Rebate Management Software: Everything You Need to Know

January 31, 2022
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Hitting sales quotas often comes along with creative solutions such as rebate programs. For companies who offer rebates to customers or vendors, there is a lot to manage. While rebates can surely increase the bottom line, they may also lead to headaches in terms of accounting and execution. With the aid of rebate management software, your organisation can issue rebates and relieve the stress that comes along with keeping track of the related money in and money out.

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Coming Up

1. What is Rebate Management?

2. What Does Rebate Management Software Do?

3. What are the Challenges of Rebate Management?

4. What are the Benefits of Rebate Management Software?

5. Why Use Rebate Management Software?

6. What are Key Features of Rebate Management Software?

7. What are the Benefits of Automation Software?

8. Wrap Up

What is Rebate Management?

Rebate management covers all the processes that come along with issuing rebates, such as recording rebate agreements, tracking purchases and sales in line with those agreements, managing accruals, and issuing rebate claims within the promised time frame.

In many organisations, there are dedicated teams that are in charge of taking care of rebate programs, and unfortunately, they are trying to manage rebates with legacy systems more often than not. This fact results in inefficient processes and lower productivity.

A very small improvement in rebate management can result in major cost savings and process improvements. If your team is managing its rebate programs using Excel spreadsheets or systems that don’t integrate with one another, you’re likely to be suffering from delays, missed opportunities, mistakes, and even unsatisfied customers or vendors.

What Does Rebate Management Software Do?

Have no fear - rebate management software exists to be of service in this realm. Rebate management software collects data across business systems to provide sales, purchasing, and finance teams with the real-time data that they need to properly oversee rebate programs.

Beyond the teams who have to be hands-on with the information, the C-suite gets to benefit from having access and insight into how the program is performing at any point in time.

Rebate management software automates each step of the rebate deal, from recording the agreement, tracking purchase, producing reports, developing forecasts, and more.

The way that customers submit their rebates is also shifting, thanks to rebate management software. The old days where a customer had to use snail mail to send in their rebate, wait for the company to process it, and issue money back are gone.

Now, digital submission methods allow for immediate processing of rebates, resulting in easier accounting methods, approvals, documenting, and, of course, more satisfied vendors and customers.

What are the Challenges of Rebate Management?

Along with the key person dependencies and bottlenecks that once stifled the rebate management process, rebate management in a manual age faces additional challenges.

These may include:

1. Lack of Customer Segmentation

The truth is that customers really appreciate personalisation and are more likely to act upon offers that are designed for their needs and desires. Like in email marketing, customer segmentation can be used to develop, design, and deliver optimised rebate programs based on customer segments.

Manually segmenting and managing multiple rebate programs will prove to be difficult, chaotic, and time-consuming.

2. Non-Standard Rebate Programs

If your organisation is issuing rebate programs and each team member is tracking the information or agreement on their own computer, then it will lead to discontinuity and non-standard programs. Rebate management software will standardise rebate programs across the board.

3. Tracking & Reconciliation

Tracking sales invoices and providing rebates in a timely manner can lead to errors, delays, and customers/vendors who may lose trust in your business.

What are the Benefits of Rebate Management Software?

Rebate management software alleviates the burden of having to manually manage rebate programs. Rebate programs make their way through multiple departments, from leadership to marketing, sales, accounting, and more.

As such, everyone needs to be on board with the execution of the program to properly deliver the promise to the customer or vendor who is reaping the reward of a rebate.

Digital rebate software will provide multiple benefits within your organisation, including:

1. Efficient Processing

Mail-in rebates can take weeks or months to fulfill. In that time frame, the recipient can become frustrated and may even add to your team’s work as they call or email customer support to get status updates on their rebate. With a digital option, customers simply fill out their information, including the purchase information that will link their rebate to the sale, and allow your organisation to process the rebate automatically.

2. Data Collection

With manual rebates, data must be manually entered into systems, including for accounting purposes. This increases the risk for manual errors, and also slows down the processing. Rebate management software can integrate with systems and collect/send necessary information.

3. Streamlined Communication

Throughout the process, rebate management software can provide customers, executives, accounting teams, sales and marketing, and any relevant party with the answers they may seek about the status or progress of a rebate program.

4. Increased Participation

The use of digital rebate software will likely increase participation rates. This is especially true for younger demographics who are digital natives.

Why Use Rebate Management Software?

With rebate management software, you will eliminate the need for your dedicated staff to spend time manually updating information and processing rebate claims. They can then instead allocate their time to high-level and creative tasks. Additionally, customer satisfaction levels are likely to increase.

Along with these advantages, rebate management systems can aid in improving your margins. You can utilise the software to perform analytics and provide you with automated reporting so you can review how your rebate programs are performing. Perhaps, through the analysis, you will recognise areas that are ripe for improvement or adjustments to boost your bottom line.

Rebate management software will help to make your rebate programs transparent for your trade partners, customers, and internal team. With this clarity, each party will be able to better recognise opportunities and adjust agreements based on forecasts so you can meet (and hopefully exceed) targets.

What are Key Features of Rebate Management Software?

Like most financial-related automation solutions on the market, there are a variety of vendors to choose from. The selection process can become overwhelming. That is, unless you know what to look for.

When shopping for your organisation’s rebate management software, refer to this checklist of useful features:

  • Rebate scheme management - to create complex rebate agreements
  • Sales data management - integrates data from multiple systems and uses a rebate calculator to deduce the amount owed back to customers
  • Payment services - apply customer preferences for how they receive rebate payments
  • Reporting - provides your team with progress reports, payment reports, accrual reports, net net price reports, etc.
  • Rebate modelling - test various rebate programs to forecast future rebate schemes or decide which are optimal to roll out
  • Rebate customer portal - customers can access their rebate status and history online to drive customer loyalty
  • Contract management - create and link rebate agreements to receive internal and external approval and maintain proper documentation

What are the Benefits of Automation Software?

If your team is looking to automate the rebate management process and also gain end-to-end automation abilities in a single solution, then a tool like SolveXia could be the perfect solution. SolveXia is a human analytical finance automation solution that can aid in managing rebates and commissions for your organisation.

The Challenge of Manual Commissions

For any organisation that pays commissions or offers rebates to customers, wholesalers, or intermediaries, the process can become messy quickly. The terms likely vary from party to party and can even change over time.

This means that manually recording the required data to carry out rebates and commissions can lead to errors and pain points. Over and under-payments will result in unhappy recipients and can detrimentally affect your organisation’s financial status.

Challenges of manual rebate and commission calculations may also include:

  • Fragmented data that is constantly growing
  • Excel-driven processes that are decentralised and error-prone
  • Follow-ups from commission/rebate recipients who become agitated and dissatisfied with delays, which can also hurt loyalty (thereby causing employee turnover or customer churn)

Finding a Solution and How Automation Tools Help

Instead, your team can rely on automation solutions like SolveXia to ingest and cleanse all your data from disparate systems to produce aggregations and calculations. Having these results immediately available will allow your team to create invoices and statements within minutes, rather than days.

With the low-code solution, you’re always able to adjust your rebate and commission terms without having to redevise processes or worry about execution. The tool is flexible and reliable, without requiring any assistance from IT professionals.

Additionally, all the data that is required for rebates and commissions is of course sensitive by nature. By utilising an automation platform like SolveXia, you can rest assured that everything is securely stored with bank-grade security and access controls allow for only required parties to be able to get into the system.

Be sure to check out this rebates example from a global pharmaceuticals company that relied on SolveXia’s tool to automate over 160 steps in under 20 minutes.

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Wrap Up

Rebate management software can dramatically improve your organisation’s rebate programs. Rebate and commission programs vary greatly and can constantly change, so you want to be sure that everyone who plays a role in executing the rebate/commission program is aligned with the latest and greatest.

That’s typically hard to do when data and agreements are stored across systems and there is lacking standardisation within the process.

With a rebate management system or tool like SolveXia which can manage your rebates and commissions for your organisation, every involved party has a lot to gain! To find out how a toll like SolveXia can ease your team’s workload and boost efficiency, request a demo.


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