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Salesforce launches tool to help businesses drive loyalty during the pandemic

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Salesforce today unveiled a product designed to help companies that are selling through distribution channels automate, scale, and leverage AI-driven insights for their rebate programs. Called Rebate Management, it taps a customizable data model to promote visibility and collaboration for sales teams and partners.

The pandemic and corresponding rise in online shopping threaten to push supply chains to the breaking point. Early in the COVID-19 crisis, Amazon was forced to restrict the amount of inventory suppliers could send to its warehouses. Ecommerce order volume has increased by 50% compared with 2019, and shipment times for products like furniture more than doubled in March. Overall U.S. digital sales have jumped by 30%, expediting the online shopping transition by as much as two years.

With the launch of Rebate Management, Salesforce is making the well-informed bet that some companies currently lack a way to see and optimize their customers’ incentive attainment. To this end, Rebate Management identifies cross-sell opportunities and exposes a view of attainment progress alongside account information within Salesforce’s customer relationship management platform. It also provides channel partner visibility into incentive programs, allowing sales teams to share threshold attainment with partners. Moreover, Rebate Management optimizes and automates incentive programs with analytics, enabling companies to model and analyze rebate programs while leveraging recommendations to drive upsells with offers.

“Unlike other rebate solutions, Rebate Management gives you a single source of truth into your rebate program that is easily accessible, updated in real time, and can be viewed by your entire company and channel partners,” a Salesforce spokesperson told VentureBeat via email. “With your rebate program in the [customer relationship management platform], companies also have a holistic view into their overall business performance, including closed opportunities, run-rate business, sales agreements, [and] channel incentives.”

The spokesperson said the rebate solution is built with the theme of driving intelligent insights to launch the right incentive programs for revenue growth and is made possible by leveraging the AI capabilities of Salesforce’s platform.

According to a recent Boston Consulting Group report, only 20% of businesses take part in value-based discounting, like rebate marketing. Logistical issues are one barrier to entry, but the loyalty benefits far outweigh the costs. Sixty-one percent of small and medium-sized businesses report that more than half of their revenue comes from repeat customers. On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as they spend on their first purchase.

Rebate Management is the latest of several products Salesforce has introduced over the past year to address pandemic-related enterprise challenges. In May, the company released four quick-start pandemic business packs for Commerce Cloud, its platform for brands to create buying experiences across multiple channels. More recently, Salesforce rolled out a new Service Cloud workforce planning tool aimed at helping manage contact centers with remote workers. Then there’s Einstein Automate, a set of AI-fueled workflow solutions the company announced during its virtual Dreamforce conference in early December, as well as a platform called Salesforce Anywhere that’s designed to let teams collaborate and share data wherever they are.

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