Revenue Recognition

Understanding Salesforce Revenue Cloud

January 20, 2021

Salesforce Revenue Cloud (part of the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform) was introduced at the end of 2020. It unites Configure, Price and Quote (CPQ), Billing, Partner Relationship Management, and B2B Commerce functionality. The goal is to help businesses better manage their revenue streams, enhance forecasting capabilities, improve efficiencies, and accelerate growth – across all sales channels.

While it’s promoted as a unified offering, it isn’t an out-of-the-box solution. It also won’t replace your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. However, companies have long struggled with the interdependencies of their disparate systems, and the offering takes steps to close the gap between key functional departments such as sales, partners, operations, and finance.

Digging Into Salesforce Revenue Cloud

Business-to-business (B2B), as well as business-to-consumer (B2C) customers are shopping differently than ever before. They want a quick and flawless shopping experience from start to checkout. Throughout the process, they expect an immediate response to general questions and configuration concerns, as well as help with applying discounts, vouchers and promotions. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the digital storefront. Regardless of how or where a customer shops, businesses need to deliver a seamless experience across all sales channels.

The goal of Salesforce Revenue Cloud is to optimize the lead to revenue recognition processes, and to do this they’ve:

  • Combined sales channels such as direct sales, partners and digital storefronts. Reps gain a comprehensive view of the customer’s purchasing history and online interactions, andcustomers get a seamless shopping experience.
  • Incorporated a new CPQ-B2B Commerce connector. This “allows businesses to customize digital storefronts for complex B2B selling and add customizable, configurable pricing to digital carts for self-service”.
  • Leveraged technology from their acquisition of Vlocity, including unique workflows for specific industries such as managing ad inventory or content syndication for media companies. Teams can spin up new monetization strategies like launching a product using the subscription model or implementing consumption-based pricing.
  • Enhanced Revenue Cloud for Multi-Cloud Billing. This provides a single platform for businesses to create revenue streams from other clouds for improved upsell capabilities.
  • Provided automation to validate sales orders and consolidate invoices, reducing manual effort and decreasing revenue leakage.
  • Introduced a new Customer Asset Lifecycle Management tool. This provides a visual dashboard of customer purchases, and makes available real-time tracking against key performance indicators (KPIs) such as monthly recurring revenue, net revenue retention and customer lifetime value (CLV), as well as tracking of contract amendments and open balances.

Why Salesforce Revenue Cloud?

As a framework for channel selling, subscription and services revenue, and digital business model support, the goal of Salesforce Revenue Cloud is to enable organizations to:

  • Unify direct sales, partner sales, and eCommerce
  • Package product bundles
  • Handle complex order configurations
  • Produce invoices that originate across multiple channels
  • Collect payments
  • Manage dunning

Let’s Talk Complex Billing

Salesforce Revenue Cloud delivers a wide range of offerings to handle quote-to-cash activities, but their depth of capabilities leaves organizations with complex billing needs lacking. For example, with just limited usage-based pricing model flexibility, Salesforce mainly supports simple recurring revenue and subscription models. What happens if you need a more complex pricing model such as dynamic pricing for one-time charges, usage, tiered, subscription, overages, minimum commitments or others? Let’s explore a few other considerations when you’ll need a more robust billing platform.

  • Mediation: To effectively gather and convert massive amounts of raw data from numerous sources, a billing solution with built-in mediation is recommended. Since Salesforce doesn’t have built-in mediation, they partner with companies such as Digital Route to manage the mediation process. A third-party solution is necessary, so you not only incur added cost to the implementation but also on-going annual fees.
  • Invoicing: If you have any sort of complexities in your invoices, Salesforce may have limits. To be on the safe side, be sure to check their processing capabilities. Especially when it comes to the number of invoices it can process daily and the number of line items on an invoice.
  • Usage records: Salesforce has limits on the volume of data, transactions, and usage it can process per day. To support large volumes, they must integrate with a third-party solution such as Digital Route.
  • Dynamic pricing: To stay ahead of the competition, you need the ability to be innovative with your pricing models. Dynamic pricing provides the ability to create unique pricing models with ease. While Salesforce has dynamic pricing capabilities, it requires custom code.
  • Subscription overages: What happens when you have a subscription overage? Ideally, it would be handled with your billing solution’s out-of-the-box functionality. With Salesforce, subscription overages can be handled but require custom code.
  • Revenue recognition: Regardless of the complexities, you need to speed the closing process. To quickly and efficiently handle the entire quote-to-cash process you need a robust all-in-one solution that includes billing and revenue recognition. Salesforce’s revenue recognition tool is light, and may not provide the advanced functionality or scale you need.

Expedite Your Quote-to-Cash Process

Today more than ever, it’s critical for businesses to keep pace with the dynamics of customer buying preferences. The digital economy opened the door to a plethora of opportunities. To take advantage, companies need an agile billing and monetization platform that can seamlessly integrate with their broader sales and marketing stack for a single, holistic view of the customer.

With seamless integration to Salesforce, companies now have a solution that’s built for change. This combined solution enables you to generate quotes in Salesforce using BillingPlatform’s highly configurable product catalog to create pricing models that go beyond simple subscriptions. It seamlessly handles any combination of one-time charges, subscriptions, consumption, hybrid or dynamic billing. When combined, it’s the only true quote-to-cash solution that’ll automate collections, prevent revenue loss, reduce manual effort, and decrease churn. Contact our team today to learn more about how the integration of BillingPlatform and Salesforce can help you accelerate your revenue.

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