19 Feb Why should I care about billing?
by Ashley Crosswhite
Are you in sales? If you’re like our typical CPQ customers, you probably have a sales-focused job. And you’ve probably heard about these ‘billing’ tools and wondered why everyone is so worried about it. Your company sends out an invoice, and the customer pays. End of story, right?
Well, not really. Many companies have a disconnect between what is being sold and what the customer’s invoice looks like when they receive it, or your favorite customer may not be paying their bills. You might again wonder, why does this matter to me? I’m not a collections agency. Well, neither is your billing department! In an ideal world, you want your billing information to be visible and in the same place as your sales and service data. Why? To give you that full, 360-degree customer view. You and your service teams will be able to better serve your customer with all the data that gets generated in a billing system.
Here are four big reasons you should start caring about billing and how that billing information will help you sell more:
View your customer’s purchase history
Did you know that the last time your customer upgraded their machinery was in 1992? Do they know the benefits of the latest technology? With billing information like the customer purchase history, you can sweeten a deal or upgrade by discounting one of the other items they purchase regularly or offering new products your customer hasn’t tried out yet. Billing lets you use your customer’s purchase history to be a more informed and more effective salesperson.
You can also use the purchase history to help out the service team. If the service desk is repeatedly asking the same question, it’s probably because they don’t have clear access to the information they need. Next time your service team asks what a customer owns, if it’s under warranty, and if they have a warranty to begin with, you can use the billing purchase history to empower your service team, make for happier customers, and save you more time for selling.
Review payment history
Another great tool for salespeople found in billing is payment history. Do you know if your customer is paying their bills, how often they’re past due, and why? If not, you’re missing out on opportunities. One reason many customers switch sales providers is that they feel the pricing is inaccurate, and they just stop paying it. If a customer’s invoice is repeatedly different from what was promised during the sales cycle, this will start to affect payment.
However, empowered with the payment history, you can start to notice unhappy customers more quickly, address their concerns, and keep them loyal to your business. Understanding the payment habits of your customers can also clue you into dissatisfied customers who may need a little extra attention, such as being sold on a different product or receiving a discount. At the very least, payment history can urge you to ponder whether or not it’s worth continuing to sell to customers that aren’t paying.
See volume purchases
In many organizations, volume purchases aren’t readily known by the sales team. Often time, the sales team will structure the original deal, but following deals are processed from an order management team. With billing information you can view details into volume purchases, allowing you to offer better pricing packages to customers, such as offering a deal restructure or increasing the items they’re purchasing to get them a better deal with volume discounting. An easy way to increase customer loyalty and retention!
Cut down on manual work
Do you feel that you have some of this information in Salesforce already? And does it magically show up because your IT team is doing a lot of connection work (manual updates) to port this data back into your system? By connecting a billing system, you can alleviate a lot of the manual work your IT team does.
A freed up IT team means they have more time to work on other, more important projects because you already have the information without having to ask them for it. This also means the overall efficiency of your company goes up, with teams able to see data more quickly and automate old, manual processes.
Now that you know all of the reasons to care about billing and connecting it with your CPQ, reach out to us at Simplus to discuss the best billing option for your company.
Ashley is a Senior Consultant here at Simplus. She’s an experienced Change Management consultant and Technical Instructor with a demonstrated history of working in the computer software industry.