Salesforce provides a powerful set of tools for businesses from quote-to-cash allowing companies to choose from many different pricing options in which to sell their products including some flexible usage based pricing models.
But what if your business has specialized usage scenarios or has large volumes of usage data to process? These are some areas in which Salesforce may need to be extended to meet your business needs. Luckily Salesforce provides extensive integration capabilities to allow for these types of extensions.
Let’s take a look at some different scenarios where you may want to extend your Salesforce implementation to take advantage of additional functionality.
PROCESSING HIGH VOLUMES OF USAGE DATA
Your business may need to mediate and process large volumes of usage records in order to calculate pricing. This may even be billions of records a month. As a Salesforce Billing customer, that type of scale typically will require integration with a system that can sift through the numerous records to aggregate amounts and calculate charges for the customer account.
In this scenario implementing a high volume data mediation and charging extension makes sense to accurately calculate the charges for the billing period and then send back usage summaries to Salesforce Billing for invoicing. Account product information, and specialized pricing (possibly through Salesforce CPQ), can be synchronized with the mediation and usage charging system to ensure that all specialized rates and volume discounts are calculated.
COMPLEX USAGE PRICING SCENARIOS
There are many businesses that have unique or complex usage pricing scenarios that might require extensions to the Salesforce suite of products. Some examples of these could be multiple tiered pricing models or volume based pricing calculated on the amount of the service used during the billing period.
Other industries may require location or zone based pricing that will change depending on where the device/product was used when incurring service charges. In large enterprise style contracts there may also be commitments of minimum usage amounts, overage charges, as well as ramp up periods for the number of accounts subscribed to a service.
In these cases the Salesforce product catalog can be augmented to link to entities in an integrated system that can calculate and charge the proper amounts based on contract rules.
CONSUMPTION DRAWDOWN MODELS
What is a consumption drawdown model? It allows you to create a flexible pricing model by setting up a budgeted amount of spend for multiple services. Allowing your customer to draw down on the set monetary amount based on the services they consume. Providing top-ups for overage and warnings when accounts are getting close to their limits.
There are some real business advantages to this approach, one being that you can create a single contract with your customer for a monthly spend allowance for your services. That means you don’t need to go back and create a new contract when they want to try one of your new products. Instead they can try products from your offerings and have that usage draw down from their budgeted monthly spend.
Salesforce CQP and Billing can be integrated with a third party system to allow for this type of pricing configuration. The orders are submitted to the mediation and charging system, monthly drawdown amounts are calculated, and then usage summaries are provided back to Salesforce to supply an invoice to the customer.
VISIBILITY AND UPSELL OPPORTUNITIES
By integrating more pricing flexibility into Salesforce you now have the ability to also gain more insights from the data right within Salesforce. Using a Salesforce extension from the AppExchange you’re able to visualize some key data:
Visibility in near real time of the revenue that is being generated across your usage services. See which ones are performing better or worse than expected.
Find out which customers are either over or under the amount of expected usage for the period so far. This could provide you an upsell opportunity or provide great customer care and address those who are underutilizing their plans.
Find out where you might be leaking revenue. Near real time views into usage record exceptions will point out where usage records are being processed but cannot either be assigned to an account or a price. Address these scenarios head on to ensure you aren’t losing revenue due to missing configurations.
Salesforce is an incredibly powerful tool for your business. To get the most out of your investment there are ways to extend its capabilities to meet your business needs where at first glance it may not seem to be a fit.
Augmenting your Salesforce instance with LogiSense Billing can create a powerful combination of business tools that will ensure you have the most flexibility, and visibility, for your business.
About the Author
Tim Neil /
As Sr. Director of Marketing at LogiSense, Tim is responsible for corporate brand messaging and digital assets ensuring that future customers understand the immense benefits that LogiSense Billing brings. Tim has over 20 years of Product Management and Marketing experience in the technology industry.