How to target the right participants in B2B incentive programs

sales channel partners

B2B incentive programs exist within a complex web of business relationships between companies, partners, and customers. In this article, we will explore the different business relationship environments where B2B incentive programs are commonly used and the typical job titles or roles of the participants involved.

The most commonly targeted participants in a B2B incentive program

1. Channel Partners

A rewards program for sales channel partners is a type of incentive program designed to motivate and reward individuals or businesses that sell a company’s products or services. The program typically offers rewards or incentives to sales partners who meet or exceed specific sales targets or other performance criteria.

The rewards can vary depending on the program, but may include things like cash bonuses, gift cards, merchandise, or trips. These programs are commonly used by companies to encourage sales partners to sell more products, improve customer satisfaction, and strengthen relationships with the company.

In addition to rewarding sales performance, rewards programs for sales channel partners can also help build loyalty and engagement among partners, foster collaboration and communication between partners and the company, and encourage ongoing participation in training and development programs.

The typical job titles or roles of participants in channel partner B2B incentive programs include:

  • Sales representatives
  • Sales managers
  • Channel account managers
  • Channel marketing managers
  • Distributor managers
  • Partner development managers

There are several mechanics commonly used for rewards programs for sales channel partners, including:

Sales Volume-Based Rewards

Sales partners earn rewards based on the volume of products or services sold, such as a percentage of the total sales amount or a tiered system where higher sales volumes earn greater rewards.

Performance-Based Rewards

Sales partners earn rewards based on specific performance metrics, such as achieving a certain number of new customer acquisitions or reaching a sales target within a certain timeframe.

Training and Certification Rewards

Sales partners earn rewards for completing training or certification programs, such as product training, sales technique training, or industry certifications.

Referral Rewards

Sales partners earn rewards for referring new customers or partners to the company.

Point-Based Rewards

Sales partners earn points for various activities, such as completing training programs or achieving sales goals, which can then be redeemed for rewards such as merchandise, trips, or gift cards.

Co-Op Advertising Funds

Companies provide funds or resources to sales partners for advertising or marketing efforts that promote the company’s products or services.

These mechanics can be used in combination or customized to fit the specific needs and goals of the rewards program and the sales channel partners.


The Benefits

Rewards programs for sales channel partners offer several benefits for both the sales partners and the company, including:

Increased Sales

By offering incentives for meeting or exceeding sales targets, the program can motivate sales partners to sell more of the company’s products or services, leading to increased revenue for the company.

Improved Partner Loyalty

Rewards programs can help build strong relationships with sales partners and increase their loyalty to the company. This can lead to a more committed sales force and increased advocacy for the company’s products or services.

Increased Partner Engagement

Rewards programs can encourage sales partners to participate in training and development programs, learn about new products, and provide valuable feedback to the company.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

By incentivizing sales partners to provide excellent customer service, the program can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, which can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals.


Compared to other forms of advertising and promotion, rewards programs can be a cost-effective way to incentivize sales partners and increase sales, since the cost of the rewards is tied directly to performance.

Overall, rewards programs for sales channel partners can help companies build strong, long-term relationships with their sales partners, increase sales and revenue, and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

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2. Sales Teams

Another common business relationship environment for B2B incentive programs is within a company’s own sales team. The goal of these programs is to motivate and incentivize sales representatives to meet or exceed sales targets.

The typical job titles or roles of participants in sales team B2B incentive programs include:

Sales Representatives

At the forefront of the sales process, sales representatives are responsible for actively engaging with clients, nurturing leads, and closing deals. They are the driving force behind revenue generation and act as the primary interface between the company and its clients. Motivating these individuals is essential to boost their sales performance and ensure consistent business growth.

Sales Managers

Sales managers play a pivotal role in overseeing and guiding the sales representatives under their supervision. They provide strategic direction, mentorship, and training to the sales team, ensuring they are equipped with the necessary skills to achieve their targets. In B2B incentive programs, sales managers can serve as crucial motivators, encouraging their team members to strive for excellence and facilitating their success.

Sales Directors

Sales directors hold a higher leadership position within the sales organization. They are responsible for defining the overall sales strategy, setting ambitious targets, and driving sales team performance at a macro level. By engaging sales directors in the B2B incentive program, businesses can align their strategic vision with the program’s objectives, ensuring cohesive efforts across all levels of the sales hierarchy.

Sales Operations Managers

Sales operations managers focus on optimizing the sales processes, analyzing data, and implementing effective sales strategies. They play a vital role in streamlining the sales team’s workflow, providing valuable insights and support to ensure operational efficiency. Engaging sales operations managers in the incentive program helps bridge the gap between strategic goals and their execution, leading to improved sales performance.

Regional Sales Managers

In larger organizations with geographically dispersed sales teams, regional sales managers oversee specific territories or regions. They coordinate and manage sales efforts within their assigned area, often tailoring strategies to suit the local market dynamics. Including regional sales managers in B2B incentive programs helps ensure that the program’s objectives align with regional targets and fosters collaboration among sales teams operating in different areas.

Inside Sales Representatives

Inside sales representatives focus on prospecting, lead generation, and closing deals through remote communication channels, such as phone calls or video conferences. They may work in conjunction with field sales representatives or independently, depending on the organization’s structure. Incentivizing inside sales representatives is crucial for maximizing their contribution to the overall sales effort, especially in the era of virtual business interactions.

sales channel partners
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3. Customers

Customer loyalty programs integrated with B2B incentive programs have gained popularity due to their ability to cultivate long-term relationships with business owners and retail sales staff, who play pivotal roles in the success of any B2B enterprise.

Business Owners

Business owners are essential participants in B2B incentive programs targeted towards customer loyalty. As the decision-makers and key stakeholders in their respective organizations, they possess the authority to choose suppliers, vendors, and partners. Recognizing their influence, B2B incentive programs can be tailored to reward business owners for their continued patronage, encouraging them to maintain loyalty to a specific brand or supplier. By offering exclusive incentives and rewards for their loyalty, businesses can strengthen the bond with business owners and foster a sense of partnership, ultimately driving increased business opportunities.

Retail Sales Staff

Another crucial group to target within customer loyalty program B2B incentive programs is the retail sales staff. These individuals serve as the frontline representatives of the business and often have direct interaction with customers on a daily basis. By incentivizing retail sales staff through B2B loyalty programs, companies can motivate them to actively promote and advocate for their products or services to customers. Incentives could include commission-based rewards, bonuses tied to sales targets, or even recognition programs that highlight outstanding performance. Engaged and motivated sales staff are more likely to build strong relationships with customers, leading to increased customer satisfaction and higher sales volumes.

Other Roles

While business owners and retail sales staff are primary participants in B2B incentive programs, other roles within the B2B ecosystem can also benefit from such initiatives. These may include aftersales, sales support staff or anyone involved in the sales of your products or services within their organization. By identifying the key players in the customer’s organization, businesses can extend the reach of their incentive programs to engage and reward these individuals appropriately. This comprehensive approach ensures that various touchpoints within the customer’s organization are acknowledged and appreciated, ultimately leading to stronger partnerships and increased customer loyalty.

4. Employee Recognition

The target participants in an employee recognition program can vary depending on the specific program and organizational goals. However, typically, the primary target participants include:


The program is designed to recognize and reward the efforts and achievements of individual employees or groups within the organization.

Managers and Supervisors

They play a crucial role in identifying and nominating deserving employees for recognition based on their knowledge of their team members’ performance and contributions.


In some recognition programs, employees may have the opportunity to nominate their colleagues for recognition, emphasizing peer-to-peer appreciation.

What measures can be used?

As for the measures that can be rewarded and recognized in an employee recognition program, here are some common categories:

Performance Excellence

Recognizing employees who consistently achieve exceptional results, exceed targets, demonstrate exceptional productivity, or deliver outstanding performance in their roles.

Innovation and Problem Solving

Acknowledging individuals or teams that contribute innovative ideas, solutions, or process improvements that enhance efficiency, effectiveness, or cost savings.

Leadership and Collaboration

Recognizing employees who exhibit strong leadership skills, inspire others, foster teamwork, and effectively collaborate with colleagues across departments or teams.

Customer Service

Rewarding employees who consistently provide exceptional customer service, demonstrate empathy, resolve issues effectively, and contribute to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Continuous Learning and Development

Recognizing employees who actively pursue professional growth, acquire new skills and knowledge, or demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning.

Teamwork and Cooperation

Acknowledging employees who excel in fostering a positive work environment, promote cooperation, and contribute to a collaborative and supportive team culture.

Employee Engagement and Motivation

Recognizing individuals who actively engage with their work, contribute to a positive organizational culture, and motivate their peers.

Employee of the Month/Quarter/Year

Designating an outstanding employee or team periodically as a special recognition for their overall contributions and achievements.

It’s important to note that the specific measures and criteria for recognition should align with the organization’s values, goals, and culture. Customizing the program to suit the unique needs of the organization can enhance its effectiveness and impact.

Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash

Creating a rewards program is easy with Incentable, the rewards program platform

  • No code required
  • Instant set up
  • Connect your own domain name
  • Ready made themes
  • Built in design editor