Channel incentives can be a company’s best friend when managed properly. Companies rely on discounts, rebates, and other pricing-related levers to drive demand for new products, penetrate new market segments, and accelerate growth in specific geographies.
The problem is that different business departments often have starkly different perspectives on channel incentives and their impact on revenue management, supply chain operations, and the overall cost to serve. It’s crucial to align multiple points of view on incentives, working with finance, sales, and supply chains to develop compelling incentives, meet forecast and demand plans, and delight channel partners.
This post, the first in a three-part series, will focus on finance’s perspective on channel incentives and how it can add value to the incentive management process. The rest of the series will dig into the challenges sales teams and supply chains face when confronted with incentives, and how to build better incentive plans with those concerns in mind.
Financial executives and controllers understand that incentives are a critical component of selling through numerous, diverse routes to market. However, there are some issues that consistently pique the interest of finance and spur review:
You certainly can’t fault the controllers and finance executives for getting frustrated. Without the right tools and processes, it’s virtually impossible to stay in control of incentive spend. However, there are a number of revenue management tools that can automate or streamline these processes. Using those tools, here are three ways to solve your finance teams’ worries when it comes to channel incentives:
Using these tactics, finance teams can shift from reactive to proactive and use channel incentives as a truly strategic means of driving profitable sales growth. With the right information and analytical tools at their fingertips, finance execs can focus more on planning and strategy development. And with the right plans in place, outcomes are more likely to reflect expectations, removing a lot of questions and headaches in the end.
For more information on supercharging your sales operations be sure to take a look at our Top 10 Sales Force Automation software report as well as our full collection of sales force automation best practices.