Many teams fall into the habit of using Excel to manage their Channel Incentive Programs. It is pre-installed, and many individuals use it to perform routine tasks and reports. Spreadsheets, unfortunately, aren't up to the challenge of managing a complex beast like the Channel Incentive Program. The average channel program has more than 90 components that support partners and sales reps. (McBain, 2021) For your team, the ideal solution is to adopt Channel Incentive Management (CIM) software.
Here's what you are risking when you stay the same.
1. Risk: Mistakes
Excel is a terrific tool, but it's not designed for channel incentive program management. One partner, one set of claims? Excel is ideal for this. Several partners and a high number of claims? Excel becomes your nightmare. It can quickly grow to be unmanageable. There will always be errors and inaccuracies, no matter how meticulous you are. Did you know that 80% of Excel spreadsheets have errors (Vinhas de Lima, 2021)? It's true!
One of the biggest mistakes in Excel was when the British Government used spreadsheets to do contact tracing on Covid 19 – but it was on an outdated version of Microsoft Excel, where the XLS version would only have 64,000 rows. It then stops accepting any additional data, unlike the XLSX version, which continues. The consequence was disastrous: 18,000 records went missing, contact tracing was delayed by five days, and many lives were lost as a result (Harford, 2021).
CIM automates the processing of claims and other data. To ensure data integrity, it is verified both during and after submission. It's designed to handle large volumes of data and offers an easy-to-use interface for managing claims and other data. There's no need to move between various spreadsheet versions to correct errors.
2. Risk: Wasted Time
When it comes to maintaining a complicated program, Excel is a time-sucking vortex. People are aware of this, but they continue to waste hours on spreadsheets since they are unaware of a better solution, such as CIM. Here are some figures about how people spend their time with Excel (Alexander et al., 2021)
- 60% cleaning and manipulating data
- 55% Manually checking numbers
- 90% worrying about controls, mistakes, and reporting.
Legacy spreadsheets and similar programs require intensive human resources to use and maintain. Productivity is lost when your team scrambles to find data, using multiple versions of spreadsheets and fixing broken code.
The ideal CIM program relieves the burden of running a channel incentive program from start to finish. That means you won't have to waste any more time on Excel. In addition to the platform, there is an army of individuals collecting data and details. At ChannelAssist, We'll take care of your program while you concentrate on what's important. Switch to a CIM instead of doing mindless data entry on Excel to free your staff. Their talents would be better utilized elsewhere.
3. Risk: Lack of Innovation and Integration
Excel and spreadsheets have a limited set of capabilities. They're best at storing information and calculating figures. It's pointless to try to make Excel work as an end-to-end channel incentive program. Excel cannot collaborate with other departments in a meaningful way. It lacks customization on the backend, and integration with other APIs and programs is difficult or outright impossible.
As companies grow, so make their channel sales, but manual processes or spreadsheets can hinder that growth. It will be impossible to scale and adjust your channel reward program with Excel. Excel's UI isn't adaptable, it can't handle change, and it stifles creativity.
The possibilities with CIM are limitless. There's a lot more you can do, including education, tracking, reporting, and promotions. Channel software promotes creativity. Your team will be able to drive business development efforts, experiment, and integrate with other applications with the help of a robust platform.
Running your channel program on Excel means letting it and your team languish in mediocrity. When you operate it on a CIM platform, you'll be able to improve and innovate daily.
CIM software gives your team the tools they need to manage your channel incentive program. There will be no more lost time, errors, or stifled innovation. By reducing your reliance on spreadsheets for a CIM software platform, you can utilize today's technology while also leveraging expert knowledge to improve your channel incentive program.
Want to free your team from Spreadsheets? For over 20 years, we have helped companies transition from Excel with our end-to-end Channel Incentive Program.
1. Vinhas de Lima. (2021, October 1). 88% of the Excel spreadsheets have errors.
2. Harford, T. (2021, May 31). Cautionary Tales –Wrong Tools Cost Lives. Tim Harford.
3. Alexander, A., Smet, A., Langstaff, M., & Ravid, D. (2021, April 20). What employees are saying about the future of remote work. McKinsey & Company.
4. McBain, J (2021, January 12). Channel Software Tech Stack 2021.