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Unicorn Rebates – The Myths, Mysteries and Truths Behind Them

October 28, 2019

By Gloria Kee, Director, Product Management

If you’ve been paying attention to the market in the last 18 months, you might have seen the word unicorn trending from your local news network all the way to the covers of the Wall Street Journal. Everywhere we turn in High Tech, we hear of unicorn IPOs or know of someone who works for a company who has been marked with the illustrious unicorn IPO label. 

I mean, what’s not like to about the unicorn? A quick Google image search of unicorn turns your browser history into a 1990s Lisa Frank stationary set where glitter, sparkles and rainbows color over a dashing white stallion with a dazzling horn. Ironically enough, despite all the warm and fuzzy feelings that comes with the word unicorn, the truth is unicorns are mythical.

The volatility of the global high-tech market in 2019 has demolished bright companies once coined as unicorns to slip away into financial realities where the billion dollar valuation is everything, but the billion dollars. Unicorn companies lucky enough to go public still lose money(Justin Lahart. “Public Markets Expose the Myths of the Unicorn, May 23, 2019, New York.



What am I getting at? What do unicorns have anything to do with rebates and incentives? Well, if you’ve been following and read my post about the Changes and Challenges in the High Tech Market, you might have caught on that manufacturers are looking for creative ways to better engage their partners. Manufacturers from semiconductor, OEM, cloud storage, software, and the likes are pouring more money into motivating their partners with the most dazzling collection of creatively complex incentives.

These unicorn incentives span non-revenue based incentives like rewards for training, points for swag redemption, rebates for certification training, marketing funds with targeted marketing activities to revenue based incentives like performance rebates, or flat rebates for hitting sales targets  – the list of incentive types being offered out there goes on and on.  

Incentives are effective and they can work as great tools for achieving helping you and your partner achieve your revenue targets. Truth be told, if you don’t have the right tools to manage your incentives, it won’t matter if you have the most expansive collection of unicorn incentives for your channel. In 2018 alone, high-tech companies lost $1.4 billion dollars in profitability due to ineffective sales and incentives management (2018 Deloitte/AGMA study). Partners are busy and have multiple touch points with various manufacturers. The value of the incentives lies not only with the potential earning, but what the experience is like for everyone involved.

Incentives are truthfully complex and require internal and external stakeholders to all buy-in. Starting from an initial sales opportunity, to finances needing to review an incentives profitability, to ensuring sales opportunities can quickly and easily model and manage incentives, all the way through the partner’s experience in consuming the rebate, you can see these aren’t easy. 

For 20 years, Model N has seen firsthand that the most successful incentives are executed by manufacturers who have lived and thought about the experience from the incentives inception through its consumption. Model N’s Rebate Management offering has an easy to use rebate builder that accelerates your incentives time to market without sacrificing the visibility and audit capabilities that your finance team requires. Furthermore, Model N offers a unified partner experience regardless of whether you’re offering a financial rebate or a marketing incentive so that your partner stays engaged and informed.

To learn more about how Model N can demystify your incentives and rebate challenges, even the unicorns, go here.

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