Why Your Subscription Billing Platform
As a Microsoft Cloud Services Provider, have you digitally transformed your own business? An integrated subscription billing platform will optimize your operations, drive engagement with your customers and empower your people to do more.
With the growth of CSP and Cloud Services, subscription-based billing is not just about generating invoices but a host of additional elements like subscription management, payment processing, and renewal management. It would be best to integrate your billing solution with other systems like Dynamics CRM, accounting and finance, customer support, marketing, and sales to facilitate seamless operations across the enterprise.
For instance, when you integrate your billing software with your accounting system, the accounting system can automatically sync customers, products, invoices, and payments. It can also help the sales teams and operations team stay updated about the payment status and make informed decisions about licenses and upselling.
Which business systems must integrate with your subscription billing platform, and how does this benefit your business? Let us talk about that in the following sections.
Subscription Billing Platform – Integrations that matter
How do you understand your customers’ needs and goals? How do you align your sales processes with Cloud Services and Products? How do you focus on your best customers and drive adoption? Simply, by having your billing software integrated with other customer touch-point data and systems like CRM so that all the information can be seamlessly connected.
Integration with CRM has several benefits for the customer service team and sales department. For instance, you can design promotional offers and discounts that are unique to a target customer base based on their recent transactions. Adding to that, your customer service team is now in tune with changing customers’ details like contact numbers, email addresses, contracts, and Service Level Agreements.
CRM Analyst Scott Pezza from Blue Hill Research analyses CRM-Billing integration perfectly as, “Having accurate and accessible information about each customer allows businesses not only to bill properly but to maintain and grow revenue by extending those opportunities strategically.”
Self Service Portal
Do you want your customers to directly view and pay their bills online? Does your operational team and accounting team spend time sharing consumption and usage data with your customers? Do your customers routinely ask for license details? Integrating your CSP billing software through a customer self-service portal provides them with 24-hour access to this information. Further, self-service portals integrated with billing further saves you the trouble and cost of manually delivering invoices to your customers.
Customers also enjoy the flexibility of managing their subscriptions on their own. When your billing automation system is integrated with your Self-Service portal you don’t miss any billing events because of license changes. You can engage and empower your customers and transparency helps build trust.
Learn more about how customer self-service portals create great customer experiences!
Accounts and Finance
When your billing system integrates with your ERP or accounting system, you reduce manual effort in generating invoices, customer data, and products. Billing and invoicing errors are extremely painful for a business. Small leakages or inaccuracies multiplied over hundreds of customers can have a significant impact on your financial health. When your billing system integrates with your accounting system, you know in real-time to whom you’ve sold, what you’ve sold, and what is owed to you.
Since traditional accounting systems are not built for subscription businesses, they cannot track the company’s health in real-time. For instance, instead of monitoring the revenue based on accrual or cash, subscription businesses also need to track deferred revenue.
Through such integration, you can automate business processes and set up workflows, reports, and notifications. The system can also generate and send transactional emails about invoice due dates, payment receipts, and payment methods and direct the invoices to the right person or department.
Is it useful to Integrate your subscription billing platform with payment gateways? Yes, absolutely. With this integration, you can add support to varied payment methods – credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, and wallets. With hundreds of customers, you need to collect cash, and you need to collect it fast. The need to integrate with multiple payment gateways increases if you offer a self-serve subscription model to your customers.
Here are some features you should try to incorporate in payment gateway integrations:
- Offer a “Pay Now” functionality to your subscribers.
- Offer auto-charge to the customers for services and subscriptions which are consistent and constant.
- Allow them to make payments via multiple online and offline methods.
- Provide support for multiple currencies.
When your billing system is integrated with your payment gateways, you provide flexibility to your customers. You can collect cash fast. And since your accounting system is integrated with your billing system, your entire business is synched from sales to operations to accounts.
Learn more about Payment and Invoice Integration for CSP Automated Billing.
Provisioning and order placement are critical aspects of license and service delivery. Errors in provisioning and activation can lead to mistakes hampering the overall customer experience and customer satisfaction. By integrating the billing solution with the provisioning mechanism (either through a provider such as Microsoft Partner Center, a distributor, or internal provisioning systems), businesses can ensure efficient management of complex provisioning, timely execution of tasks by all stakeholders, billing schedule setup, data validation against contracts, timely delivery, and effective management of customer invoices.
Subscription Billing Platform – Benefits of Integrations
As a Microsoft CSP or MSP partner, how does an integrated subscription billing platform benefit your business?
- Streamlines your payment operations: Integrating your payment and billing systems can reduce delays in cash flow, thus putting more money into your business. While “traditional” or manual accounting is time-consuming and prone to errors, integrated billing solutions ensure that transactional data is automatically entered and applied to the accounting system, thus reducing human errors and improving the efficiency of your business.
- Improves the customer experience (CX): With customer metrics like churn and retention rates, the importance of customer experience is always amplified in any SaaS-driven business. A subscription billing platform can help you deliver an exceptional customer experience. For instance, for a recurring payment-based system, providing multiple modes of payment, multi-currency payments, accurate tax calculations in invoices are ways of winning the customers’ loyalty.
- Eliminates billing-related wastes: Does your subscription-based business lose revenues due to subscriber cancellations, failed online payments, or poor CX? An integrated subscription billing platform can reduce revenue leakages.
- Generates proactive business insights: Probably the biggest benefit, an integrated billing solution provides an in-depth view and understanding of your business performance, revenues, and other financial metrics. With one source of truth and with the appropriate people in your organization having access to it, your entire business is empowered to make the right decisions.
- Grow your business – sell more, know your customer better, maximize profits
A subscription billing platform with integrations to other systems can provide the necessary flexibility in operations for your growing subscription-based business and ensure your continued success.
As a trusted partner of Microsoft, a CPV (Certified Panel Vendor) Work 365 is a complete subscription management and billing automation provider that enables Microsoft partners to grow their subscription business around the globe.