The subscription industry is experiencing tremendous growth. While it is expected to grow from $4 billion in 2020 to $7.8 billion by 2025, companies are having a tough time efficiently managing customers, plans, and prices. The complexities around lead generation, activation, and management make billing a grave challenge, with companies struggling to personalize prices, manage quotes and contracts, orchestrate orders, and automate the service fulfillment process.
To overcome these challenges, what companies need is a modern billing and revenue management platform that makes the quote-to-cash process a breeze.
Common Challenges in Recurring Billing
Regardless of what industry you belong to, managing subscribers, partners, pricing, promotions, and billing can get extremely taxing. For those dealing with complex product offerings, challenges such as invoicing errors, revenue leakage, compliance errors, and partner management issues make it difficult to drive efficiency. The dependence on several disconnected systems to carry out day-to-day operations means organizations end up more time in mundane, error-prone tasks and less in empowering customers or improving their subscription experience.
Here’s looking at five common challenges businesses face with recurring billing:
- Managing the growing number of customers and their changing needs is one of the biggest challenges for subscription businesses. Servicing existing customers while keeping track of new sign-ups, activations, trials, upgrades, and downgrades doesn’t come easy.
- Enabling flexible billing is another challenge that impacts the efficiency of businesses with a recurring billing model need. Since different customers have different billing preferences and cycles, businesses have to offer the provision of monthly, quarterly, bi-annual, or annual billing.
- Automating the invoicing process is also tough for subscription businesses that deal with hundreds of thousands of customers. The situation is even more complicated for those offering different product bundles, prices, and promotions, especially when customers sign up at different periods for different services.
- Ensuring secure payments is yet another requirement that needs to be addressed with extreme caution. Since today’s subscribers expect that their data will be handled privately & securely, businesses need to comply with necessary regulations to ensure the safety and confidentiality of data.
- Customization of plans and prices based on the different needs of customers located in different locations is also difficult. Offering multiple tiers of prices, enabling customized discounts, making price changes, and managing and tracking promotions are critical to ensuring long-term satisfaction and loyalty.
Overcoming the recurring billing challenges with a modern solution
The challenges that subscription businesses face today are many but can easily be overcome with a modern end-to-end billing platform.
A unified cloud-based subscription management platform allows you to:
- Seamlessly integrate applications across the business: A modern solution brings intelligent end-to-end subscription management and billing into one single platform. By integrating billing with CRM, accounting, payment gateway, taxation, and provisioning and activation systems, a cloud-based solution offers ONE platform with different products that can ultimately power the entire customer lead-to-revenue generation experience.
- Automate the quote-to-cash process: A modern platform allows you to automate the quote-to-cash process and develop customized quote templates with your company logo and preferred format. You can prepare individualized quotes from your product catalog and email them directly to your customer prospects within minutes. Automation allows you to eliminate all offline and manual workflows for receiving approvals for your quotes; in addition, it allows you to configure custom business process workflows to deal with quotes and order approvals automatically.
- Efficiently manage subscribers and partners: An innovative Billing & Revenue Management system makes it easy to manage subscribers and partners with CSR tools that offer branded, self-care portals that further personalize the subscriber experience. You can create, personalize, and update profiles and plans, add new products to their subscription, upgrade (or downgrade) subscriptions, update payment methods as well as cancel, renew, or pause plans. The system also allows you to efficiently calculate product usage, apply relevant charges, manage invoicing, send payment reminders, facilitate online payments, and track and categorize revenue for accounting and reporting purposes.
- Ensure accurate invoicing and taxation: With a modern platform, you no longer have to worry about invoice accuracy and taxation and compliance – you can bill accurately, collect faster, and pin-point revenue leakage. Since the platform allows for configuring multiple complex products with varying charge types (For example, one-time, recurring, variable, metered, etc.), you can easily create variations of a product in different currencies while assigning the relevant tax code for specific markets.
- Personalize customer experiences: A modern subscription management solution also enables companies to package and bundle offerings with innovative pricing, unique promotion bundles, and limited period discounts. The Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) module delivers the flexibility to create various product and pricing plans with unique configurations that are tailored to different markets. You can personalize products, promotions, and bundles for specific customers and easily manage quotes, approvals, and contracts without manual intervention.
A modern platform for revenue assurance
If you want to maximize revenue opportunities and get useful insights into business using analytics and live dashboards, a complete subscription platform like OneBill can help overcome all billing complexities. Choose OneBill today to seamlessly integrate your disparate systems, automate the quote-to-cash process, efficiently manage your subscribers and partners, ensure accurate invoicing and taxation, and personalize experiences.