December 01, 2016
It's easy to keep a relationship going with an internal sales force. Moving product through a dealer network is another matter. It's important to keep the lines of communication open so the sales channel feels like a part of the organization. These nine programs really hit that ball out of the park.

1. Brother International Australia/Power2Motivate
Jan. 1, 2015 to March 1, 2015

Power2Motivate created the Brother 100k Prize Giveaway for New South Wales-based Brother International Australia. The program aimed to earn the home-and-office-products company at least $1.5 million in spending from registered channel partners, achieve 200 registrations, and have an engagement and usage rate of 65 percent from participants. Resellers were awarded one entry into the ultimate prize drawing for every $1,000 AUD spent. Three grand-prize travel awards -- each worth $20,000-$23,000 AUD -- featured once-in-alifetime trips to New York City, Switzerland, and Fiji.

The results of the promotion, which were measured through an increase in hardware sales and engagement levels (number of channel partners registering and using the program) were outstanding: hardware sales increases by 28 percent when compared to the previous year, and the target of $1.5 million spent by registered resellers not only met, but exceeded. There were a total of 543 registrations to the program, more than doubling the target of 200 registrations. The engagement rate from eligible resellers was met at exactly 65 percent.

2. Siemens/Incentive Solutions
Jan. 1, 2016 to Sept. 1, 2016

When the Atlanta-area U.S. headquarters of engineering firm Siemens transitioned to a new quotation system (COMPAS), its leaders sought to create a rewards program that limited any customer uneasiness until the transition was complete. It also sought to drive behaviors that would encourage channel partner employees to use Siemens technology over the competition's and increase its market share over the competition's.

Incentive Solutions designed the Siemens Rewards program to reward users for embracing and utilizing COMPAS to its fullest potential. Also, with the goal of attracting new customers to Siemens distributors (and increasing the current share of wallet of existing customers), Siemens Rewards featured a contractor-based program called SIperks, which ran from April 1 to Sept. 1, 2016, and rewarded electrical contractors points for their purchases of various products.

As a result of the rewards program, Siemens saw a 9 percent increase in sales from program participants over non-participants. In addition, the SIperks program realized $410,000 in incremental business, with 50 percent ($205,000) of that coming from new business.

3. IDT Corporation/Maritz Motivation Solutions
Jan. 12, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016

Newark, NJ-based IDT Corporation's Boss Revolution product, a PIN-less international prepaid calling service, is sold primarily in retail establishments that serve the Hispanic immigrant market. To keep distribution partners engaged, motivated, and loyal, Maritz introduced the Boss Rewards Program, a points-based pilot program that was rolled out to 30,000 national retailers. In addition to enrolling the retailer, an assigned account manager walked retailers through the program portal and rewards catalog and helped them to set up individual wish lists.

Since inception, Boss Revolution Rewards has achieved more than 90 percent enrollment, cut retailer attrition by more than 50 percent, and reduced revenue loss by 30 percent; this while allowing IDT to create its own "promotional currency" (moving the discussion away from "dollar value" to "point value"). Additionally, enrolled retailers averaged five times the sales volume compared to non-enrolled retailers, and more than 93 percent of retailers surveyed would recommend the program to other retailers.

4. Cisco Systems Inc./GCodes
January 2015 to Dec. 31, 2015

San Jose, CA-based Cisco Systems enlisted Carlton Group's GCodes to develop Cisco Rewards, a region-specific incentive program (operating in more than 85 countries) that would encourage Cisco Partners to buy more Cisco products and drive sales growth by rewarding them for ongoing loyalty. An integrated marketing campaign included personal notifications from Cisco Partner and Channel Account Managers; calls to action to visit the rebranded site; direct links from Cisco's Partner Central; and messaging from the Cisco Senior Leadership Team at both Cisco and industry events. The Partners earned incentives first by validating their sales of eligible Cisco products and solutions, then for completion of learning modules, providing ongoing feedback to Cisco, and responding to calls to action on the program website.

Today, the program operates in 17 languages, across 117 countries (a first) and continues to keep pace with the lightning-fast changes in the technology sector -- bringing significant value to Cisco, its resellers, and its end-user companies.

5. Mercedes-Benz Poland/ICP Group
Jan. 1, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2015

Warsaw-based Mercedes-Benz Poland engaged ICP Group to create the first sales incentive program for its Daimler Trucks division. The motivational program, named "Daimler Trucks Discovery," incentivized the dealers by rewarding the best of them on a yearly, quarterly, and monthly basis. The message was simple: By getting the best sales results, dealers could participate in special, tailor-made incentive trips to such exotic destinations as Brazil and South Africa (where the biggest Daimler plants are located). Updated rankings and points could be checked online, and some of the interesting aspects included a football theme and an internal TV program extolling the attractions of Brazil.

As a result, 71 dealers (98 percent of all invited) participated in the program, logging in regularly. More than 95 percent of participants strongly agreed that they would be willing to work hard in order to earn the award next year. Best of all, there was a healthy sales growth in 2015.

6. Michelin/ICP Group
Feb. 15, 2015 to Feb. 20, 2015

Each year, Clermont-Ferrand, France-based tire and travel services provider Michelin organizes an international sales support program to motivate its Central and Eastern European dealers. Those with the top sales receive the "Expedition Michelin" travel reward, which in February 2015, was a trip to Dubai and Mauritius. To the standard travel incentive, ICP Group added a refinement: The "Michelin Stop," where participants got to test the tires for the next season under racetrack conditions. For one "stop," Dubai Autodrome was rented for the winners' use, where they could test-drive the cars, taking part in speed trials.

The event achieved three goals: First, it incorporated prompt payment into the reward criteria. Second, it linked the educational and promotional activities with adventure typical of incentive travel. Third, surveys revealed that the incentive set a new record: 4.8 rating out of 5.0 among attendees for "feeling motivated to sell more in the future."

7. Ferguson Enterprises/Incentive Solutions
Aug. 27, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2016

Ferguson, a wholesale plumbing supplies distributor based in Newport News, VA, wanted to provide a long-term loyalty program for its professional trade contractors. Incentive Solutions designed the Ferguson PRO Plus program to change the behavior of contractors so they would order online (resulting in a lower cost-to-serve expense for Ferguson) and establish a tighter bond with the wholesaler through engaging communications and millions of reward options. Celebrity spokesperson and former quarterback Terry Bradshaw has headed the fully integrated marketing campaign, offering participants the opportunity to earn more points by providing valuable feedback via a customer survey, celebrating loyalty through an anniversary campaign, and keeping Ferguson top-of-mind through a gamification activity of daily football trivia.

8. Ford Motor Company of Australia/Power2Motivate
Jan. 1, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2015

Developed by incentive and recognitions company Power2Motivate for the Ford Motor Company of Australia, the Ford Guild 2015 program's aim was to increase sales and engagement through recognition and competition between dealerships and service divisions. There were four levels of qualifying requirements: Ford Certified, Ford Professional, Ford Master, and Ford Gold Master. Dealer Principals who achieve Ford Gold Master were invited to attend an incentive trip (other recognitions were rewarded with points, redeemable in an awards gallery).

By year's end, a total of 70 percent of participants had engaged in the program, with members who achieved Certified, Professional, or Master status increasing by 235 percent. There was also an increase of 154 percent for Service Advisors who achieved a Certified, Professional, or Gold level, and a 310 percent jump for Service Managers who achieved the same. Upon program completion, the overall network cost-volume-profit score increased by four points.

9. Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc./Aimia
Feb. 3, 2015 to April 30, 2015

To achieve a three-month sales objective and recognize its top-performing dealers, Torrance, CA-based Toyota Motor Sales engaged Minneapolis-based Aimia to craft a "once-in-a-lifetime" incentive travel reward. Named "Elegant Escapes -- Intriguing Ireland," the program featured elevated travel, top-flight wines and spirits, gourmet meals, a day at the Darley Irish Oaks Race at the Curragh, and a gala night at Luttrellstown Castle. But the main event was a roundtrip charter flight to Scotland for the Open at St. Andrews, featuring a private party in Toyota's exclusive hospitality chalet on the 16th fairway, VIP tickets to the final round of play, and an optional walking tour of the Village at St. Andrews.

As a result, 109.29 percent of net sales objectives were met, SSI scores and overall customer satisfaction scores increased, and participants rated the overall trip experience a 4.75 out of 5. Bonus: Toyota executives mingled with the 29 Toyota dealer principals, equity partners, and general managers who had met or exceeded their sales goals.