The sales channel has reached a new stage of maturity.
For decades, the best channel incentive programs were the ones with the biggest rewards. This strategy worked, but like all winning strategies, it gets copied quickly. Now, sellers along the channel find themselves in multiple stale programs, all vying for attention with little to no differentiation and reduced value.
Whistle asked 500 channel sales participants their opinions about the programs they were in and how they could be improved. Our research shows that 81% of sales people who operate in a sales channel are in more than one program — 24% are in five or more.
This crowded landscape creates a confusing experience for a channel salesperson getting pulled in a hundred directions on what to sell and how to earn rewards.
The modern channel programs that rise above the fray will have more in common with popular smartphone apps than they will with the tired commission programs of the past decades. The companies who will drive this change will compete on three fronts: Attention, Guidance, and Speed.