May 15, 2019

Salesforce Billing for a Complete Quote to Cash Experience

Sales cycles can be time-consuming and draining! Imagine handling thousands of sales transactions manually! Can’t even begin to fathom, right? Luckily, within the Salesforce ecosystem, there is a life-savior better known as Salesforce Billing. The Salesforce CPQ and Salesforce Billing packages work hand in hand to give you a seamless sales process, making you sell, report and handle customer experiences better. Salesforce CPQ helps you in creating quotes that eventually convert to contracts. It also handles amendments as well as renewals of those contracts, whereas creating orders and invoices along with managing payments and refunds is taken care by the Salesforce Billing package.

One of the first Salesforce Billing implementations I worked on was for a healthcare organization, who offered other healthcare organizations a suite of applications to manage the patient intake process. They provided patients a modern, consistent experience, while enabling healthcare organizations to optimize their staffing and enhance clinical care. While they were already a Salesforce user, their sales process was still primarily handled outside the Salesforce environment, leading to anomalies, erroneous reporting and high turnaround time. They decided to opt for the Salesforce Billing package to improve their sales processes and bring more flexibility to their sales and proposal generation process, looking to implement a complete quote-to-cash solution that would replace their current burdensome, manually intensive billing process.

Getting Started

We started off by looking through their existing product catalogues and mapped how those would best be moved to Salesforce CPQ bundles. We spent some time getting up to speed with their existing billing process and mapped all the data, including ledger accounting, taxation, invoicing and revenue recognition with the corresponding billing package structure. Once the initial data mapping was done and setup in Salesforce Billing, rest was merely a matter of having the correct and most relevant data in the correct place when required. Get in touch with us to help you figure out how your products and invoicing structure can be moved to Salesforce Billing.

Like the Salesforce sales cycle, once your leads are converted to Accounts, Contacts and Opportunities, you can create quotes related to the opportunity. Once your quotes are created and approved or accepted, there are various ways to proceed. If your business follows a contract-based model, the contract is generated at this stage and an order is created from either the Opportunity or Quote. My client followed a contract-based approach and created contracts before they ordered their products for their clients. Once the orders were ready and locked, they followed the following steps to generate actual invoices and send them out to the customers.
  1. Generate Invoice
    1. A new invoice is generated from the order. This invoice contains Invoice Lines which have product information that were added to the order and are eligible to be billed in the current cycle. This is significant when subscription products are sold for which you need to send out invoices at regular intervals.
    2. Multiple new invoices can be generated during each new billing cycle for the same order with the information of the next billing cycle if the contract and order are active and eligible to be invoiced.
    3. Salesforce Billing also allows you to send out invoices based on the usage of a product. Your customer pays only for how much they use. For my client, this invoicing method was particularly beneficial when they provided products that could be scaled up or down based on the number of patients registered at a particular healthcare service during a particular billing cycle.


  2. Send Invoice to Customer
    1. The invoices can be sent out to your customers using any document generation tool easily available from the AppExchange. You can create beautifully formatted and styled invoice documents with the data from the invoice and invoice line objects in Salesforce. We used Conga to create and send these documents.

  3. Receive Payment and Handle Refunds
    1. You can have a Payment Gateway integrated with your Salesforce Billing package to directly accept payments within Salesforce. The package supports payment through Payment methods which store ACH or credit card details for a customer, as well as the Payment Gateways that accepts payments. You can use these details for both scheduled or one-time payment scenarios. These make it easier to track the money going in and out of your organization. My client used an external finance management system which they integrated and synced with the Billing package to handle their payment and refund information.


  4. Use Credit Notes and Debit Notes
    1. Credit notes can be used to track if you owe your customer any credit amount in case they have overpaid a particular invoice and the same needs to be adjusted in another invoice .If your customer needs to be billed extra in the next billing cycle because of any pending amount from the previous billing cycle, you can use Debit Notes to highlight and track this information.

  5. Taxation
    1. Salesforce Billing handles your taxation by providing a basic tax calculation engine out of the box and allows integration with external taxation systems as well. We integrated Avalara using Avalara for Salesforce Billing plugin to handle the taxation from within the Billing package.

The Perks of Salesforce Billing

What makes Salesforce Billing even better is that this whole process can be automated using the Invoice Scheduler. You can set your invoices to be created automatically per a set schedule. This ensures that you get perfectly calculated and billed invoices every single time without any manual intervention. You can also send these invoices out to your customer and not worry about missing any dates. Billing also provides a Payment Scheduler that helps to automatically charge an approved customer’s card and receive payment for your product. Your entire Billing process is handled from within Salesforce so all you need to think about is getting your products to your customers.



Written by Joyce Joseph , Salesforce CPQ Specialist at Eternus Solutions

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