When organizations first take the step towards a digital or cloud-based system, the management information system that comes at the top of the list are ERP and PMS, followed by CRM, and then, ecommerce and CMS.
For some reason, quote-to-cash technology and automation is always the last thing in the mind of managers.
These companies lose anything between 20% and 30% of their potential revenue because they stick with dated, inefficient systems, as reported by IDC Market Research.
It also results in a waste of time as sales representatives give up 32% of their time looking for missing data and entering them manually into the system.
This tardiness can cost B2B companies a lot of business, as 35-50% of buyers tend to choose the vendor that responds to their call for business first.
Elimination of shortcomings
These shortcomings can be eliminated with the use of a CPQ billing system that integrates with your ERP and CRM systems.
Only 22% of quote-to-cash software users utilize the integrated software system and they are the ones who report the highest satisfaction. Many other B2B companies are also following suit.
As McKinsey reported at Dreamforce, sales automation should have gone up from 40% to 85% within a year in 2020. Using a CPQ and billing application thus has several advantages throughout the sales process.
Analyzing the quote-to-cash process map will reveal that there are ten essential steps in the entire quote-to-cash workflow. These are:
- Product configuration
- Price determination
- Quote generation, forwarding, and modifications
- Contract creation
- Contract negotiation and revision
- Contract execution and order processing
- Order fulfillment
- Payment and revenue management
You will notice that there are two distinct sections of the sales process. One comprises the steps before order processing, and the other consists of the two steps after order fulfillment.
The former is defined under CPQ while the latter is the billing process. In other words, steps 1 to 5 signify opportunity management in quote-to-cash, vs order-to-cash being signified by steps 8 and 9.
Salesforce quote-to-cash provides CPQ and Billing facilities separately. Salesforce policy dictates that to use the Billing software, you need to buy the entire package for quote-to-cash vs CPQ platform, which can be used independently.
Salesforce Billing is available as an add-on to the Salesforce CPQ package and inherits all data and records from it. This explains why it is not available as a standalone application.
The Salesforce quote-to-cash process works in such a manner that when a sales rep using Salesforce forms quotes and enters the order for processing,
Salesforce Billing extracts the necessary information to utilize for the processes of invoicing, payment receipt, and revenue management.
How Does Salesforce CPQ’s Billing Software Complete The Quote-To-Cash Experience?
According to the State of Quote-to-Cash ebook of Simplus, Billing is the area where 24% of Q2C users want improvement.
Studying business outcome metrics will show that automated, electronic invoicing requires less expenditure of both money and time to process. This is great for those already on the platform for B2B commerce in Salesforce.
The continuity and convenience in achieving the desired business outcomes after the approval of quotes give a great edge to the users of Salesforce Billing over their competitors. You get the following advantages when working with Salesforce Billing:
- Invoice Posting – Salesforce Billing allows sales reps to post an invoice. This locks the bill and prevents any changes from being made to it.
The customer must make payments against a posted invoice. It also greenlights the transaction for revenue recognition reporting.
- Invoicing Of One-Time Products – Products that require a one-time charge to be paid will have a single invoice line created against it when Salesforce Billing receives the manual or automated signal to create the bill. It will add the quantity and grand total of the product in that line.
- Invoicing Of Recurring Products – When sales reps quote subscriptions with CPQ, Salesforce Billing gets the command to create invoices against that product regularly. The time and frequency of invoicing are controlled by the date and billing fields of the product, respectively.
- Invoicing Of Evergreen Subscriptions – Evergreen subscriptions are those that have no end date; rather, the customer asks for an open-ended recurring order that they can cancel when they want. Salesforce Billing handles such orders by invoicing the unit price of the product for each billing period until the cancellation command is received.
- Invoicing Orders With Billing Schedules – Salesforce Billing allows you to set dates on which invoices would be created for an order. This feature is especially useful when rules require payments in parts based on the number of days or percentage of usage of the product. It might also happen that the customer wants to make the payment in installments, which is another case where scheduled billing is useful.
- Independent Invoicing Of Usage Summaries – Salesforce Billing allows you to invoice the usage summary separately from the product order. You have the choice of combining them or keeping them distinct based on the business model you are applying in that particular order.
- Invoicing An Order When Needed – Sales reps can also exercise their discretion and create an invoice for an order when they want, using the Bill Now command.
- Billing On Hold – You can also prevent the generation of the invoice, ie, keep the bill on hold until certain conditions are fulfilled.
Salesforce Billing Integration
The Salesforce Billing module connects with a number of other software applications and workflows to provide a seamless Q2C experience.
Some of these are situated above Salesforce Billing, some succeed it, and others work side-by-side with it.
- Salesforce CPQ – Since Salesforce Billing objects inherit data from objects for quote management in Salesforce CPQ, invoicing is automated from quotes in CPQ.
Moreover, all orders from multi-channel configure price quote processes are integrated and centralized in Salesforce Billing to maintain accuracy and prevent data duplication.
- Order Management – Salesforce Billing generates transactional data from orders which can be used for the creation of the invoice.
- Revenue Recognition Reporting – Salesforce Billing contains information related to orders, invoices, and payments, offering a source of all information necessary in revenue recognition reporting.
- ERP Software – Salesforce Billing also provides data needed to keep ERP systems up-to-date.
- Renewals – For repeat business, Salesforce Billing must work in conjunction with all the above systems in a recurring manner to record or report the necessary data.
- Analytics – The analytics application that you use obtains data from Salesforce Billing to process and realize information on key business outcomes.
The automation provided by billing software is becoming indispensable nowadays. So, whether you are looking for assistance with Billing and CPQ software for small businesses or large, whether you are going to use cloud-based billing software for the first time, or simply want Salesforce CPQ migration, you can choose Docmation’s quote-to-cash consulting services instead of struggling with the Salesforce quote-to-cash trailhead alone. We guarantee that you will see improved operational outcomes in business.