To be sure, managing a software-as-a-service (SaaS) enterprise is hard work. If you’re like many of your counterparts, your business started out modestly; however, seemingly overnight it flourished. Today, you’re running a thriving enterprise and most likely have upgraded systems and modified processes and procedures to keep pace with your growth. So have you upgraded your billing solution to an enterprise billing platform?
By its very nature, billing is complex. When you run a subscription-based SaaS enterprise, the complexities compound even more. If you’re still relying on a legacy billing system, you’re probably finding that it can’t keep up with growing demands – placing additional burden on your financial staff. With SaaS spending expected to reach $208.1 billion by 2023, up from $152.2 billion in 2021, the situation will only intensify.
What is Enterprise Billing?
One of the key problems with legacy billing systems is their design. They simply aren’t built for today’s SaaS subscription-based pricing models but for one-time, product-based transactions. However, billing platform vendors have kept pace, and enterprise billing solutions are being hailed as the unsung heroes for today’s SaaS subscription enterprises.
At its most basic description, enterprise billing solutions are next-generation, end-to-end billing platforms that provide unparalleled rating and billing functionality for SaaS subscription-based enterprises. These systems not only automate repetitive and mundane tasks but can support any product, any service, any bundle, and any promotion or discount plan easily and without manual effort. Additionally, they provide the flexibility needed to modify and test new pricing and packages, and allow for easy transition from simple one-time and subscription-based pricing models to metered and usage-based plans. With the right enterprise billing platform, you get a built-in workflow engine that enables you to automate business processes and maximize efficiencies. Want to know more? Explore the differences between enterprise billing platforms and legacy billing systems.
Why Your Enterprise Needs Enterprise Billing
Billing is tied to revenue and directly impacts virtually everything else like pricing, product development, customer retention, etc. To do the job accurately and efficiently, your billing system can’t be an island unto itself. To create an inclusive financial ecosystem, your enterprise billing platform needs to seamlessly integrate with your other systems such as customer relationship management (CRM), business process management (BPM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), robotic process automation (RPA), general ledger, tax solutions, as well as other systems. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these systems and why integration is essential to automate end-to-end billing and revenue management processes.
You may have started out tracking and managing customers manually, but as your customer base grew that was no longer sustainable. Maintaining accurate customer records not only becomes tedious and time-consuming, but error-prone. CRM is widely used by nearly all departments within an enterprise and is known for its ability to enhance customer relationships, personalize communications and help foster loyalty. For example, CRM helps marketing and sales personnel identify leads and convert them to customers. Once a prospect becomes a customer, service and support departments rely on the system to address and resolve customer issues.
What is lesser known, however, is that CRM is an integral component of enterprise billing systems. By integrating your CRM system with an enterprise billing platform, you’re able to improve forecasting and identify opportunities more precisely; sync invoicing, product usage, and payment data to quotes, opportunities, and accounts. Not to mention gain a comprehensive view of revenue per customer; incorporate customer data, billing, and invoicing for a seamless customer experience. Ultimately this means you’ll resolve customer issues faster; improve upsell/cross-sell results and reduce errors by eliminating manual entry of data to multiple disparate systems. This integration improves workflows for customer-facing teams; helps you capture revenue more efficiently; and much more. For a deeper dive into the benefits of CRM/enterprise billing integration, check out the What are the Benefits of Salesforce Billing Integration? blog.
Although your personnel may work in siloed teams, your data needs to be anything but siloed. An ERP system centralizes your data and business processes in a single location for real-time visibility into all operational functions such as sales, customer service, finance, supply chain, manufacturing, etc. It facilitates the information flow between business functions and consolidates information from all departments, eliminating duplicate entries and providing a single source of truth. When ERP integrates with CRM and enterprise billing, you benefit from all financial data tracked, stored and managed in a single location. This enables you to:
- Align product offerings and revenue streams across product, sales, and finance teams
- Improve customer experience by reducing billing errors
- Automate invoicing and accounts receivable processes
- Streamline revenue recognition to speed the close process
- And more…
Essentially, by integrating enterprise billing with ERP and CRM you’re able to eliminate data bottlenecks, centralize all core business processes, improve collaboration among employees, and reduce revenue leakage.
How to Choose the Right Enterprise Billing Platform
You have choices when it comes to purchasing an enterprise billing platform. Before committing to a platform, you need to ensure that it not only meets today’s needs but has the features and functionality to easily adapt to tomorrow’s SaaS subscription requirements. To help you make the right choice the first time, take a look at this white paper: An Enterprise Guide to Billing for SaaS. It covers today’s trends in the SaaS billing space and provides key questions to ask enterprise billing vendors.
While the enterprise billing platform needs to meet your requirements, it also needs to cater to the needs of your prospects and customers. The best enterprise billing platform should provide support for the entire quote-to-cash lifecycle. From product setup, quoting, billing and invoicing, revenue recognition, payments, and collections – all on a secure, next-generation cloud platform. Don’t wait if you are ready to modernize your enterprise billing solution, our team is ready to help.