyalty programs, customer retention, loyalty marketing, digital marketing and many more. He has been featured on major publications like Hyken, User.com, Martech.zone and a few more. Connect with him on Twitter here and connect on LinkedIn.