10 Ways to use Your US SMB Champs Club Incentive

imageOne of the conversations we get wrapped into often is around our incentive programs and how partners can leverage them.  Often times the SMB Champs Club incentives are just seen as a way to increase margins.  While certainly that is one option it is not the only way.  Talking with partners I have learned some of the ways they are leveraging incentives.  Here are 10 ways you can use that money when that check arrives each quarter!

  1. Offer a Discount
    This is probably one of the most common uses for the incentive.  Being able to offer a discount to win a deal or reward a loyal customer, is a nice way to use the incentive. It’s a great way to win that strategic opportunity without impacting your profit margin.
  2. Pay for services
    In a cloud world, with margins being thin, having service offerings for your customers is critical to success.  You could use your incentive dollars to fund some of the services or offer a POC for your customers, using the incentive this way is a great way to show your customers you understand the technology.
  3. Attend a conference
    Conferences like WPC and Ignite have costs associated with them. From the conference fees to the travel and expenses there are costs to your business.  Partners have used the incentives to help offset those costs and send themselves to these conferences.  You can register for 2016 WPC below, and the best pricing is always RIGHT NOW, the current discounts keep expiring:
    2016 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 
  4. Pay for training and certification
    Internal readiness is critical to the success for your business.  Incentives can be used to pay for the any needed training and exam fees.    You can learn more training here: https://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/training.aspx 
  5. Buy a boat
    Okay this one at first seems fun and can be.  Remember this is your money, and you could use it buy a company boat and skin it with your business logo. 
  6. Run a sales contest
    Being able to offer a sales contest with prizes, maybe a trip, electronics or cash is a great way to not only drive more business but also reward top performers.It’s a great way to drive specific behaviors according to your goals.  This takes on the snowball effect if your current contest generates a larger incentive payout for next quarter, and the quarter after that, and so on.
  7. Share the wealth
    Paying your employees for exceptional performance is a great way to use incentive dollars.  More importantly it will help retain key talent for your organization.  Also sharing the wealth and reinvesting into your business can improve your performance.
  8. Donate to a charity
    This one has added benefit of helping you and your business support a cause.  There are thousands of charities that would appreciate any donation.   Forbes listed the top 50 charities here: http://www.forbes.com/top-charities/ 
  9. Invest in marketing
    Getting the word out about your business can greatly improve your business.    You could use the dollars to pay to revamp your website, or online advertising or even in marketing consulting to help improve your brand. RTG has several subsidized marketing services offers for partners to build your marketing muscle, and your incentive money + those offers can bring big value for little-to-zero expense.  Also the Partner Network Marketing SureStep provides some great guidance!
  10. Have a party
    Probably the most fun one is just throw a party for you and your business.  Invite the significant others as well, and just kick back and enjoy the incentives. 

Now, you be thinking, I am not an SMB Champions Club partner, how can I get involved?  I would recommend talking with your PSE to determine what it takes for you to get included so that you can leverage the incentives.


Matt Hester
Sr. Partner Technology Strategist