22 Mar The guide to Salesforce Billing: #1 From order to invoice
by Pramod Patil
Keeping track of orders, invoices, bills, receipts, and payment schedules is prime business fodder for some nightmare-filled sleeps. And we don’t blame you—the billing and accounting function of your organization is responsible for organizing and collecting the thing that keeps your business going: money. But what if your billing processes were effortlessly aligned with your sales? Better yet, what if the bulk of your billing tasks were automated with a dynamic system that you’ve configured just for your business model?
Salesforce Billing does all that—and more. But you may still be wondering what this additional Salesforce service is, why you need it, and how you can best use it.
That’s why we’re creating this series: The ultimate guide to Salesforce Billing. This first article will cover the basics, including what we mean by “order” and “invoice” in Salesforce Billing and some general best practices to keep in mind as you get started.
The order in Salesforce Billing
When you order five things on Amazon and check out, you get to review a final list including those five items. That’s essentially what an order in Salesforce Billing is: an overview of the items ordered and relevant details. Each order line will include when the order is due, when it was ordered, and more. The order header will include information such as the address this order is associated with.
To put this in a larger context that melds with the rest of Salesforce, an order is really just the products requested from the system, along with any preconfigurations or special bundles associated with it through your CPQ system. An order is created the moment a client accepts a quote—in other words, Salesforce Billing picks up precisely where CPQ leaves off. The way Salesforce Billing connects seamlessly with Salesforce CPQ is especially helpful with subscription-based business models and repeat customers through customizable billing cadences. Which brings us to the next key element: invoices.
The invoice in Salesforce Billing
An invoice in Salesforce Billing differs from an order because the invoice is what a customer views as their “bill”—it’s what they owe you for any given product or service. Salesforce Billing takes a look at the orders in a given timeframe and collects those into one invoice which is then delivered to the customer. The frequency of the invoices is adjustable, so you can customize billing to be monthly, quarterly, annually, or whatever timetable works best for the product. Additionally, an invoice is automatically set up each time an order is created, so you never have to worry about losing track of what you’re due. All you have to do is create an invoice scheduler and then let the cloud-automated process handle the grunt work.
Best practices for maximizing Salesforce Billing
Sometimes, Salesforce customers view Salesforce Billing as another, new entity in their Salesforce org that will require loads of additional help and maintenance. This couldn’t be further from the reality: Salesforce Billing is built to be as seamless and unnoticeable as possible. Its sole purpose is to ease the process after CPQ leaves off and automate work for your organization. Here are some best practice tips for getting the most out of Salesforce Billing, so you have more time to work on more critical projects:
The data model is seamless: No custom objects or special configurations are needed to leverage Billing. Since the data model is exactly the same as what Salesforce uses in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, or CPQ, it’s all built to work together.
Less dependency on the back-end: Since Salesforce Billing contains so much information, you don’t have to go digging through your back-end ERP to understand dues, invoices, or other key information about your customer. When salespeople have that information readily available thanks to Billing, it makes the entire lead-to-invoice cycle much easier with a complete 360-view of the customer.
Put all your data on the sales platform: If you want to see the best and biggest ROI on your Salesforce investment, you have to give it all you got. Putting all relevant data (after a good cleaning) into Salesforce increases data access and knowledgeable income for the overall sales process in your organization.
Encourage your service team to use Billing, too: Sales and accounting aren’t the only departments that will love the visibility from Salesforce Billing. Customer service reps are prime for also leveraging Salesforce Billing, as the insights into customer ordering and payment habits can lend greater clarity to their cases.
Salesforce CPQ needs Billing just as much as Billing needs CPQ—they work hand in hand to create a seamless process for both you and your customers. Next time, we’ll discuss collecting payments with Salesforce Billing. In the meantime, learn more by reaching out to Simplus’ Billing experts today!
Pramod is a Senior Consultant here at Simplus. He is a seasoned, analytical, and results-oriented professional with extensive experience in business analysis, solution architecture, and project management. Pramod is equipped with proven expertise in functional as well as technical areas, including quote-to-cash.