I plead guilty to enjoying a cold beer or two, and I’ve watched with amazement as the decade-long bull market in the craft beer industry shows no signs of abating.
A lot of channel programs are still being managed with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. It’s far more common than you’d expect, even in some of the larger companies. There’s nothing wrong with using spreadsheets for managing a small program, incentive or campaign — or even analyzing a set of data. But ask for anything complex, and your spreadsheet is probably creating more work than it’s doing.
Five signs you need an incentive platform, not a spreadsheet
Is it time for your channel program to move on to a more flexible platform that offers segmentation, incentives and reporting? If you can relate to any one (or more!) of these pain points, it is.
New and improved channel management options
If Excel is not the best tool for managing channel programs, why are so many companies still using it? Ask around, and you’ll get plenty of different responses. Some people inherited an existing spreadsheet process. Others wouldn’t know how to begin to find the right channel solution. A few managers are even using Excel to work around internally developed systems that are inflexible.
Plus, some channel directors have had previous problems with clunky “platforms.” It’s no secret that custom platform development has been expensive or that managing multiple, nonintegrated channel providers can be a headache.
Fortunately, today’s channel managers have better options. A handful of channel providers now offer cloud-based platforms that deftly handle complex grouping and tiering. Plus, these platforms can seamlessly connect to a variety of engagement modules, such as incentives, eLearning, campaign on demand and more. Best of all? Full end-to-end reporting is available, too, so you can understand how to increase the success of your channel program.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to simplify your channel management.
Dan Hawtof has been involved in almost every aspect of the channel for over 25 years while wearing many hats, including sales, strategy, product marketing and management and more. He is currently vice president of Business Solutions, Global Channel & Employee, at Parago, a provider of incentive and engagement solutions.