Where Do B2B Rebates Fit Into Your Sales and Marketing Strategy?

by: Luke Kreitner December 9, 2019

B2B rebates are simple, right? You attach rebates to specific products to generate demand from buyers in your sales channel. Or you use B2B rebates to reward increased purchase volume. However, there are other considerations to take into account.

For instance, is your rebate program providing a good customer experience or could it be damaging your customer relationships? How well are you able to track the ROI of your rebate program?  How efficient is your rebate verification and fulfillment? Are there other aspects of your overarching sales and marketing objectives that your B2B rebate program could be used to accomplish?

Let’s take a look at how B2B rebates can work for you and how you can fully integrate rebates into your sales and marketing strategy to maximize your return on investment.

Traditional Use-Cases for B2B Rebates

Before we get into more innovative and nuanced use-cases, it’s useful to understand how B2B companies have traditionally used rebates to accomplish their sales goals. Afterall, chances are you will still want to structure your B2B rebate program to accomplish similar objectives:

  • Generate buyer demand for high margin products to increase revenue.
  • Reduce dead inventory costs by using B2B rebates to move old inventory.
  • Incentivize customers in order to increase their sales volume or order frequency.
  • Accelerate adoption rate by offering rebates for new or underperforming products.
  • Build buyer preference to cut out the competition and steal market share.
  • Improve marketing data from rebate submission forms.

Mistakes to Avoid for Your Rebate Program

While your B2B rebate program can be used to accomplish all of these outcomes, let’s look at potential problems you’ll want to avoid. Addressing these issues in advance will help you create a rebate marketing strategy that’s head and shoulders above the competition.

  • Inefficiencies leading to a poor customer experience:

    Wait, so just offering price discounts isn’t enough? B2B sales success is rooted in providing a trusted partnership to your buyers, instead of just competing on price. This extends to every interaction your buyers have with your brand. If your B2B rebate form submission is manual and inconvenient, if your rebate fulfillment is slow, or – worse yet – you fail to honor your rebates, then what does that say about your brand? Failing to provide a satisfying user experience will lead to low levels of participation and engagement, minimizing the impact of your B2B rebates.

  • Inefficiencies leading to fraud:

    Do you have a verification system in place for your B2B rebate program? Investing in rebate verification software will speed up fulfillment, ensure compliance, and reduce fraud. Giving buyers the option to upload sales invoices or other documents alongside their rebate submissions and using software to match and verify these claims, creates a win-win situation. It gives legitimate users a better experience, while empowering your organization to thwart users who might try to game the system. Plus, it drastically cuts down on the paper trail and man hours required to manage your rebate program.

  • Inefficiencies leading to lost data:

    Beyond managing the data your B2B rebate programs needs to stay in compliance, there are additional datapoints that your rebate program can be used to collect. The rebate submission process is an opportunity to collect contact data and firmographic data that can arm your sales and marketing teams with valuable insights to match the buyer’s journey. Analyzing the rebate promotions your accounts engage with, and for which products, creates opportunities to upsell, cross-sell, or reengage. But you need to be able to act on this data. And this means having tools in place to integrate and organize this data.

  • Failing to provide quality enablement to your partners:

    Channel enablement has become an increasingly important part of B2B sales success. Educating your buyers about your value proposition and providing training allows them to successfully sell your products to their customers. Incorporating platforms for education, training, and communication into your rebate program gives you the chance to provide sales enablement on a platform where partners are already engaged and motivated by the value proposition of your B2B rebates.

  • Failing to capitalize on opportunities to personalize relationships:

    Many manufacturers and distributors struggle to personalize interactions with their B2B customers. Your rebate program provides new touchpoints for communication and personalization with your participants. Rebate program websites, mobile apps, and communications tools are all opportunities to personalize your relationship with your channel partners. Don’t let them go to waste!

Using Rebate Technology for a Competitive Advantage

b2b rebate verification

The concept of B2B rebates remains straightforward. But digital transformation has placed new demands for their execution. With rising customer expectations and the competitive advantage of data and analytics, the success of your B2B rebates program hinges on choosing the right rebate management software. To learn more about making your B2B rebate program an integrated part of your sales and marketing strategy, feel free to give us a call!


About Luke Kreitner

Luke Kreitner is the VP of Sales at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that specializes in helping B2B businesses accelerate growth, increase sales, motivate channel partners and retain B2B customers.