Sales organizations are turning to sophisticated incentive programs to help them meet revenue commitments in today’s increasingly competitive markets. Rebates have become essential to a channel program. Rebates can offer significant benefits in the overall design of channel programs, providing organizations with additional tools to drive revenue growth in the channel, as well as decreasing operating costs through improved sales efficiencies.
Channel executives are often challenged to effectively implement and manage rebate programs. Poorly implemented rebate programs can have a negative effect on channel performance and relationships. The following are 3 ways to addressing typical rebate program challenges.
- Reduce or eliminate the manual processes
For many organizations, rebate programs can become quite complex with multi-tiered value chains, multiple entities potentially entitled to rebates, and hundreds of thousands of sales transactions to process. Over time, rebate programs become cumbersome and require significant headcount to manage. Rebate calculation alone can consume weeks of effort, adding major cost and delay into the program. Trying to manage these programs effectively with spreadsheets is a losing proposition.
Fortunately, with the correct Sales Performance Management solution in place, you can easily eliminate manual processes by tapping into different capabilities such as:
- Automated workflows from program creation through approvals and program rollout
- Comprehensive and flexible tools for creating a variety of types of rebate programs
- Robust data collection, validation, and rebates payment calculation
- Integration into core ERP systems for accruals and payments
- Enable end-to-end visibility into rebate validation, calculation, and payment
Channel program effectiveness is dramatically improved through end-customer and partner segmentation and accurate visibility into program performance in real-time. In the manufacturing industry, 67% of companies with rebates programs could identify end-customers for their indirect transaction, but only 34% received accurate, complete, and timely data. Also, 87% could predictably segment revenues by channel type, but less than 20% could consistently identify which partners served specific customer segments. To improve visibility into rebate program execution and effectiveness, solutions should offer:
- The ability to include direct and third-party transaction data, and simple tools for developing segment specific validations
- Easy ways to search and view how customers qualified for rebates and how specific rebate programs are performing
- Query tools for analysts to manage program liabilities and assess accruals in real-time
- Reports and dashboards on program performance by channel and customer segments that can be easily shared across the company
- Engage and align partners more effectively with your sales goals
About 50% of companies took over 30 days after a rebate claim was submitted to process the payment. Given the complexity and effort involved in manually administering rebate programs, time spent on partner engagement efforts typically gets short-changed. Even the best designed incentive programs can fall short of their potential business impact if channel partners are not actively engaged.
Best practice rebate program architecture has partner engagement built in. Look to include the following capabilities that drive partner alignment and engagement:
- Easy-to-use partner portal for program information and communications
- Up-to-date status on partner program qualification, program achievement, and payment expectations
- Gamification and incentives such as badges, levels, plus visibility into additional achievement required to maximize rebate pay-outs
Sales Performance Management solutions provide the transparency and visibility of individual, team and channel partner performance against program measures, equipping incentive design teams with rich performance data and sales reps with the clarity they need. Coupled with augmented intelligence that provides the proof, program administrators can deliver winning incentive programs with confidence.
Contact us to learn more about how Intangent can help you implement and manage a Sales Performance Management solution to reach your partner channel goals, schedule a meeting here.