Best Incentive Programmes for Distributors

Best Incentive Programmes for Distributors

July 29th 2021 - customer loyalty

Let’s cut to the chase! When launching a new incentive programme for your distributors it needs to perfect. No long-winded processes. No boring content. No uninspiring rewards. It needs to WOW!

To make sure you get everything and more out of your distributor incentive programme, we have some best practices to share. 

1. Offer personalised rewards

What makes a good incentive? Businesses often dismiss giving rewards because they think money is the ultimate motivator. But think of it like this. If you’re given cash as a birthday present, are you likely to remember what you spend it on? Or is it likely to go on bills or a cheeky Friday night takeaway? When asked how you spent it in the future, you’re very unlikely to have anything to account for. Therefore, how can something that’s not even memorable be motivating?

To make sure your incentive programme is motivating your distributors, you need to offer them something that's unique and tailored specifically for their needs. Money is, frankly, a cop-out. 

Letting distributors choose something personal from a reward catalogue will give them a tangible incentive that acts as a reminder that their efforts to promote, sell, and stay loyal to your brand do pay off! 

Experiential rewards also play a significant role because they give the person something immersive to look forward to, create a lasting memory, and form a strong emotional connection with your brand. So be sure to have a good mix of incentives worked into your programme. 

The key is picking something that's going to be motivational and fun –– not just materialistic. Remember: people are motivated by different things!

Learn more about incentivesmart's engagement platform. 

2. Facilitate learning

Incentive programmes aren’t just about selling more! Another objective of an incentive programme should be to make your distributors more knowledgeable and expert at selling your products. That's why part of your programme should focus on training and upskilling. You can use the incentive platform to share learning materials.  For example, if you're launching a new product line, you can share helpful sales videos and brochures with your distributors to help them learn more about the products.

More training is going to result in better customer service. You'll ensure that when customers receive an order from one of your distributors, they feel like it's been expertly fulfilled by someone who knows what they are doing! It also means fewer calls back to stores or factories because queries weren't answered properly during the initial sale.

The other benefit of providing additional training is that those skills will be transferable elsewhere in their careers –– so not only does it provide immediate value for your business, it also offers a long term benefit to the individual. 

When a distributor takes time to learn more about your products, consider rewarding them for this behaviour. This will not only make them feel appreciated but will also motivate them to keep learning.

3. Outline clear KPIs and let them track their progress


Start by identifying the KPIs ( key performance indicators ) that matter to your business. This will help align the desired behaviours you want to reward in distributors with your company's North Star vision.

Clearly communicated KPIs help distributors understand what's expected of them. This enables them to work out how much extra time or effort it'll take on their part to hit those targets, depending on which incentive programme level they are at. The end result is that both parties can be in agreement about what success looks like for each other, and there'll be no confusion when reviewing progress reports later down the line.

A distributor not only wants incentives but also transparency into any goals or metrics required - without this knowledge, it's hard for anyone to reach their full potential!

4. Make it simple to use

The fastest way to lose your distributors' interest is to require them to use a platform they can't navigate. Simplicity is key here. It’s a bit like Google… If you can’t find the information you’re looking for on page 1, does it even exist? Do you even bother checking page 2? If your incentive platform isn’t simple to use, your distributors may just give up! You need an intuitive interface, clear and concise information, logical order to how that information is laid out and displayed, and clear instructions on how to get started.

It should also be easy for your distributors to log in, update their data, claim rewards, view their points, or make changes where necessary.

The platform should encourage your distributors to submit their claims on a regular basis. This will help you to validate claims quickly and ensure the person receives their rewards without delay. 

5. Don’t just rely on sales!

Remember, you shouldn't only incentivise distributors for the sales they make –– this can have a negative impact in the long term as distributors may focus on quick wins that don’t match the right product to the customers’ needs. 

Also consider your sales cycle. If you have high-end products which tend to have a longer sales cycle, your distributors are likely to be earning points less often. If this is the case, you should consider offering other ways to earn points so distributors are being recognised more regularly. This will encourage them to stay engaged and loyal.

For example, you could reward participation in training programmes or you could offer points when they engage with content. 


We want to give you an insider's look at just what a channel loyalty rewards programme has in store for your business! With this interactive session we'll go through key metrics like gathering data about end customers; the benefits of having one centralised dashboard-style interface; understanding which products are generating revenue versus those that are not and how to find out what really motivates your distributors to stay loyal to your brand and keep reaching for those high-performance targets. 

Click here to book a chat with one of our Incentivesmarties today.

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