Every business owner would love a magic bullet to achieve revenue stability—and it’s little wonder why: A staggering 82 percent of businesses ultimately fail because of cash flow issues, according to U.S. Bank industry research. Fortunately, technology plays a key role in helping businesses stabilize and optimize their revenue streams. In particular, with the advent of Salesforce’s industry-leading Revenue Cloud, businesses have access to a powerful, encompassing platform for collaboratively and comprehensively managing the revenue lifecycle. Revenue Cloud focuses on connecting disparate parts of the organization—sales, marketing, accounting, operations, and IT—to intelligently enhance the sales experience, rev up revenue and make your RevOps lightning fast.
Revenue Cloud is the focus of so many success stories, in fact, that Salesforce recently hosted an intimate roundtable for RevOps leaders looking to optimize the use of their Revenue Cloud instance even more, as well as leaders looking to transition to Revenue Cloud to manage their RevOps processes for the first time. The roundtable was led by Brion Schweers, SVP, Revenue Cloud Solutions at Salesforce, as well as Simplus quote-to-cash experts Gilles Muys, VP of Customer Solutions (and only CPQ black belt in the world), and Kyle Hanagarne, VP Sales, Eastern North America. The team led participants through an in-depth discussion about what it takes to achieve outsized results with Revenue Cloud. Participants shared first-hand experiences about what led them to implement Revenue Cloud, what they learned from the implementation experience, and how Revenue Cloud has transformed their organization. Then Brion, Gilles, and Kyle provided insights into how each organization could take its instance to the next level.
Let’s review the four most insightful pieces of advice shared during the roundtable:
Recognize the limitations of customizations and Band-Aid solutions
Businesses typically begin looking into Revenue Cloud as they reach the upper limit of what their legacy sales and revenue management infrastructure can do for them. Typically, the sales cycle is bogged down by lengthy transactional and processing steps, from internal approval processes for quotes to financial data reconciliation processes. Meanwhile, businesses are struggling to keep expanding their product catalogs in the way they envision: They can’t make desired amendments to customer subscriptions, and they find themselves developing clunky, custom workarounds and Band-Aid solutions—just so they can create the pricing structures they want. Fortunately, Revenue Cloud can solve all of these growing pains, offering features and capabilities that enable businesses to streamline, automate, and optimize every aspect of the sales cycle. Sales processes feel frictionless, effortless, and rapid—a win-win for the business and customers. In fact, during the roundtable, the speakers highlighted a recent Revenue Cloud go-live that resulted in a quote reduction time of 65 percent—that in turn boosted revenue by an extra $100 million. Can you imagine? You too could boost your bottom line, all by freeing up your sales reps’ time to focus more on selling.
Understand people and processes before investing in technology
A common instinct in business is to think that investing in technology can solve every problem. The reality is that technology by itself cannot solve problems until the business truly understands people and processes. Although Revenue Cloud is capable of doing almost anything that a business wants it to do, it’s dependent on the business understanding of which capabilities should be built out—and precisely how to go about building out these capabilities. This educational journey comes down to people and processes. Businesses must be able to articulate how people execute the processes they’re responsible for—that’s the first step toward understanding how to use technology to support and optimize this work. During the roundtable, speakers emphasized that technology should not be used to solve 100 percent of pain points with processes and people. Indeed, trying to solve for the last 5 percent may break everything. Moreover, it is often far superior to consolidate individual use cases into fewer processes—instead of developing a large number of customized processes to fit every use case. Simplus webinar speakers stressed that before implementing technology to enhance a business process, businesses should critically examine the process itself—why something is being done the way it is and whether there’s a more efficient, logical way to do it. As one of the speakers pointed out, in many cases the answer to why a particular process exists is simply: “We are just used to it.”
Use data to optimize sales opportunities
To optimize sales, businesses need much more than just their own intuition. They need hard data. Hard data enables businesses to understand changing consumer behaviors at the earliest possible stages and how consumers respond to marketing and sales campaigns. Revenue Cloud excels at helping businesses collect and analyze all of this data. Then, using Revenue Cloud’s data-driven insights, businesses can decide how to pivot and adjust their sales and marketing strategies—and even their product lineups—accordingly. During the Salesforce roundtable, speakers discussed how, at the individual customer level, Revenue Cloud provides AI-powered dynamic product recommendations and dynamic pricing to maximize opportunities to close deals while minimizing discounts. These insights enable the customer to subsequently be targeted with cross-sell and upsell opportunities. Conversely, when leads and deals stall, Revenue Cloud provides insights into the reasons why—for example, if it’s an attrition problem or a revenue collection problem.
Embrace a RevOps business model
In a traditional revenue model, people, processes, and systems are fragmented and siloed across the organization. Sales doesn’t share data with finance. Marketing doesn’t coordinate its campaigns with operations and digital commerce. Contrasting narratives emerge from various teams about the state of the business and sales trends. The end result is that data doesn’t get used effectively to drive improvements to the customer experience and sales processes. Revenue Cloud enables businesses to seamlessly transition to what Simplus calls a revenue operations model. In a RevOps model, disparate and siloed teams are seamlessly and intelligently connected on the Revenue Cloud platform. The front office is united with the back office to create a single, unified revenue ecosystem. During the roundtable, speakers discussed the importance of investing in the RevOps team that facilitates and coordinates all revenue operations. As one speaker noted, the RevsOp team should become “the heart of the business.”
Revenue Cloud gives businesses access to a powerful, integrated platform for managing and growing revenue. To get the most from Revenue Cloud, business leaders who have successfully implemented the platform recommend that other organizations recognize when they reach the limit of what their legacy revenue management infrastructure can do, develop a thorough understanding of people and processes before implementing Revenue Cloud, and embrace data and a RevOps business model to optimize every sales opportunity.
Simplus is highly adept at helping businesses use Revenue Cloud to rapidly get outsized results. To learn more about how we leverage our deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with Revenue Cloud to take our clients to the next level, please reach out to Simplus today. We look forward to being part of your revenue optimization success story.