After a tremendous investment of time and resources to develop a new product, the last thing you need is to have it flounder and stagnate in your distribution channel, like a 20-something living in your garage.
Launching a new product through a sales channel that you don't control requires you to cut through all the other priorities facing your channel sales reps to capture their attention. The even bigger challenge is keeping their attention focused on your new product and inspiring them to care. Will they learn all the features and benefits of your new product? Do they have the time to add this to their list of everything else they're asked to do?
You want your channel reps focused, emotionally engaged, and setting goals to sell your new product. Chances are you've developed an incentive strategy to inspire them to take action.
There is one thing that will make all the difference between success and failure of your incentive: Engaged field managers.
BI WORLDWIDE conducted a study to determine the impact a field manager representing the manufacturer has on the engagement of independent channel sales reps. The results were statistically significant between an engaged field manager versus a disengaged field manager.
In addition to inspiring excitement among channel sales reps, engaged field managers have a significant impact on the level of participation in channel incentives. Two identical incentive programs were aimed at independent automotive dealer sales reps. In one instance, the OEM field managers were highly engaged; and in the other, they were not.
The program with highly engaged field managers resulted in 8x the engagement of channel sales reps.
Your busy field managers juggle priorities all the time as they call on your channel. Here are four tactics that work to engage your field managers and accelerate the results of your incentive programs:
By mobilising your field managers around your new product, you'll significantly increase the engagement of your independent channel sales reps.