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Customer loyalty program

Customer loyalty program

Noun

[kuhs-tuh-mer loi-uhl-tee proh-gram]

A customer loyalty program is an organized system that allows a company to reward customers for their engagement. The company may offer incentives to customers who promote their brand on social media and in real life, refer business, and perform other activities that are beneficial to the brand. In return, the customers may receive points, swag, conference tickets, gift cards, or other rewards.

Many B2B software vendors understand that their customer base is one of their greatest untapped marketing and sales resources. By encouraging happy customers to share their positive experiences with their peers, vendors can leverage customers as a low-cost, highly effective marketing channel. For example, customers may receive points that can later be redeemed for rewards by referring new business. Or customers may receive cash incentives when they generate new deals that close.

Also known as customer advocacy programs.

Example: As ChamomileCorps’ #1 fan, Refika told all her entrepreneurs friends that the software was a must-have and had saved her a great deal of time and money. Since she received 500 points on ChamomileCorps’ Cham-pions program for every referral, by the end of the year, she had received enough points to redeem them for a brand new iPad.

More Partnership terms beginning with
C
Commission rate

Noun

[ko-mish-in ray-t]

A commission rate is the reward or payment associated with either a percentage of sale or payment. In partnerships, partners can earn commission on either qualified leads or on closed sales. The commission rate is the percentage of the value of that lead or sale that is paid to the partner.

The commission rate you offer should depend on how much the partner is involved in the sale, as well as how much work they’re doing to maintain the client over time. For example, you may choose to give affiliates a commission of 15% for one year, but give resellers 30% for the lifetime of the account, because they're doing much more work to sell and maintain that account over time.

Example: Giro's partner program paid a commission rate of 25% to resellers, who did more work to close a sale, and 15% to affiliates, who did less work to produce leads.

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Channel sales

Noun

[chan-l seylz]

Channel sales, also known as indirect sales or partner sales, are sales facilitated through third parties instead of directly through a company’s sales team. These third parties may be agencies, influencers, or distributors. This is a common go-to-market strategy amongst B2B (business-to-business) software companies.

Channel sales is often a far more efficient system for driving revenue than direct sales, since the company doesn’t have to hire a sales team. Rather, the company only pays if and when partners make sales. Typically, partners are paid a cut of the sale, so it doesn’t require the same degree of overhead investment or risk as hiring and training an inside sales team.

That being said, to unlock maximum growth potential, many companies opt to use both direct and channel sales. Since partners will likely have access to different audiences than your sales team, it’s often worth investing in both. The programs are usually complementary as opposed to cannibalistic

Example: Lavender Ltd. drove 30% of their revenue last year via channel sales, up from 20% the year before.

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