What is a SSOT and How Does it Affect Your SaaS Subscription Management?

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At one point or another, most SaaS business struggle with access to the right data. This can take the form of juggling multiple spreadsheets and email threads or hopping between tools in your tech stack when compiling information for sales, reports, or day-to-day subscription management.

And you can only create work-around solutions for so long. Eventually, suspect data creeps in and leads to issues that can impact every department, from sales and marketing to finance and customer success—even at the executive level.

In turn, this can impact the customer at every stage of their subscription journey.

It’s hard to retain the integrity of data that’s spread across multiple systems, tools, and departments.

Depending on who has access to it and whether that data is updated in real-time and synchronized across the board, teams are often left unsure of whether the data they’re using is reliable.

SaaS business teams need one place where accurate data can always be found. Not only that, the data needs to be up-to-date and easily accessible while remaining secure.

They need a single source of truth.

What is a single source of truth (SSOT)?

Put simply, a SSOT is a business’s primary source of accurate, real-time data across all its departments. It’s where teams can go to confidently find the information they need with reliability.

Some businesses consider their customer relationship management (CRM) platform to be a SSOT, for example, or their accounting system or ERP.

Yet, CRM, accounting software, and ERPs —though vital tools in the modern SaaS tech stack—fall short of meeting all the data needs of a scaling SaaS business.

  • For example, while a CRM platform is an excellent source of lead and customer information, this information is often live and in continual flux as various individuals within an organization make updates and changes—such as when a customer upgrades or downgrades their subscription plan.
    As customers move along down the pipeline with your business and their data touches and transfers back and forth between various departments, this leaves lots of room for undermined data integrity.

  • Accounting software presents a different problem. While it provides an accurate, detailed financial history for your business, its design focuses on past data. It’s your system of record for period-end closing. This leaves a large blind spot when it comes to current, real-time information. It also doesn’t provide any way of automatically or efficiently deriving future predictions about a business.

  • As for ERPs, their inventory-centered approach is great for creating a linear one-time sales process. However, these systems can struggle to manage the various changes and demands of a recurring revenue stream. This is particularly true when a SaaS business offers multiple plans and products on a subscription basis that customers can move between in real time.

SaaS businesses need to establish a SSOT capable of offering reliable customer and financial data integrity along with automated revenue forecasting. And in doing so, they can enhance their businesses’ entire subscription management process.

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The right SSOT is a subscription management game-changer

A robust solution is to establish an adaptive recurring billing system, not only as your SaaS business’s financial system of record, but also as your SSOT for accounts receivable.

MonetizationEngine

These systems sit in between—and integrate with—your businesses other key platforms like your CRM, ERP, and accounting software. And they offer that source of both financial and customer data integrity, not to mention automation and efficiency to enhance your business’s entire subscription management and monetization process.

Sales and quotes: To maintain accurate billing, the catalog within your recurring billing system houses the most up-to-date data regarding your SaaS businesses products, plans, and pricing.

This means for sales and quotation purposes, your team can always rely on this data to provide potential subscription customers with the most accurate information regarding what you can offer and what it will cost. This is crucial because misquoting leads to customer confusion and lost revenue.

Billing and invoicing: Once a customer has been created in your recurring billing system and pricing is established (and even customized as needed) billing and invoicing is accurately and automatically rolled out on a recurring schedule. 

Accounting pain-points around recurring billing are resolved with automation. Billing automation creates a set-it-and-forget-it subscription management environment for billing clerks. 

Customers benefit too. Inaccuracies from manual processes lead to mistrust and even churn. 

Customer support: Along the customer journey, your support team members can also confidently rely on your billing system as their SSOT for accurate information on customer cohort revenue.

They can also access customers' contact information and subscription history. They can dig into customers' payment schedules and billing details. And because recurring billing systems generate future invoices, they're able to provide customers with details about their upcoming billing.

Having accurate customer information as needed makes customers feel valued and confident in your business’s processes.

Customer success: Lifecycle playbooks enable SaaS customer success teams to formalize their retention strategies. But to create these playbooks, they first need to understand what makes their customers churn and what makes them stick around.

A reliable SSOT like recurring billing software gives teams access to up-to-date churn and lifetime value (LTV) data to inform playbook-building and actioning.

By establishing a reliable SSOT for revenue that’s shared across all departments, everyone has access to the same revenue data and can leverage it to accurately create and manage subscriptions, retain customers, and improve the overall customer experience.

That’s a strategic game-changer.

Transforming your subscription management process with data integrity

Establishing a reliable SSOT for revenue is a vital step for any growing SaaS business and its subscription management process. No matter where customers are in their life-cycle with your business, your team needs to be able to get the most accurate, up-to-date information on them whenever they need it.

If your current SSOT for accounts receivables is only a CRM, accounting platform, or ERP, there’s a good chance you’re missing out on some key insights that could greatly impact your SaaS business for the better.

If you don’t have an established SSOT for financial data at all and you’re struggling to manage data stored in various places, now’s the time to consider what an ideal SSOT looks like for your SaaS business operations.

Adaptive recurring billing platforms serve many functions.

  • They automate billing, collections, revenue recognition, and dunning.
  • They simplify reporting and make it easy to track key SaaS metrics like churn, recurring revenue, and lifetime value.
  • And perhaps most importantly, subscription billing platforms can serve as a reliable SSOT for revenue—a system that can feed data integrity across your entire SaaS operations. With up-to-date customer information, accurate billing and financial data, revenue forecasting capabilities and in-depth insight into sales and accounts receivable, it’s hard to imagine a better primary source of critical business intelligence.

A platform like Fusebill enables SaaS business teams to know that they’re deriving insights and making decisions and strategies based on accurate data.

Tags: Subscription Billing Recurring Billing Subscription Management SaaS Billing

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The Complete Guide To Subscription Billing