Jan 07, 2020

Make Your Rebate Management Simple

Make Your Rebate Management Simple

When thinking about sales incentives, most people will cast their mind towards consumer retail scenarios – two-for-one offers, Black Friday discounts, free movie tickets with every purchase – rather than special B2B pricing arrangements. However, the fundamental purpose of sales incentives remains the same no matter the context – to influence people to take a desired action.

B2B buyers and decision-makers are consumers too, of course, and they want to know “What’s in it for me?” just as much as anyone else. And this is precisely what rebate programmes are designed to do – to give buyers the motivation they need and the incentive they’re looking for to make a purchase.

The problem is though, that unlike B2C incentives (one-time discounts, offers, coupons, etc.), B2B rebate programs are inherently more complex – for both buyers and suppliers – making robust rebate management processes critical for every link in the supply chain.

Both parties need a way to meticulously record the precise details of all rebate agreements. All purchases and sales then need to be tracked accurately against those agreements to ensure buyers aren’t missing out on claims and suppliers aren’t overcompensating the customer and eating into their profit margin.

All this requires real-time visibility into your data – and that data needs to be 100% accurate, 100% of the time.

Why, then, do so many companies still rely on spreadsheets for rebate management? According to the 2019 Benchmarking Accounting & Finance Functions report from Robert Half and the Financial Education & Research Foundation (FERF), 63% of companies still use Excel as their primary budgeting and planning tool. That said, spreadsheet reliance is in decline – and for good reason.

Relying on spreadsheets to calculate rebates leaves organisations open to expensive errors and high levels of risk – especially if the organisation is managing numerous complex trade agreements with a diverse range of equally complex rebate arrangements.


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