Earlier this month, we were thrilled to host a webinar with PwC on how businesses can leverage billing to keep their customers satisfied and their revenue growing even as the monetization landscape continues to evolve rapidly. Marni Burger, our Vice President of Marketing, moderated the webinar, which included insights from three expert panelists:

  • Jared Schreff, Partner, Finance Transformation, PwC
  • Laurie Fleet, Partner, Quote-to-Cash Transformation, PwC
  • Sean Daniel, Chief Financial Offer, Gotransverse

The speakers took a deep dive into three key things leaders need to consider as they evaluate their billing system (or search for a new one) in order to stay ahead of the ever-changing curve. We’ll share the highlights below, and we invite you to watch the full webinar replay here.

Prepare for the Future

While many billing systems may work for now, the reality is that a business’s needs are highly unlikely to stay the same for long, whether the business is growing and evolving or the market is — or, more often, both.

Schreff and Daniel noted that 2020 was the ultimate test of whether companies had successfully established billing systems that had prepared them for whatever was around the corner.

“Businesses that have relied on tactile, analogue processes have had to figure out how to operate virtually,” Schreff said, with Daniel adding that businesses that had already invested in digital transformation — including public cloud infrastructure — were prepared and ready to benefit from market shifts such as the rapidly accelerated demand for online retail and everything-as-a-service (XaaS) offerings.

What about companies in sectors that shrank during the pandemic? Daniel pointed out that the leaders in industries like travel and transportation quickly learned that it’s just as important to be able to scale down quickly as it is to be able to scale up. So again, those who had invested in the digital transformation were prepared — and those that hadn’t are investing now.

In light of how critical it is to find a system that enables businesses to set themselves up for success now andin the face of whatever comes next, Scheff shared four new imperatives for digital businesses and eight key functions SaaS businesses, in particular, need to be sure to get right in order to deliver a frictionless customer experience. Check out the webinar replay for the full scoop.

Overcome Organizational Challenges

The quote-to-cash process, Fleet reminded viewers, crosses many departments within an organization, from sales to finance to IT to legal. And when a billing system isn’t equipped to support these “handoffs” effectively, companies will wind up with revenue leakage, incorrect invoices, lost income, and unhappy customers.

“I have a soft spot for billing and finance teams,” said Fleet, “because when an invoice is wrong, they’re usually the first ones blamed. But nine times out of ten, the root cause is further upstream.” Perhaps there was a “translation” gap between the team who finalized the contract and the team who set up the billing for a particular customer, leading either to overbilling (and angry users) or underbilling (and lost revenue). Or perhaps the quote didn’t match the bill and, again, the company is either underbilling or having to give goodwill credit to mollify customers who’ve been overcharged.

The solution, she says, is to ensure end-to-end billing management in order to both maximize internal efficiency and optimize the customer experience. While outdated or overly simplified billing systems may struggle to connect those silos across the organization, the right billing system can keep everybody on the same page.

Realize the End-to-End Solution

Finally, businesses operating on subscription models have to remember that 80% of customer lifetime value comes after the initial transaction. That means it’s critical to deliver a cohesive experience across the entire customer lifecycle.

For businesses selling one-off products and services, this isn’t quite such a challenge. As long as customers are happy with the customer service and the purchase, they’re likely to come back again and/or refer the business to friends. But with subscription models, there are suddenly many more touchpoints between business and customer, and every one matters. For example, if a customer has a great experience upfront but then the renewal process is difficult or confusing or inefficient, then the chances of retaining that customer dwindle quickly.

If the goal is to minimize churn (and it should be, because as Fleet reminded us, it’s far more expensive to attract new customers than it is to retain current customers), then companies need to be looking for end-to-end solutions that can support strong long-term customer relationships. (Watch the webinar replay to learn how reporting, tracking, and measurement capabilities come into play here!)

With so much at stake — and so much in flux — for corporate billing leaders, the right system isn’t just a “nice-to-have” but a “must-have.” At Gotransverse we pride ourselves on helping our clients future-proof their businesses, minimize revenue leakage, and streamline the customer experience with agile, scalable process, automated workflows, and highly configurable processes and features. To find out whether our platform is right for your organization, we invite you to take a virtual tour of our billing platform today. Then, when you’re ready, request a demo to learn more.