06 May 4 key advantages of integrating Salesforce Billing with your ERP
by Suraj Sreekumar
If you’re struggling to create positive, seamless customer experiences (CX), you’re not alone. Among North American companies, 76 percent cite CX as their top, strategic performance measure, but just 16 percent say they’re capable of delivering high-quality CX, according to a Dimension Data industry study. There are multiple factors that go into creating exceptional customer service experiences, but toward the top of the CX priority list is billing—including invoicing, payment collection, and all customer inquiries related to these functions.
As hard as businesses try to create positive experiences around billing, they often flounder. The culprit is typically an older, back-of-house ERP (enterprise resource planning) or equivalent financial management system that’s simply not designed to support modern CX. These systems are often incapable of creating seamless customer payment options, letting customers use a self-service portal to check on payment status, and even letting customer service teams retrieve and review customer billing data. Legacy ERPs also aren’t good at managing recurring revenue transactions correctly and applying discounts appropriately. As a result, the billing CX experience suffers: Customers aren’t able to choose the payment options and configurations that they want, and billing mistakes lead to frustrated, unhappy customers.
Fortunately, all of these shortcomings can be remedied by integrating Salesforce Billing with your existing ERP. Salesforce Billing is built from the ground up to deliver the polished, high-quality CX that customers expect from their billing-related interactions. Not only does Salesforce Billing seamlessly draw on rich customer data in a business’s main Salesforce CRM system, but Salesforce Billing also offers a modern CX that can replace clunky, inefficient, error-prone billing workflows traditionally managed by your ERP. Let’s explore four key advantages of integrating Salesforce Billing with your ERP:
Get paid faster
Businesses often face delays with collecting payments as a result of inefficient workflows. Perhaps their ERP isn’t able to generate invoices reliably or in logical batches. Or perhaps payment collection is being initiated later in the sales transaction lifecycle than it should. For all of these problems, Salesforce Billing is the answer. Salesforce Billing supports Dunning collection processes that are the industry gold standard for payment collection. Using easily configurable Dunning processes, Salesforce Billing can automatically take care of tasks like collecting payment on past-due invoice balances or generating invoice batches that appropriately integrate write-offs, collections, treatments, and late fees. Salesforce Billing also comes with tools to help businesses quickly understand invoice data, such as a point-in-time view of a balance on an account. The end result is payments can be collected more efficiently and automatically—which ultimately helps businesses get paid faster.
Eliminate billing discrepancies
Legacy ERPs often struggle to manage complex billing processes, including recurring payments, payment schedules, credits, and discounts. These problems are magnified when the ERP retrieves data from Salesforce CRM to complete billing-related tasks, including generating invoices. The root of these problems is often a misalignment between the CRM data and the billing-related products that the ERP produces based on this data. Salesforce Billing can take over management of some or all these key billing functions—invoicing, payment collection, and even revenue recognition and accounting—eliminating the possibility of misalignment. Significantly, Salesforce Billing can seamlessly hand off financial reporting data to the ERP for general-ledger posting and other financial management activities.
Expand access to sales transaction data
Legacy ERPs are often accessed and used exclusively by finance teams. The reason is that these ERPs are often not designed to let other teams—including sales, fulfillment, and customer service—readily retrieve, analyze, and update customer financial records. As a result, the sales transaction data inside ERPs isn’t accessible to teams that need it to help fulfill orders and answer customer questions about these orders. Salesforce Billing provides a user-friendly way for non-finance teams in the organization to readily access sales transaction data. This expanded access, in turn, ensures more teams are better equipped to serve customers effectively.
Give customers more ways to pay
Many ERPs offer relatively few, rigid payment options. Salesforce Billing lets customers pay how they prefer, whether by credit card or ACH transfer, whether via a one-time payment or scheduled payment. By giving customers maximum flexibility, customers are more likely to pay in full, on time, and without necessitating the organization to send reminders and/or tack on late fees. That makes Salesforce Billing a win-win proposition for both the business and customers.
Salesforce Billing is the solution that you need to streamline, automate, and enhance your ERP workflows. By integrating Salesforce Billing with your ERP, you’re optimally positioned to collect payments more quickly, eliminate billing discrepancies and mistakes that are resource-intensive to resolve, give more teams in your organization access to sales transaction data, and provide more flexible, customer-friendly ways for customers to pay their bills.
Simplus understands how to help organizations get the most out of a Salesforce Billing-ERP integration. To learn how Simplus helped a software company get rid of silos in its sales processes and create a more integrated operating environment, please check out this Simplus case study on the kCura company.
If you’re ready to integrate Salesforce Billing with your ERP, please reach out to the implementation experts at Simplus. We can’t wait to help you extract maximum value from both systems.
Suraj is a Principal CPQ Strategist here at Simplus. A seasoned Salesforce Quote-to-Cash strategist focused on Salesforce CPQ and Billing, Suraj has global experience catering to enterprise and SMB customers across the ANZ, United States, and India. Suraj is proficient in managing client engagements and the overall relationship to ensure customer success and drive follow-on business.