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Automated billing: Five reasons why your sales team should care

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When it comes to subscription services, keeping on top of simple, cyclical tasks is fundamental to maintaining an efficient business – managing contracts and renewals, issuing invoices and, of course, collecting payments from users. But when something goes wrong it’s usually the sales team that is left to pick up the pieces and rebuild the customer relationship. How can a subscription billing platform streamline these processes and ensure your sales team can focus on doing what they do best?

Customers frothing at the mouth over absent invoices or trying to restore their lapsed subscriptions. Finance rampaging through the office on a monthly basis, raising fresh hell over unpaid bills.

For subscription services, it goes without saying that it’s sales – and your sales team – that are the drivers of your business. But when managing potentially thousands of customers with multiple payment schemes and billing cycles, one small operational error can quickly escalate and become a big problem, with a misplaced payment or unread email spiralling into a billing catastrophe. That’s why, according to reports, sales spend only a third of their time actually making sales.

Never mind missing the forest for the trees – it’s the stray twigs and jutting roots that will trip you up if you lose sight of them. And it’s the sales team that so often bears the brunt of this, particularly with B2B customers.

It’s the duty of an efficient billing process to keep these issues at bay and let your sales team get on with their job of growing the business. Here are five essential qualities of a robust subscription billing platform that will address the most persistent predicaments:

  1. Automatic billing schedule
    From the moment that an order is initiated and entered into your subscription billing system, that’s it. Thanks to automated billing and payment cycles, charges are raised, and invoices generated on a clearly defined schedule. No need for a salesperson to spend time explaining the contract terms to the finance team or manually triggering the next bill.

  2. Accurate invoicing
    By automating the order-to-cash lifecycle, your sales team can focus on growth, free from worry about finance misinterpreting sales orders and sending incorrect invoices. Or worse still not sending invoices at all. It shouldn’t be the responsibility of sales to spend their valuable time chasing unpaid bills or redressing grievances over a few misplaced charges on a bill. By reducing the number of bodies involved in transactions, the chance for human error is greatly diminished.

  3. Easy upsells
    Every customer loves to be made to feel special by their provider. But if your sales department quake in their collective boots at the thought of amending contracts for a simple add-on or upgrade, the incentive to impress becomes an unappealing prospect. When it comes to upsells, subscription billing software lets you create, sell and manage service upgrades and optional extras without the mountain of administrative work to draw up new contracts.

  4. Automated renewals
    This should be the bread-and-butter for any subscription business as it builds its annual recurring revenue (ARR). With automated service renewals, you can turn that churn into earn; stabilising and securing your income whilst freeing up your sales team to focus on winning new customers.

  5. Single source of the truth
    By migrating all information to a single subscription platform, the issue of your business’ multifarious departments getting lost in communications – or miscommunications – is ruled out with transparent access to all subscription terms, charges, invoices and payments. This centralised database makes finding pertinent information and addressing customer queries quick and effortless, without the burden falling on sales to smooth over customer relationships once again.

When running a subscription business, no detail is too small to be overlooked. If you’re not already automating your service with a specialist billing platform, then you really should be; as your user base and service offering grows, it is vital to ensure that your customer success and finance teams can do their jobs efficiently, whilst freeing up your grateful sales team to, well, sell.

Cerillion Skyline liberates subscription companies from the humdrum tasks of billing and grows their addressable market by up to 60%. Talk to us now

About the author

Adam Hughes


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