Your sales team has just come back from a productive conversation with a new lead. It’s promising. Potentially long-term and lucrative.
One problem: This is a whale of a client: a big company, with big, unique needs. Your standard packages might not cut it for them.
So, the sales rep scrambles to put together a custom quote. Several hours later, it finally receives internal approval…but only then does the rep realize there's an error. They take another stab at generating the quote. And while all of this is happening, that enterprise client is in talks with your competitors.
Such are the frustrations of the unintegrated tech stack. Slow, error-prone, and hindersome to the quote to cash process.
Salesforce, certainly one of the most popular CRM solutions, provides a vast array of tools that aid in the process.
However, without the right integrations, the picture is incomplete. A good billing platform can help add speed, flexibility, and accuracy to the quote to cash process.
The quote to cash process isn't without its pain points
The quote to cash (Q2C) process, like any component of a recurring billing business strategy, depends on flexibility and speed. The agile business gets the sale.
Without the right tools and integrations to enable that agility, the Q2C process suffers from:
- Inflexible catalog offers: To land big clients, your sales team needs to operate with a high degree of agility. Without the right integrations, it can take considerable time and effort to create custom offers. However, your potential customer doesn’t hit pause just because you did. While your business scrambles to work on pricing and package offerings, the customer might be perusing your competitors’ feature sets.
- Accuracy: Once your sales team has landed an agreement, it’s up to the billing team to produce the invoice. Without subscription management integrations to your CRM, your billing team is left inputting data manually. Even very good employees make mistakes. In fact, the average employee errors 10 to 30 times out of every one hundred. When these errors show up on an invoice, it’s embarrassing for your business and frustrating for the customer.
- Delayed payment: Invoicing without billing software can also make for payment processing delays. In the case of errors, billing has to go back and manually sift through data to correct the mistake. Then, the invoice has to be resent before payment can be collected. Even without mistakes, billing through legacy or subpar homegrown platforms can take a significant amount of time, making it difficult to consistently send invoices and process payments on schedule.
Each element on this list may seem like a small hiccup, but these small hiccups add up over time.
When they happen, it's always at the expense of the customer experience and your ability to collect revenue. A good subscription management system can eliminate these pain points, with features that save time, reduce effort, and help you collect recurring revenue.
Quick and painless quoting
A subscription management platform integration can help a subscription-based business increase agility and flexibility in its quoting process. Salesforce reports that 97% of businesses experience better sales outcomes by making custom offers.
A subscription management integration service allows catalog data to flow seamlessly to Salesforce from the billing platform. This means your sales team can stay in the CRM environment they're familiar with while accessing catalog items to put together those custom offers.
From within the CRM, sales can easily adjust pricing with the click of a few buttons.
For sales, the process is fast and seamless, allowing them to move freely into whatever offer it takes to land the new client.
For the billing team, it adds accuracy to the process. The moment a sales rep makes an adjustment at the customer level in the CRM, the information is simultaneously reflected in the eventual invoice.
In other words, there are fewer hands on the data, vastly reducing the capacity for error and making it significantly easier to manage recurring subscriptions.
Without these seamless integrations, your staff is bouncing around from one interface to the next. Possible? Maybe. Efficient? Not so much. The idea is to keep your teams light on their feet. They shouldn’t be struggling to figure out another deparment’s system or waiting around for other teams to do their thing before they can proceed.
They should be agile on their own.
And, because the capacity for error is significantly reduced, so is growth-killing churn. In the SaaS model, retention is king. The Q2C process initiates your interaction with a new customer, making it a crucial component of keeping clients around for the long haul.
Billing integrations also add a layer of security to your quote to cash process. Salesforce is not independently PCI compliant. So, by integrating your CRM with your billing platform, you benefit from the billing system's PCI Level 1 certification, adding security to your transactions that your customers will surely appreciate.
This certification reduces the capacity for fraud and other factors that pose a threat to your customer's personal information. Naturally, increased security improves the customer experience (even if they’re never aware of it) and makes it easier to frictionlessly collect revenue.
PCI compliance can also be a sales advantage. As of 2019—the last time the issue was comprehensively surveyed—only 28% of businesses had established total PCI compliance. Having it sets you apart from the competition, and allows your sales staff to accurately tell prospective customers that they are in for a safe, smooth experience.
An automated billing platform can also help with dunning success. Failed payments happen for any number of reasons. Credit cards expire every three years, which means eventually, even the well-meaning subscriber might wind up with a failed payment from time to time.
Managing these situations can be delicate. Your subscription billing platform can automate the process, making it as painless as possible. With automatic credit card updating and retries, billing platforms can eliminate the need for the customer to ever find out there was a problem.
When that doesn’t work, billing software can also automate customer communications, alerting them to the situation and telling them how to fix it.
Dunning is an integral part of the cash collection process, and with a good strategy, you can help take a big bite out of the 5% of revenue that is lost to leakage annually.
Recurring billing integrations make Q2C a seamless process
One of the hallmarks of a good integration is that you don’t notice it. It’s there to bridge gaps. Your sales and billing departments will notice that they’re having an easier experience, but the true benefit to the Q2C process is that they will never have to think about it.
They’ll simply move faster, work more accurately, and provide customers the experience they want and deserve.