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Big Bet: Growing emerging market sales via innovative channel incentives program

A global technology company faced low software sales in the breadth channel segment of emerging markets. In response, a senior leader at the company wanted to place a career making bet that would tackle this issue head-on and increase revenue for the company.

Initial strategy work identified the retail salesperson in emerging markets as a critical influencer in consumer purchasing decisions, but the company wasn’t adequately supporting or incentivizing this role. Although the client had robust global channel incentive programs upstream at the manufacturer and distributor level, it lacked a scalable, proven “last mile” program at point of sale in these markets.


Supporting the senior leader, we generated a big bet program, built the business case, and helped sell the idea to the vice president of the division, securing the funding necessary to execute.

Working across policy, finance, operations, field organizations and retail partners, we planned and executed a pilot program for five representative emerging markets. As part of the pilot program, we onboarded field marketing organizations and retail partners, delivered a web portal and SMS platform to onboard retail sales people and manage their participation, and established a robust business intelligence (BI) platform to track sales and minimize fraud.

The pilot program enabled field marketing teams to build campaigns for recruiting, training and awarding retail sales persons for having the right conversations with customers to generate sales.


The program generated the desired results. Retail sales people who participated in the pilot program were more likely to recommend the company’s product, were significantly better at communicating the company’s value proposition, and drove more sales at a higher average sales price.

To amplify these results, the program was scaled to 21 emerging markets and championed by field marketing organizations, with some of these groups reallocating discretionary funds to support the program.

The leader’s successful bet on this initiative led directly to a promotion.


Critical to the ongoing success of this program was having a global Business Manager run a well-defined rhythm with the participating field marketing organizations. A centrally led governance model ensured that:

-Local incentive design and delivery was compliant with the company’s financial accounting policies.
-Fraud was minimized and timely action was taken with non-compliant retail partners and sales persons.
-The global incentive platform team had visibility into local campaigns for effective capacity planning, --feature development and program evaluation

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