As the channel ecosystem continues on the path of rapid expansion and increasing complexity, the opportunity to gain a partner’s mindshare is also becoming more and more difficult. Channel incentive programs work to improve indirect sales performance, orchestrate partner behaviors, and incite channel partner loyalty. But unless implemented correctly, this approach can result in partners ignoring or gamifying program incentives.

Channel Incentive Management vendors provide companies with a unified approach to automated and scalable incentives across the broad channel ecosystem. To help decision makers understand the value they can expect from a Channel Incentive Management provider, Forrester released “Now Tech: Channel Incentive Management, Q4 2021.” The report looks at the diverse CIM vendor landscape, breaking them down first by market presence and then further by functionality.

Forrester segments functionality and varying capabilities across the Channel Incentive Management provider landscape in the following ways:

  • Point solutions: These vendors are highly specialized; have deep functionality in transactional channel incentives, both margin- and marketing-based; and integrate with other tools within the channel stack. They rely on integration with channel software vendors in adjacent spaces (e.g., partner relationship management, through-channel marketing automation, channel data management, channel enablement, channel finance, and ecosystem management) to provide a fulsome client solution.
  • Horizontal tools: These vendors cover the entire partner journey across a broad set of partner business models and program types. Vendors in this segment provide CIM alongside a host of native capabilities that include partner targeting and recruiting; onboarding, enablement, and development; incentives, motivation, and loyalty; co-selling and co-marketing to management; measurement; and reporting.
  • Hybrid tools: These vendors focus on broader incentive strategies than just partners. The tools cover employee incentives, influencers, end customers, and consumer rewards. They provide an incentive management mix of monetary, nonmonetary, and microincentives as well as gamification, travel, merchandise, and other motivation and loyalty tactics.

Ansira, recognized in the Horizontal Tool segment, is one of 31 vendors included in this Forrester Now Tech report.

The report also provides considerations for channel and marketing leaders that help to ensure their incentives program and technology investments meet the unique needs of their expanding partner ecosystem. In addition to selecting a vendor that aligns with program requirements, these considerations include mapping current partner programs against future objectives, conducting an inventory of existing technologies, and using analytics to reveal behavioral patterns and context.

Now Tech: Channel Incentive Management, Q4 2021” is available for download by Forrester subscribers or for purchase.