As a subscription business, choosing a modern subscription billing platform is crucial for the effective management of day-to-day operations.
But selecting the right solution for your specific UCaaS, CCaaS, SaaS, IoT, healthcare, utilities, or logistics business requires careful planning. With the variety of new and old solutions available in the market, it is important to cherry-pick intelligent, end-to-end subscription management and billing platform with modern features and capabilities that help you redefine the lead-to-revenue generation experience.
Read: The Many Benefits of New-Gen Billing Platforms
Here are 10 things your subscription billing platform must offer:
- Configurable product catalogs: For businesses that deal with several different types of customers and markets, a configurable catalog – for any type of product in any industry – is an important criterion while choosing a subscription billing platform. The ability to create different products (and prices) and complex bundles with flexible pricing and promotions means you have the flexibility to create unique configurations that are tailored to the market in which they are sold – whether telco, hospitality, healthcare, or others. Choosing a solution that allows you to define discounts – on usage as well as the total bill – and apply varying charge types such as one-time, variable, and metered, etc. can help you better meet the needs of your diverse customer segments..
- The ability to sell through multiple channels: With customers using different channels to avail subscription services, choosing a subscription billing platform with the ability to sell through multiple channels is again critical. A solution that allows for seamless selling via B2B (CPQ), as well as B2C (eCommerce portals), allows for the personalization of products for customers across different channels. It also aids in customizing promotions and bundles based on the channel the customer is using. Bottomline, you sell more and scale faster.
- Order activation: The ability of the platform to enable seamless order activation will also go a long way. Modern order orchestration, provisioning, and activation capabilities that are integrated with downstream systems mean you can achieve end-to-end automation of the order fulfillment process. You can define what tasks need to be completed before the system provisions and activates the service and configure workflows that define the flow of operations for order fulfillment. This allows you to offer a much more seamless subscription activation experience for your customers.
- CRM capabilities: A subscription billing platform with modern CRM capabilities is also a must for ensuring a seamless and gratifying customer experience. An integrated service desk offers the ability to raise tickets and record customer interactions and responses via multiple touchpoints. A self-care portal allows customers to control their subscription plans. Using a single interface, they can update their account information themselves as well as view invoices, make payments, and easily download payment receipts.
- Accurate invoice calculation: For subscription businesses dealing with several customers spread across several geographies, the billing system should be able to accurately calculate invoices – every time. It should comply with the required taxation regulations and also capture necessary tax information and calculate it in real-time for every invoice – while constantly minimizing any potential tax audit risk. It should also allow you to create different variations of your products for different currencies as well as allow you to assign a relevant tax code for a specific regional market.
- Usage rating: A subscription billing platform with usage rating/metering paves the way for streamlined cost management. Offering the ability to calculate charges based on actual usage of any service, it allows for a wide range of usage units including storage kilobytes, MB, GB, calls, minutes, licenses, features, software usage, data, messages sent, bandwidth, and more. You can track usage based on different parameters to calculate charges for customer invoices as well as map CDR files to usage charges. You can also easily handle bulk usage transaction records via seamless API integration between the source system and billing platform or through a file-based approach that can be connected to the FTP location for processing CDR rating.
- Flexible billing: Another important feature to look for while choosing a subscription platform is optimized billing. A solution that allows for billing individuals as well as businesses means you can easily cater to individual customers and small or big organizations and leverage features such as prepay or postpay, proration, hierarchy billing, dunning & collections. Offering customized invoicing terms, personalized prices, different billing cycle options, and more can also ensure efficient (and tailored) billing while improving customer satisfaction.
- Opportunity to maximize sales through partners: Subscription businesses often deal with several resellers and partners; therefore, choosing a platform that helps in configuring unique partner catalogs as well as accurately calculating and settling commissions is also vital. Ensure the system you select offers Multi-Level Channel Management (MLCM) capabilities that help bring resellers and agent partners into a single, centralized billing ecosystem. With options to resell products to partners at a specific price range, define individual incentive models, and choose a different settlement mode for each partner, you can maximize sales as well as revenue.
- Advanced reporting & customizations: It is essential to have advanced reporting and customizations. Advanced reporting can aid in accurately tracking revenue through a user-friendly reporting tool. It can also help categorize revenue based on predetermined codes to enable ease of reporting. It should also allow for GL coding for integration with an Accounting Software platform to make the accounting process more streamlined.
- SaaS and scalable: Given how quickly subscription businesses have to respond to the many changes happening in the business landscape, choosing a SaaS-based solution helps ensure the required agility. A cloud-based platform is not only scalable, but it also helps meet the complex billing requirements of customers spread across the world. You can easily customize services as well as ensure high uptime and availability for an improved customer experience.
No matter how big or small your company is, or what your consumption pattern is, a centralized, SaaS-based subscription billing platform can help meet flexible consumption needs efficiently. It can adapt as you introduce new products and services as well as scale those based on the needs of your customers and your business. With the flexibility to control and manage subscriptions, you can tailor services (and discounts) and drive better relationships and engagement with your customers.
Take a demo of OneBill, an intelligent end-to-end subscription billing platform to power your business.