More and more companies are embracing complex billing models to meet customer demands for value, transparency, and flexibility — and to increase their revenue opportunities and standings in the competitive marketplace. As they prepare for the growth these changes drive, finding the right billing system to support their innovative new models becomes a business imperative.

However, given the sheer volume of options on the market, the process of selecting the right system can feel overwhelming. Which features do you need? How can you be sure a system suits your needs? Does it support all the usage-based models it claims to support? It is extremely important to address these questions and, more importantly, identify which systems will integrate with other business systems to empower growth. Moreover, discover which ones will require a lot of hands-on support that will stymie change rather than support agility.

There are a lot of questions to ask, and it can seem impossible to narrow your focus to what's important. Fortunately, in a recent article for Forbes, Gotransverse president, and CEO James Messer did that for you. He highlights four key considerations to prioritize in the search for a billing system to handle your recurring consumption models. Let's take a closer look at each of them.

Planning for the Future

“Too often, companies focus on short-term business needs. Billing is the foundation for any business, and it should adapt to your evolving operation,” says Messer. The right system is one that “futureproofs” your business. In other words, it meets today’s needs, but it’s also set up to grow and change with your businesses, adjusting capacity, billing models, pricing, etc.

When you’re looking at whether a billing system will serve you well into the future, Messer suggests bearing in mind four specific characteristics:

  • Scalability: Does the system automate billing processes to handle high volumes efficiently?
  • Ability to Add New Customers: Is the system versatile enough to keep up with your growing customer base?
  • Ability to Adapt to New Markets: Can the system accommodate multiple currencies, taxes, and regulatory structures?
  • Ability to Open New Channels: As you add self-service channels, new resellers, or additional distribution models, will your billing system be able to keep up?

“Because billing is directly linked to revenue, you should consider it a strategic part of your operations,” says Messer. “Be sure to consider what billing capabilities you will need as you layout your company road map.”

Ensuring Business Agility

If there’s anything we learned last year, it’s that change can — and often does — happen fast. And when it comes time to adapt, whether due to something as extreme as a global pandemic or simply due to customers’ changing values, your billing system can make or break your ability to stay ahead of the game.

“If you have to retool your billing infrastructure to test new pricing,” warns Messer, “you’ll have difficulty staying competitive." That said, it's imperative to look for a billing platform that can accommodate changing business conditions and embrace new pricing bundles, business models, terms, and tiers without batting an eye. The goal is to maintain a steady revenue stream and continuous operations no matter what changes are coming your way.

Selecting the Right Solution

Automated billing systems are far from one-size-fits-all. So, Messer says, "it helps to create a list of billing criteria even before you start shopping." That way, you'll be focused on finding the solution that fits your needs.

How do you create a dynamic billing platform you can trust? You can start by asking these questions:

  • What types of billing models will we need to support? “Consider whether you need a system that can handle pricing on a per-unit, volume, overage, tiered or tiered-with-overage basis, as well as other variables,” says Messer.
  • What specific features are essential for the business? Do you need a mediation engine that provides configurable business rules and high-volume event processing? Do you need advanced revenue recognition features? Hands-on support from your vendor?

When you go in with a clear list in mind, it will be much easier to stay focused among all the bells and whistles.

Using Billing as an Extension of Your Brand

Finally, remember, customers view the billing process as a critical piece of your brand. If an invoice is clunky or hard to read, or if a charge is incorrect, that's not just a billing error in their eyes — it's a knock against your entire business. As Messer points out, pay careful attention to what a particular billing system, and the invoices it generates, says about your brand. Are they clean and clear? Do they show exactly what customers are paying for?

“Granted,” Messer concedes, “it’s difficult to make an invoice seem enticing, but it’s a pivotal part of the customer experience. User-friendly invoices can add to customer confidence and improve customer loyalty.”

There’s plenty to consider as you search for the perfect billing solution for your business, but these questions are the perfect guideposts to start the process. (For more details, we encourage you to read Messer’s full article in Forbes.)

At Gotransverse, we pride ourselves on partnering with our clients to implement the perfect billing solution to meet their exacting needs, both today and in the future. To learn more about our platform, we invite you to take a virtual tour today. Then, when you’re ready, request a demo to speak with one of our experts about whether Gotransverse is right for your organization.