In the last twenty years, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry has grown tremendously, taking the software development model from its inception to where it is today. In line with this expansion, SaaS has also fueled the software industry with significant growth for small, medium, and enterprise businesses. Additionally, it has also crossed over the B2B software to consumer services and retail.
Every SaaS company includes a suite of multiple commercial plans for every product, which have varying prices and timelines. Here, the primary focus lies on managing ongoing or recurring customer relationships instead of building and selling products. This will eventually lead to accurate and timely revenue streams, billing, automation, and reporting.
In the subscription business model, the major focus is on keeping the current customers engaged and active for a longer time. Now, every customer touchpoint will affect predictive and expected revenues with subscription-based companies, which is the most revenue-generating stream. However, multiple products will generate an immense amount of data, and its management will be even more intense.
With Salesforce, organizations can avail of amazing configurations, seamless integrations, and insights-driven customizations that go a long way in managing and maintaining excellent customer relationships.
Let us understand how Salesforce functionalities support subscription business models in the long run and why adopting a Salesforce solution can transform your business.
CPQ to Configure, Price, and Quote with Ease
Amid the manual process of creating quotes while working in an ecosystem with multiple products with prices and plans, errors are prone to happen. Additionally, it is a time-consuming affair.
Organizations are constantly striving for the first-mover advantage, racing to place a proposal before their customers for review and approval. Manual quoting and configuring is often messy and leads to a slow sales cycle, low win rates, and hurdles to sales closures. Salesforce CPQ lets organizations manage all customers, orders, products, open invoices, and on-account payments on a single platform. Moreover, CPQ helps create accurate and highly configured quotes compliant with a product price list, multiple catalogs, and other business values unique to products to streamline the billing process despite the complex transactions. Eventually, this simplifies the sales cycle, boosting it with higher visibility across all touchpoints.
Automated Billing for Automatic Results
By default, a subscription business model will have multiple plans with different prices and periods. This renders accounts difficult to maintain, activate, and upgrade with manual billing.
An organization can leverage Salesforce using an automated recurring billing system to overcome this challenge. The automated recurring billing system provides a hassle-free, error-free, and quick resolution to all billing activities for accounts. With Salesforce, billing organizations can view the customer’s profile, the chosen subscription plan, the customer’s payment history, payment schedules, and methods, plan expiration dates, invoices, and more.
Automated email communication ensures the customers have healthy visibility of their accounts. This helps in retaining their interest and delivers a better customer experience. It will also give the sales and management team higher visibility and clarity about the actual revenue-generating accounts.
Automation = Efficiency
Automation is the growing need of any business. Not only does this help them reduce their dependency on error-prone manual tasks, but it also ensures faster, cost-effective, and qualitative results. Businesses are even going global with a rising number of customers every minute they sign up for automation trials. Managing, retaining, and delighting customers at multiple levels is tedious and time-consuming. With the basic billing system or spreadsheets, it becomes worse. Salesforce’s automation logic, like flows and process builders, makes it easy to automate the billing system. Automated payments become faster with fewer errors, giving customers flexibility at their fingertips to upgrade or cancel their subscriptions.
Consider a recurring account: with Salesforce, the billing can be set up using various payment methods, and automated payments are made with real-time invoice generation. The payment automation flow creates less dependency on teams, reduces manual complexities, saves time, and brings higher accuracy in accounting.
The Perfect Partner Management Platform
For businesses to grow, one of the key enablers is the network they have in the marketplace. This is also true for SaaS providers, especially the B2B SaaS companies. A sound partner strategy and a simplified partner management platform becomes very important to get the desired outcome.
Salesforce Partner Relationship Management (PRM) provides all the business capabilities to ensure your partners’ success, helping your business grow. Salesforce PRM optimizes the entire partner lifecycle, right from seamless and efficient partner onboarding, partner campaign management, partner pipeline, and order management to partner training and support.
A Bird’s Eye View with a Ground-Level Analysis
Dashboards are often considered the simpler, faster way to better decision-making. In fact, imagine having a real-time view of your organization’s customers with every single data point related to its subscription since the day a customer is associated with your business.
With a real-time report of your customer’s critical information like subscription terms, bills, payments, refunds, invoices, cancellations, upgrades, and more, it is definitely easier for them in the right way. With Salesforce’s excellent reporting system that gives a real-time, 360-degree view of the customer, 24/7, businesses can quickly assist their customers in case of any support required and deliver an exceptional customer experience. A dashboard like this can offer more customized offers, know the cost per acquisition, and average customer lifetime value to help your business strategize for engagement, ensure retention, and eventually decrease the attrition rate.
How Salesforce Enables Transformation and Growth
Global businesses need to stay connected to their customers through the right channels and the customer’s preferred channel at that! In the subscription business model, customer attrition accounts for the biggest challenge. In their endeavors to clamp down on this, organizations are realizing that it is crucial to work towards keeping a customer engaged and retained as soon as their journey begins. With Salesforce, it becomes easier for businesses to stay connected through various channels like social media, emails, websites, and account managers themselves. Salesforce systems keep customers in sync, and keep teams informed in the same ecosystem.
Although an organization will change its pricing models every few years, the sales team will scale up, and the operations will move globally. If a business is here for the long haul, it will get more complex and customer-centric. In the long run, the business’ highest priority will be to have a system that satisfies the complex needs of the subscription business model and is ready to take it to the next level.
Integrating the subscription business model with Salesforce will enable a more efficient and enhanced growth trajectory, seamless customer retention, and better management of businesses. A more efficient system will eventually bring in more sales, profits, business advantage, and loyal customers.
GS Lab has been a Salesforce implementation partner for more than three years, with milestone achievements in this arena. With more than 25+ project deliveries for 10+ customers across industries, GS Lab has helped leading global players re-engineer their business models with a Salesforce solution.
For more information about how Salesforce can help transform your subscription-based business models and deliver a winning transformation for your organization, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-author/Contributor of the blog: Shruti Vishnupurikar | Senior Marketing Executive
Rajesh Dhekne | Customer Success Director at GS Lab
Rajesh Dhekne serves as Customer Success Director at GS Lab for Salesforce and MuleSoft Practice. He leads the business growth and customer success charter for Salesforce & MuleSoft practice. In his 28 years of experience, he has successfully delivered business transformation solutions to Fortune 500 clients by leveraging ERP, CRM, and Supply Chain solutions. Over the years, he has built and led practices in CRM, Supply Chain, and Aftermarket Service domains