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Digital Transformation

Salesforce Introduces Rebate Management, Automating Incentive Programs for Distributor Networks

Today we’re introducing Rebate Management, new technology that allows companies selling through distributor channels to automate and leverage intelligent analytics for their rebate programs while providing greater visibility into program value and collaboration to sales teams and channel partners. 

Rebate programs can be a critical source of revenue for businesses. A company offers rebates to its channel partners as a financial incentive for ordering a specific quantity of products or spending a certain amount of money over a period of time, with refunds usually increasing as customers meet higher sales targets. 

As companies continue to navigate the pandemic and the economic recovery, rebate programs can be a crucial aspect to building loyalty with channel partners who help drive company revenue. Despite their importance, rebate programs are often stuck inside back office ERP systems and point solutions or tracked on spreadsheets. In many cases, only the finance team has access to this data, causing a disconnect when sales teams and distributors need an update on progress towards their rebates. With a lack of real-time insights, channel partners often can’t see the value in a certain rebate program and may not be motivated to sell one company’s product over a competitor’s. 

Introducing Rebate Management 

Rebate Management digitizes rebate programs to enable collaboration, automate program tracking and payouts and provide a single source of truth for rebate data, accessible to all relevant employees and channel partners in one place. 

Rebate program visibility across your organization

Rebate Management integrates out-of-the-box into any Salesforce cloud product to support industries that rely on distributor networks to sell products, including auto, consumer goods and manufacturing. This gives visibility to the entire company, including sales and finance, to easily track channel partner sales in real time within the same CRM system being used to track all other account activity and leverage these insights for ongoing sales conversations. 

Sales teams, which typically don’t have insight into how close their customer is to a higher refund, can now look up channel partners and see their refund qualification status, get visibility into recent transactions, payouts, what rebates a customer has qualified for and what it would take for them to secure an even larger payout. 

A retail partner who sells your brand of cosmetics, for example, could have qualified for a 10% refund on this month’s orders. However, with a week remaining to qualify for rebates, this partner could just be $5,000 short of qualifying for a 15% refund instead. With Rebate Management, sales teams can now receive an alert about this opportunity and reach out to the partner to close a mutually profitable final sale. 

Rebate Management gives sales teams a comprehensive view into a channel partner’s participation in a rebate program, including real-time insights into what rebates have been qualified for and how close a partner is to earning a deeper discount

Incentivize channel partners to prioritize your products 

Channel partners have access to a company portal that tracks progress towards earning rebates, the status of payouts that they have qualified for and their overall program history. 

That means an auto parts distributor can access a manufacturer’s partner portal to see if they’re on track to qualify for the month’s rebate. Using the portal, the distributor can also check the status of a payout that they qualified for with last month’s sales and how much money they’ve saved over the course of the year. This easy tracking and transparency in profitability helps build trust and helps keep distributors motivated to sell a company’s products.

Automate and customize rebate programs

Rebate Management enables companies to automate, scale and track rebate programs, using historic data to predict the value that channel partners will derive from the program. Companies can track payouts against overall revenue and see how a program is performing in various regional markets. This allows companies to easily tweak program refunds, including adding or removing available refunds or customizing offers to specific markets, so the program remains attractive to channel partners while also driving profitability. 

Rebate Management also automates the program review and payout process, freeing up finance teams and reducing the chance for human error so customers get paid faster and more transparently. Companies can customize the parameters for their rebate program and immediately begin tracking and scoring sales data against these parameters in real time to see rebate progress. 

For example, a pharmaceutical manufacturer may rely on a network of over 50 distributors. Rather than having the finance team review monthly invoices from each distributor and manually calculate payouts, Rebate Management can process this data. The result? A list of pending distributor payments for quick approval by the finance team. 

Yanmar Digitizes Their Dealer Rebate Program

Georgia-based Yanmar America Corporation manufactures and sells engines, agricultural equipment, construction equipment, UTV equipment and climate control systems, in addition to providing a range of remote monitoring services. Being able to effectively manage and process earned rebates serves as a vital incentive to keeping dealers engaged with selling Yanmar products, all while maintaining rebate program satisfaction. Through Yanmar VOC (voice of customer) campaigns, the company found that their current rebate process was in need of some efficiency gains that could only be accomplished through system automation.

Yanmar transitioned their rebate program into Salesforce to digitize the process and make it easier for dealers to process, submit and track rebate requests. Yanmar was able to improve efficiency internally and externally by 50% while also improving the overall rebate experience.

“Yanmar relies on a large network of dealers to sell our products and it’s essential that we’re doing everything we can to keep our dealers happy and engaged. Our rebate program is a highly effective strategy when it comes to managing our dealer relationships and we realized that we needed a more effective way to run our program, share insights and process earned payouts,” said Dani Emery, Salesforce Administrator of Yanmar. ”We are able to provide a digital-first rebate program experience that fosters tighter alignment between our sales team and dealers and increases our overall channel partner revenue.”

Drive growth with new channel partner solutions

Companies have been forced to innovate quickly over the course of this pandemic and will again as we eventually move into a post-pandemic world. For organizations relying on channel sales, this crisis has highlighted the need to build greater alignment with channel partners to effectively respond to dynamic sales environments and still meet revenue goals. 

With Rebate Management and the recently announced Loyalty Management technology, Salesforce is enabling businesses of all types to reimagine their channel partner and customer incentive programs with both monetary payouts and point-based rewards and redemptions. Together, these solutions will help our customers develop richer channel partner loyalty and a comprehensive strategy to drive business growth. 

Rebate Management is currently available for purchase to Salesforce customers with any existing cloud administrator license. To learn more about how Rebate Management can help power your channel sales, visit the Salesforce website and our blog


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