Self-funded growth incentive programs – the gift that keeps giving

At first glance, costing your incentive program might seem like a big hit. You might be feeling intimidated by the expenses of a program with unproven results. Especially when current economic conditions and revenue forecast are looking unfavourable for the remainder of 2023 and beyond. However, what if you could feel confident in the program succeeding indefinitely, with the cost of the rewards being self-funded by the program itself?

For those not in the know, ‘self-funded growth’ means that the gradual growth from sales and margins more than covers the cost of the reward offered to the customer. There aren’t any additional budgets needed to fund the program. What’s even better, a self-funded program can be the best way to gain greater share of wallet and more sales, shifting them from a competitor. While sales might be down – you have a plan to get the most of the available purchase spend from your customers in market.

At Incremental, we are firm believers in achieving low-cost, measurable growth for your customer base – so much so, that we’ve prided ourselves on creating this for the last 27 years.

Self-Funded Growth Programs Create the Change You Want

It won’t be a surprise to any B2B sales managers the level of impact a customer incentive program can offer. The philosophy is that by offering your customer more, you’ll get more back in return – usually in the form of sales!

It’s not uncommon for customers in many previously low-growth markets to achieve consistently spectacular growth, often in the hundreds of percent! This might sound too good to be true, but our history confirms that this can be a real opportunity.

Our B2B incentive programs are structured to provide unlimited opportunities for customers to keep earning. For example, we’ve recently concluded a B2B promotional buying period with a group of our customers that includes a high-end travel incentive to Hayman Island. This incentive program operated across Australia and New Zealand – and one customer’s incremental growth will fund 10 double packages for the trip!

While this customer is the best result from this last batch, they aren’t an outlier within the program. A total of 14 other customers across the program achieved 2 or more packages, with each package costing over $10,000. These customers could not have achieved these results without delivering a significant change in their planning.

Self-Funding Larger Rewards to Incentivise Customer Behaviour Change

At the heart of these results is our resolve to make all our programs self-funded. We often tell our customers that funding a loyalty program doesn’t require your marketing budget. Our years of experience and results have shown that it’s 100% possible to design a self-funded growth incentive program, regardless of industry.

Customised targets are achievable even for customers who purchase low-margin products, allowing their rewards to be fully funded. Granted, this does require work to achieve, but it’s possible. A recent program we worked on returned a net margin of 5%, which self-funded their desired travel package.

The important thing to consider when planning is what questions you should be asking, and how this fits the program structure you’d like to create. It’s about knowing what to ask and how it will fit into your reward structure. Your program needs to push a shift in sales and buying behaviour towards your products, allowing your brand to achieve its goals.

Customers Make the Difference in Your Self-Funded Growth Program

While it may seem like this requires full up-take from your entire customer base to achieve some of the results listed above, the reality is that even one customer can provide outstanding results – provided the reward offered is in line with the effort that they are willing to invest.

Through a self-funded program, companies can discover the true amount that a customer was previously spending with competitors. This is called ‘discretionary value’, where a customer’s preference will provide an opportunity to favour one brand over another.

Unlocking a customer’s real buying potential can be as simple as providing your sales team with real incentives – beyond price or product. This will empower your brand and your loyalty program, and position your business as front-of-mind when dealing with choosy customers.

Self-Funded Growth Programs Can Allow for Continued Success

One of the biggest reasons to launch a self-funded growth incentive program is the real ROI and added value that the program can deliver in the following years after the initial offering.

It is important to note that your brand may not experience the same growth results year after year. However, the numbers you achieve in the first year of your program will provide your organisation a baseline for further growth in subsequent years.

Here are some examples of the additional value that your growth incentive program can offer:

  • Growth programs allow your sales teams to be more transparent with customers, which will engage your base. This style of open communication has a history of leading to more sales.
  • Many of our long-standing clients also say that their team’s knowledge of each engaged customer’s business has improved greatly because of the program. This illustrates how growth incentives give customers a great reason to support new products.
  • If your competitors aren’t offering a growth program that delivers aspirational rewards or amazing life experiences to customers, this will provide your business with a sustainable competitive advantage. Conversations with motivated customers become more elevated, as they share deeper insights about their business objectives and opportunities for your company.

Our incentive programs have delivered profitable sales growth for our customers, across over 17 countries. If this article has got you thinking about how your brand may be interested in launching a self-funded incentive program, contact us today – your customers will thank you for it.