by Leo Jakobson | January 11, 2018

A new white paper from incentive program design firm Animate Growth Partners (AGP) focuses on the need to make sales performance improvement and loyalty programs focus less on "do this, get that" rewards and more on creating long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.

The paper outlines AGP's new PAVE Engagement Model, an incentive program research and design tool aimed at small- and medium-sized companies that tend to have do-it-yourself programs or work with incentive providers mainly on reward fulfillment. The process can be just at the early design phase of a program, or extend through post-program ROI measurement.

The problem with an old-school, "do this, get that" sales or dealer channel incentive program is that, at their core, they are transactional, says Chris Galloway, owner and lead designer of Animate Growth Partners (AGP). Pointing to the growing field of behavioral neuroscience, Galloway notes that research has shown that "a person's drive to bond and to create are biological drives that are on a par with the drive to acquire. Performance improvement activities are transaction‐based do not build sustainable long‐term relationships."

That is why Galloway has decided to focus his relatively new firm exclusively on performance improvement program design services, and plans to partner with industry suppliers to deliver technology and non-cash rewards like merchandise, gift cards, and incentive travel, he says. The goal is to build sales by creating long-term, emotional relationships -- intrinsic motivation -- that can be sustained in the face of competitive incentive programs upping the award ante. Along with companies running their own programs, AGP will work with incentive providers and fulfillment firms as a "white-label" consultant providing more depth at early-stage design. 


The goal is to help the end-user clients build sales by building deeper and stronger business relationships that can "be sustained in the face of competitive incentive programs upping the award ante," he says "Programs that only focus on recognizing top revenue producers are more vulnerable to competitors who pay more or offer a better prize for the same kinds of transactions."


By listening to a channel partner's situation and providing services that help them develop professionally and attain their business goals, you build "resistance to competitive offers," Galloway adds. 

AGP's new PAVE Engagement Model white paper is available here.