Rebates…UGH. They’re like your favorite worst enemy. We all know how important rebates are to the world of LEDs, but easy access into constantly changing utility programs has never been available. No matter who you are or how you are trying to use them, rebate programs are a challenge to navigate — from an end user trying to learn about and submit for a utility rebate, to a distributor who wants to use rebates to increase his margins but is afraid to quote the wrong number, to the marketing team trying to plan their next targeted campaign or create engaging content that converts their website traffic. Using rebates can be so beneficial to these processes, but they are extremely time consuming — especially if you’re dealing in more than one utility.
When it comes to using rebates confidently to sell lighting, there are a lot of factors that come into play and it can be very confusing. There are over 3,000 individual electric utilities across North America. Each program calculates rebates their own way, with their own special set of rules and requirements. Within the LED lighting world there are custom, prescriptive, and midstream calculations. Most utility rebate programs offer some combination of the three. Some require pre-approval and post-inspection by the utility, and others just require data that proves energy savings. Additionally, a program you research one month could be closed the next if funding unexpectedly runs out. With every rebate program having its own variations, the world of rebates can be quite puzzling and require a lot of time to navigate.
In a survey of lighting distributors by www.electricaltrends.com, almost 90% of them said that they found rebates to be important or very important in closing a sale and 74% said they would sell fewer products if incentives were no longer available. However, only 13% of distributors felt that programs are easy to follow and file into. Most lighting manufacturers will say their distributors handle rebates in their territory and have a good grasp of them, but based on this survey it is clearly not the case.
Understanding how difficult these programs are to follow, we created the Encentivizer™ Platform. A suite of tools built using a comprehensive database that includes the rules and calculations for every utility program in the United States and Canada. By tracking every utility program across the US and Canada and every LED fixture listed on the DLC® and ENERGY STAR® product lists, we were able to create some tools that are simple to use no matter how much you do or don’t know about utility rebates and programs. These tools are designed specifically for lighting manufacturers to assist with sales and marketing strategies. When it comes to engaging with customers, content is key. The Encentivizer Platform equips you with valuable and relevant data that can help your sales channels close deals and engage end users.
How to use the Encentivizer Platform to maximize your sales and marketing efforts
1. Use Encentivizer Product Awareness to see where rebates for your products are highest across the country to help you to target your marketing efforts. Then, drive that traffic back to your website where they can learn more about rebates using the Encentivizer Catalog Widget.
2. Engage your website visitors with the Catalog Widget. It’s simple to use and provides real-time rebate estimates for every fixture in your qualified product catalog. You can also provide download links for cut sheets, screenshots of the DLC® listing, and a link directly to the utility program. In addition to your end users, make sure every person that sells or installs your products knows that this is available on your site. Believe me, it will make their day and you will earn their loyalty.
3. Use the Encentivizer Payback Widget to show how rebates can decrease upfront product costs, the improved ROI from rebates and energy savings, and the short payback period. It’s also hosted right on your site, so your sales channel and end users can both evaluate the value of LEDs.
With Encentiv Energy and the Encentivizer Platform, you aren’t just getting a great product, you’re also getting a customer success team to help you grow and realize the full potential of the Encentivizer Platform.
With Q3 quickly coming to a close and the slowest part of the year following closely after, now is the perfect time to start implementing these tools. We would love to show you how the Encentivizer Platform can bring value to your organization and it’s easier now than ever to book a demo. Schedule a quick meeting to see how Encentivizer can work for you!
By Reid Gustin, National Sales Manager