What makes a B2B Loyalty Rewards Program Successful?

Gone are the days when businesses customers lasted for a lifetime. It is getting easier than ever for B2B customers to switch their vendors and suppliers. Not only can B2B customers easily search for competitive products, your competitors can easily find your customers and bombard them with targeted messages. Lets find out what makes a b2b Loyalty Rewards Program successful for businesses.

Just having a good product does not suffice, if your existing/potential customers don’t know it, then sales will suffer. Training programs can help educate your customers/partners on your products and offering them incentive rewards for completing such trainings. Webinars, blog posts, quizzes, seminars etc. can help educate your customers on the new products, features, industry insights etc. Creating specialized training and content helps customers realize, you’re invested in their success and their goals. A mobile-friendly training platform with a self-paced learning module can provide more flexibility to customers. Rewarding these customers with a special rewards program can prove effective!

A well designed B2B loyalty rewards and incentives program is now critical to retain your customers. Businesses are quickly realizing that the traditional B2C loyalty programs are equally, if not more applicable to B2B vertical as well. After all businesses are run by people!

For B2B companies, the customer pool is significantly smaller, which means that losing just one customer can be catastrophic. Therefore, customer retention needs to be the number one priority for any B2B business. Loyalty rewards programs for businesses is gaining momentum.

As per a research study by Bain & Company, a 5 percent increase in the customer-retention rate can result in a 25 percent-to-95 percent increase in profits for B2B businesses. Another interesting point to note is It is 25 times more expensive to bring on a new customer than to keep an already existing one. B2B companies dread working on the customer-turnover rate and seemingly will do anything to avoid it.

The above highlights why B2B loyalty rewards programs are on the rise. Let us look at some B2B Loyalty programs that have created a niche for themselves.

HP Planet Partners B2B Loyalty Rewards Program

HP Planet Partners Rewards Program is available in more than 60 countries and territories around the world.

The program’s objective is to reward companies for returning used original HP print cartridges to support HP’s recycling initiative. It goes beyond just rewards for an organization. This program is enabling organizations to contribute towards social and environmental responsibility efficiently.

HP Planet Partners B2B Loyalty Rewards Program

About the program:

  • The objective is 3-fold: Companies get rid of the empty cartridges, in the process they earn HP credits and contribute their bit in creating a safer environment by opting for the safe recycling option.
  • The program is open only to select MVC accounts as appointed by HP and offers multiple options to return and recycle HP cartridges.
  • Only qualified Original HP Ink and Toner Cartridges are covered in this program
  • On a monthly basis, the used original HP inkjet and LaserJet print cartridges are picked by HP’s designated collection agency.

The used original HP inkjet and LaserJet print cartridges are counted, and points awarded basis the slab below:
points awarded

The earned points can be redeemed by companies for HP Gift Vouchers which can be used to purchase HP products from select authorised channel partners, thereby saving organisations money and resources as the recycling is free.

What makes the rewards program work?

  • It is a simple but brilliant strategy. Companies feel good about recycling and earn HP credits in the process. This creates a compelling reason for them to buy HP products again and the cycle continues.
  • The program is simple, designed in such a way to make it convenient for organizations
  • It is enabling companies to be socially responsible in business dealings by minimizing their impact on the environment
  • Leveraging partnership with collection agency to ensure a seamless pick up process
  • Participating companies are recognized for their initiative

American Express Partners Plus

American Express Partners Plus is a referral-based partnership program between an organization and American Express Global Corporate Payments. American Express awards organizations with incentives if they successfully refer one of their business contacts for their Global Corporate Payments program.

American Express Partners PlusAbout the program:

  • This program gives B2B companies and professional associations an opportunity to partner with American Express and offer their business clients financing and expense management solutions from American express.
  • Customers reap many benefits when they refer new accounts.

estimated annual charge volume amex partners plus

What makes the rewards program work?

  • Simple and straightforward for customers to understand
  • Establishes and deepens a trusted partner relationship with clients
  • Creates a win win situation for customers and clients
  • Provides more credibility in the market being associated with a brand like American Express.

Know Your IBM (KYI)

Know Your IBM (KYI) is IBM’s primary B2B loyalty programme, targeting resellers in its distribution channel globally with rewards for completing product educational activities and selling eligible IBM solutions. KYI is critical to building relationships with business partners, increasing their knowledge of products and services, and growing overall revenue.

About the program:

  • KYI is structured into two components: learn and earn, here participants are rewarded with points for completing year-round online learning modules, sell and earn which rewards participants for selling certain IBM products/services.
  • On completion of each module, business partners are rewarded with points that can be exchanged for gifts from participating merchants.

Know Your IBM (KYI)

In 2017 KYI participants consistently sold 3x more IBM products than their non-participant counterparts. 

Motivforce is the agency that has developed the multi-award winning programs Lenovo LEAP and Know Your IBM program.

What makes the rewards program work?

  • Members can expand their professional network, continually refine their IBM solution expertise as well as achieve fantastic rewards.
  • Participant engagement is driven by fusing innovative gamification techniques with e-learning to drive participation.

Know Your IBM (KYI) banner

  • The program offers fun and rewards at the same time. Example, in 2017, KYIBINGO involved completing specific e-learning modules via digital BINGO cards. Players were rewarded with the opportunity to share in 200,000 KYI points pot, earn bonus points on the top ten leader board.

The Lenovo Lenovo Expert Achievers Programme (LEAP program)

Another interesting and successful B2B program is The Lenovo Lenovo Expert Achievers Programme (LEAP program).An innovative B2B channel program, designed to drive resellers’ loyalty in selling Lenovo’s server solutions.

LEAP program

About the program:

  • The key objective has been, to ensure resellers (known as Business Partners) are as technically proficient as possible, empowering them while selling complex server solutions to their clients. This fuelsin revenue generation and market share growth.
  • Points can be redeemed for MasterCard gift cards or reloadable cards and retail vouchers.
  • A specific 2017 target was for LEAP to join forces with eight coalition partners – a relatively new concept in B2B loyalty, participants earned bonus points for selling Lenovo servers, or completing education modules, bundled with complementary vendor products. This target was exceeded as 10 coalition partners joined LEAP, contributing to a significant drive in engagement and revenue.

The program hit the right chord, it impacted partner sales efficacy; partners sold seven times more Lenovo products than non-participants

What makes the rewards program work?

  • Program is structured in a way to provide the business partners multiple options
  • Two-fold benefit- Learn & Earn which awards participants with points for completing education modules online; and Sell & Earn which rewards participants for selling eligible Lenovo server products.
  • Learn from anywhere anytime as per their convenience provides them the flexibility.

Priority Partnership

Nufarm Limited is one of the world’s leading crop protection and specialist seeds companies. They produce products to help farmers protect their crops against damage caused by weeds, pests and disease. Priority Partnership is a rewards program rewarding Nufarm NZ customers. Itwas launched to reward customers for purchasing products, to provide product information, offer product specials and much more. This is now an institution within the farming community.

Nufarm Limited priority partnershipAbout the program:

  • Nufarm operates through national merchant/ retailer channels the Priority Partnership Members Services team
  • Priority Partnership members nationwide receive special product and service information through the program
  • Priority Partnership members have been members of the program for more than 19 years on average. They are highly engaged with over 90% annual points earn to spend (earn vs. burn ratio).
  • The program has helped in improving the efficiency, service and functionality at Nufarm

What makes the rewards program work?

  • The available data and insights offer better decision making and foster closer customer relationships.
  • Priority Partnership was taken to the cloud at a time when many local B2B programs were still spreadsheet based.
  • Customers get access to customised reward specials and a chance to redeem from more than 5,000 reward offerings. Keeping a balance between exciting and delighting customers!
  • Customers can maximize profits with Increased rebate opportunities
  • A wide selection of high-performing herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and plant growth regulators included in rewards.
  • The ability to leverage customer data, develop insights and offerings to better serve customers has helped them have loyal customers over the years.
  • Special membership offers, and promotions makes the program lucrative for customers

All the above programs show the different approaches companies are taking in designing their loyalty rewards programs and the reasons that make the program stand out for their customers. Companies are now recognising the immense value in the same. Loyalty represents the source of all profits for an organization. By focusing on providing ongoing value to customers, identifying opportunities to improve that value, preventing the risk of customers from defecting, and reactivating profitable customers when they do defect- these activities will ensure maximum shareholder value.