It’s often said a customer in hand is worth two in the pipeline - businesses can increase their profits in a big way by retaining their existing clientele; a report by Harvard Business School reveals a 5% increase in customer retention rate can boost profits by as much as 25% to 95%.
What does it take to retain existing customers? Well, as we all know delivering excellent customer experiences plays a critical role in facilitating repeat business. Companies must take all necessary steps to ensure seamless customer journeys to delight their clientele.
A key aspect in enabling a seamless customer journey is billing the client in an effective manner. The billing processes of organizations must be transparent and highly flexible to gain the trust and meet the unique requirements of each customer.
Most companies use robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to facilitate hassle-free billing of their customers. A good CRM system helps ensure high levels of accuracy and visibility in the billing process.
One of the most widely used CRM systems in the corporate world is Salesforce. Today, we’ll examine the capabilities of two powerful products of Salesforce viz. Subscription Management and Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) and understand how they empower companies to make their billing processes smooth and user-friendly.
What Is Salesforce Subscription Management and How Does It Enable Seamless Billing?
As its name suggests, Salesforce Subscription Management is a feature-rich solution that allows companies to streamline their processes pertaining to management of subscriptions. Available as part of Salesforce Revenue Cloud, a 360-degree revenue management tool, Subscription Management enables organizations to automate billing activities, come up with flexible pricing models, leverage state-of-the-art real-time analytics to enhance the efficiency of their subscription-based businesses and achieve rapid growth.
Let us now proceed to look at the key benefits of using Salesforce Subscription Management.
How Does Subscription Management Help Drive Revenues?
Enables Hassle-free Management of the Subscription Lifecycle
You can handle subscriptions end-to-end using Salesforce Subscription Management. The innovative solution facilitates hassle-free creation, modification and termination of subscriptions, thereby allowing you to track and manage subscriptions very effectively.
Empowers Excellent Customer Self-service
Over the last few years, there has been a tremendous spurt in the number of customers seeking self-service options. According to a report published by McKinsey & Company, 99% of B2B buyers claim they will make a purchase in an end-to-end digital self-serve model. Salesforce Subscription Management enables comprehensive, top-notch customer self-service - clients can search for the product they need, buy it and make the payment effortlessly without the assistance of a customer service rep.
Provides a Robust, Unified Billing Engine
Each subscription has a financial implication. A single, unified billing mechanism goes a long way in helping you expedite collection of cash and deliver good experiences to your clientele. Salesforce Subscription Management allows you to utilize real-time information gathered throughout the buying journey and generate a consolidated invoice instantaneously and apply payment without hassles.
Facilitates Effective Automation of Billing Activities
Salesforce Subscription Management empowers you to harness cutting-edge tools to automate your billing process. You can utilize the tool to automate a wide variety of payment models including one-time purchase, recurring buying and usage-based invoicing. Salesforce Subscription Management also provides excellent support to several widely-used payment gateways.
Helps Segment Customers and Personalize Payment Terms
You can integrate Salesforce Subscription Management seamlessly with all other solutions provided by Salesforce. This will enable you to facilitate hassle-free sharing of data among various teams in your organization. You can also use the novel solution to segment customers on the basis of their preferences to launch precisely-targeted pricing offers and come up with payment terms that perfectly meet the needs of the clientele.
As you can see, Salesforce Subscription Management can be used by businesses that rely on subscription-based business models. The tool is ideal to meet the billing needs of firms such as SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) companies, media and entertainment businesses, publishing houses, digital commerce portals and membership-based organizations.
We’ll now move on to explore the features of Salesforce CPQ that facilitate high levels of billing efficiency.
How Does Salesforce CPQ Help Enhance Billing Efficacy?
Salesforce CPQ is a robust solution that empowers companies to manage product configuration, quote generation, pricing and invoicing activities in a highly efficient manner to augment the productivity of sales teams and facilitate seamless revenue management.
Most companies integrate their Salesforce CPQ platform with Salesforce Billing, an add-on solution that leverages data in Salesforce CPQ. After a salesperson creates a quotation and orders it within Salesforce CPQ, Salesforce Billing takes the order record to facilitate billing, payment and recognition of revenues.
Let’s now look at a few benefits of using Salesforce CPQ and Billing.
What Makes Salesforce CPQ and Billing the Ideal Tools to Augment Revenue Collection Efficiency?
Seamless Invoice Lifecycle Management
By integrating Salesforce CPQ with Salesforce Billing, you can generate an invoice for an order and handle its balances using credit and debit notes. You can also automate payments from clients and process them manually or using a payment gateway. Furthermore, you can register all information pertaining to transactions in finance books, and subsequently, map the information into an external Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. You can also leverage a powerful revenue recognition mechanism to account for revenues earned through sale of products and services.
Faster Quote-to-Invoice Development
You utilize the combination of Salesforce CPQ and Salesforce Billing to automate invoice generation and revenue scheduling on a single, user-friendly application. This allows you to reduce the time needed to review and validate invoices in a big way. Efficient generation of revenue schedules, along with time saved on executing mundane administrative tasks, enable you to forecast revenues better.
Effective Automation of Payment Systems
You can integrate Salesforce Billing with the tools used by various payment processing vendors. Utilizing the former’s in-built capabilities and integrations will allow your team to expedite payment collection, and thereby, improve your cash flows. You can then integrate the payment data with external systems such as those used to record Accounts Receivable (AR) information.
So far, we have looked at the features of Salesforce Subscription Management and the combination of Salesforce CPQ and Billing and how they facilitate hassle-free invoicing and revenue growth. Let’s now see which of these two systems you need to use by analyzing their relative strengths and limitations.
A Comparison of the Invoicing Capabilities of Salesforce Subscription Management and Salesforce CPQ and Billing
While it’s true both Salesforce Subscription Management and Salesforce CPQ and Billing help enhance the invoicing efficiency of organizations, they have distinct functionality and cater to different use cases. We’ll now evaluate the suitability of these two systems for your business.
Salesforce Subscription Management
Salesforce Subscription Management is designed to meet the requirements of companies providing products and services using subscription-based models. It enables smooth management of the subscription lifecycle, facilitates automation of invoicing and helps personalize payment terms.
Salesforce CPQ and Billing
Salesforce CPQ and Billing is eminently suitable for organizations with complex quoting and pricing processes. It provides highly-advanced product configuration capabilities and enables seamless management of contracts and generation of invoices.
When you choose between Salesforce Subscription Management and Salesforce CPQ and Billing, you must keep your unique business needs in mind. If subscriptions are the primary source of your revenue and streamlining their management is your priority, Salesforce Subscription Management is perfectly-suited to your organization’s requirements. On the other hand, if your organization needs to perform complex quoting, pricing and billing activities, Salesforce CPQ and Billing will be a better option.
I’d like to conclude by saying the right choice of billing tools will play an important role in facilitating quick, hassle-free invoicing, thereby allowing your business to increase its revenues considerably and provide delightful experiences to your customers. At Solunus, we help you leverage cutting-edge applications to enhance your billing efficiency. Our team of veteran Salesforce professionals has worked with companies of all sizes across diverse industries. This rich experience coupled with our strong emphasis on comprehending your unique requirements helps us deliver the perfect solution that provides the highest ROI.
Hope you liked this post. How do you use Salesforce to maximize your invoicing efficiency? We’d love to know.
Solunus is a leading Salesforce consulting company, based in Dallas, TX, USA. Our proven ‘needs-first’ approach coupled with our unrivaled expertise of the Salesforce platform enables us to provide the perfect solution to help you deliver delightful services to customers and achieve rapid growth.