How to Find the Right Incentive Management Software for Your Business (Part 1 of 4)

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If you’re a channel marketing manager or a leader in a sales organization, you know that lighting a fire under your salesforce is a huge task. Whether it’s the sheer effort that goes into managing and delivering the right incentives or simply making sales efforts more engaging, your job is not always straightforward. Maybe you’re not happy with the results from your current solution or you’re looking for a partner and software that’s more flexible and responsive to your needs. Maybe you’re still using spreadsheets and paper voucher forms to track and pay incentives. Regardless, this guide will help.

If you’re currently using an incentive management software, this four-part guide should help you benchmark it against what today’s most advanced platforms offer. If you don’t currently use an outsourced incentive solution, this guide will show how to find the right one and how powerful it can be to incentivize the sales team, free up time and grow the bottom line.

The first four features we’ll discuss are related to programs and promotions. When you’re researching a solution, make sure it has these key features:

Flexibility 

When a vendor offers a new promotion, how long until you can actually share it with your sales team? With your current system, can you award points? How about spot rewards? Your incentive platform should be able to provide a great selection of cash or prizes, including pre-paid cards, travel, merchandise, sporting events, digital media and more. Additionally, it should be possible to offer spot rewards that enable one-off prizes. Flexibility is non-negotiable today. Your solution needs to be able to handle whatever you need it to do to provide compelling motivation to your team.

Powerful Targeting

Sales organizations today, or channel structures, often have a great deal more complexity than they used to. Corporate sales, government sales, consumer, call centers, outbound, support teams and more must all be segmented by the targeting engine. In addition to sales team focus, other dimensions may be considered for targeting promotions: geography, demographics, certifications and so on may all come into play. Look for a software system sophisticated enough to support these moving dimensions.

Sales Team Management

More and more organizations utilize a team approach to selling. Teams of multiple salespeople may share responsibility for accounts or territories. Additionally, a support or technical group may be intimately involved in the sales process. Program sponsors often want to reward everyone who touches the sale. State-of-the-art incentive management software has the ability to support a wide variety of team arrangements so that everyone can influence sales and be rewarded.

Adaptable Promotion Creation 

There are two ways to approach promotion creation. The old way and the new way. The old way could be described as simple "sell and get." You’d think that a simple promotion would be simple to create, but the other half of the old method is that each new promotion requires custom programming, often taking a number of days, even many weeks, to create the functionality required. The new way is working with a partner that has the platform and services behind them to react instantly to changing promotions or business objectives. When you’re looking for an incentive partner, work with a modern company who’s invested heavily into their solutions so that you can go from promotion idea to execution in a few hours.

These are the first four features to look for in an incentive management platform. We’ll explore even further in the upcoming weeks so bookmark this page and check back for more!