If you already operate a sales-incentive program to help boost product movement through your tire distribution chain, you've likely seen how beneficial such programs can be.
Alternatively, perhaps you're researching in an effort to determine if a sales-incentive program would be a fitting sales-enhancing solution.
Whatever the case, you'll benefit from getting more familiar with strategies and services that can scale tire sales incentive programs over time. Here are a few strategies:
Collect sales and customer data that can increase tire sales.
There's more to tire sales-incentive programs than just rewarding dealers, distributors and sales reps for selling products. You can offer your channel partners reward opportunities that include not just direct sales, but data-capturing activities that help drive your products and services through the distribution chain.
- Reward channel partners for registering product protections, such as tread-life or road-hazard warranties;
- Reward channel partners for securing end-users' aftermarket or check-up service appointments; and
- Reward channel partners or end-users for submitting feedback surveys, questionnaires and/or reviews.
When you're asking channel partners to go above and beyond by submitting documents, it helps to make the process easy. Using an online document-upload tool allows your channel partners to submit warranty registrations, invoices, receipts, etc., instantly in PDF or image file formats.
All they have to do is snap a picture of the document using their phones and upload the file. As soon as the documentation is uploaded, you can authenticate it based on sales promotion qualifiers and deliver a reward instantly. This hastened reward delivery results in the reward having a greater effect.
Improve and expand product knowledge throughout your sales channel.
Training is one of the best ways to ensure greater sales performance. A study called "The Effects of Sales Training on Sales Force Activity" found that "higher performance and customer-oriented selling is achieved through specific training content and method."
Some sales-incentive platforms are capable of delivering training content in the form of courses, webinars, quizzes and daily trivia. You can use this combination of training delivery methods, along with rewards themselves, to motivate your salespersons to expand their product knowledge — not just once, or when they're first hired, but continuously, so that their product knowledge stays fresh.
This elevates their confidence and helps maximize their performance, which results in tire products being pushed through the distribution chain more effectively.
Segment your tire sales channel partners for more personalized promotions and messaging.
The ability to segment your sales-incentive program audience can enhance sales performance greatly. By segmenting your channel partners according to region, performance level, role, organization, department or partner type, you can manage multiple, simultaneous sales promotions and reward-earning opportunities that are highly specific and relevant to each of your incentive program participants.
High levels of incentive program expansion and personalization aren't always easy to accomplish internally.
"If you're running your loyalty program in-house, it can be difficult to scale," incentive experrt Jeff Cagle said. "But if you have someone managing it, making it easier to reward with a platform, it's much easier to reward wider audiences.
"For example, you don't have to figure out how to reward people in other countries. Instead of doing it yourself, you can just upload a reward points file through your incentive software."
The extent to which an incentive program can help you push tire sales through your channel doesn't have to be limited. Incentive tools, technology and services exist to make your incentive platform a source of data and a method of increasing product knowledge, all while delivering relevant and personalized experiences to your channel partners.
Your sales-incentive program can be an adaptable tool for increasing both direct, short-term tire sales and incremental, long-term sales. Use the technology and expertise at your disposal to get creative and flexible in pushing sales through the distribution chain.
Jim Costello is executive vice president at Incentive Solutions Inc. (incentivesolutions.com). Mr. Costello has 29 years of experience in the incentive industry and has helped design incentive strategy for some of the most influential brands, including many in the tire/automotive industry.