Not all customers are created equal. This is especially true when it comes to payment timeliness – businesses that offer pro-rated or ongoing services in advance of payment are taking on risk and can be affected by slow or missed customer payments.
Evaluating the extent of that risk and coordinating that risk can be difficult when invoices, payments, and services are all on different systems. With cloud services and recurring billing, we need to apply a different mindset to provisioning, invoicing and payment collection.
In a previous post, we shared best practices on Subscription Billing. Subscription billing cannot be treated the same way that we handle one-time items or paper-based licenses or even project-based invoices. It’s commonplace to apply protections like Billing in advance to ensure that the payment is received before incurring any costs.
Recurring Billing or Cloud services have these characteristics:
- Generally long term in nature
- Customers tend to purchase with options like Monthly or Annual billing
- Purchases are not always large
- Cloud Services tend to be essential services that are commonly used to run the business like Email
Credit Hold Functionality
Regardless when there is a new relationship – financial and accounting processes need to be in place in order to streamline and Sales and Billing operations. Credit management is one such item. Dynamics 365 Sales provides out of the box fields like Credit Limit and Credit Hold. These fields are exactly what they are meant to be which is to flag a customer for Credit Hold and specify a Credit limit for the customer.
Work 365 leverages these features to limit the exposure and synchronize the process between sales -> service and finance. A new or existing customer may be on credit hold as the sales team closes their first sale and even set up subscriptions and billing contracts.
While the Account is on credit hold the system doesn’t provision any services thereby allowing the finance team to complete any credit management processes like requesting a payment profile or collecting documentation. Once the Credit management process is completed and the Credit hold is lifted the system automatically provisions any items that are in the awaiting state.
Another use case is when a credit hold is placed for non-payment. The customer’s account can be put on credit hold preventing them from making further changes or adding subscriptions. Sales and service teams can indicate to the customer that the account is on credit hold and not something they are able to workaround. Giving your finance and sales teams further leverage to collect payments while also providing adequate system-based responses. This credit hold feature prevents revenue loss from unpaid balances. This is also another example of how Work 365 leverages the Dynamics 365 Sales application to synchronize the tasks between Sales, Service, and the finance teams.
Work 365 syncs account and system information from sales and accounting and streamline the credit check process to make sure all information is accurate and up-to-date. Holds can be immediately paused or un-paused based on the customer’s payment and credit history with your services. These features, coupled with invoice integration for automated billing, help Cloud Solution Providers to control their cloud business even more than before, saving time and money.