Successful Selling In The Cloud Relies On Billing

Selling In The Cloud 

The cloud offers a multitude of benefits for businesses looking to expand their sales channels. In the cloud, these companies can create new, predictable revenue streams; develop economies of scale; gain faster time to market; and shorten sales cycles. However, those benefits come with some challenges. Many organizations imagine the path to the cloud is a technology-dominated road. The truth is that companies moving to the cloud need to put 80 percent of their focus on developing a new business model. The remaining 20 percent of a cloud company’s attention should go to technology. In choosing that technology, an organization should remember that its investments must support the business needs created by the cloud. The right billing solution can solve many of those issues.

Cloud billing equals cloud monetization

Cloud billing” is a misnomer in some ways. The billing solution for a traditional software business might deliver basic invoicing and be an add-on to another system. In the cloud, billing might be more aptly dubbed, “monetization,” since it facilitates productization, enrollment, payment capture and customer support all of which facilitates the go-to-market strategies for companies adapting to a new business model. A monetization solution may even help a company “consumerize” its offering. Meaning that it can reduce customer friction making product easy to buy and adopt. That simplification has been adopted in the “consumer” software world and is becoming an essential building block for enterprise success in the cloud.

The cloud is also about dynamic agreements that touch multiple services and departments. Monetizing those agreements requires a system that supports essential backend functions, including:

  1. Account creation: This should be an easy, customer-driven portal activity that reflects the consumer’s desire for product choice and agreement flexibility.
  2. Entitlements: Make sure you can easily manage different offering levels and turn service entitlements on and off as agreements change.
  3. Product changes: Give consumers the ability to upgrade or downgrade themselves, and drive revenue through bundled offers.
  4. Usage and subscriptions: Clearly capture metered product usage and monetize usage level through flexible pricing.
  5. Payment capture: The cloud needs to accommodate more complex payment options than straight credit card billing, taking into account charges that might be applied by numbers of seats, usage hours or some other metric.
  6. Customer relationship management (CRM): The billing system is the center of knowledge for financial relationships and for providing that information to other systems, including CRM is key.

Re-architecting for a cloud-based economy

Today’s software is shopping for painkillers, not technology. The cloud can be the best venue for reducing customers’ pain, as long as companies deliver easy on-boarding and customer success tools. The right monetization system can support those efforts, in addition to offering key benefits that help build business.

First, the cloud enables businesses to offer an easy purchase path. As long as a company has a compelling product with brand awareness, the need for human support in the cloud should be minimal. Prospects can click to buy on their own without completing multiple conversations and processes with a customer service representative. When customers can locate the product or service they want, try it out and purchase it off a Web portal without assistance, organizations generate revenue without incurring new costs. This is especially helpful for less complex offerings (and less lucrative ones), enabling businesses to dedicate service teams more fully to enterprise or high-end customers. In the end, it’s all about CAC, a SaaS term for Customer Acquisition Cost. The cloud requires that CAC be as low and efficient as is possible for the associated LTV Lifetime Value.

Second, cloud monetization sets the foundation for scaling a business to far greater size than would be possible with a traditional sales force. In order for cloud-based companies to grow from 100 customers to 1,000 to 100,000 or beyond, they need to give customers the option to self-select products and packages. This also presents a requirement for dynamic relationship management and billing.

Finally, cloud billing enables companies to deliver and monetize whatever creative promotions and packages marketing can design. That is positive for the business, of course, since it can act on ideas and turn them into revenue. It also benefits users, who gain more choice in the ways they purchase from the company.

A sales channel that comes down to service

As with all things related to the cloud, the promise of cloud billing is to serve the customer better. The right monetization choices must, of course, open new revenue streams and deliver a way to manage far more complicated sales than offline business models. However, the true measure of a billing tool can be taken in the level of customer satisfaction it engenders. When customers are able to select the right products for them, adjust their usage levels at will and obtain support as needed, cloud companies win, too.

By Mark Dudman, Executive Vice President and General Manager of MetraTech’s Metanga.

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Increasing Efficiency and Reducing Cost with Managed Printing Services

Increasing Efficiency and Reducing Cost with Managed Printing Services

Managed Printing Services This is a sponsored post written on behalf of HP MPS.  Today’s business leaders recognize the value of shared services, significantly providing a wide range of enterprises with the sophisticated tools they need to compete with big business, while additionally driving costs down. But an area often overlooked in our tech-savvy world…

Curing Cancer With Big Data

Curing Cancer With Big Data

Cancer & Big Data The fight against cancer has been going on for centuries. Many leaders have tried and failed to bring about change to cancer treatment. Richard Nixon famously declared a War on Cancer with the National Cancer Act of 1971, and while the Nixon administration certainly increased research funding, they ultimately fell short…

IoT & Predictive Analytics In Healthcare

IoT & Predictive Analytics In Healthcare

IoT & Predictive Analytics In a report by Grand View Research Inc., it’s predicted that the global Internet of Things (IoT) healthcare market will reach nearly $410 billion by 2022, with mobile penetration, software automation, and innovation medical devices promising rapid testing, greater accuracy, portability, and user-friendliness. Chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart failure,…

What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor? Look To The Cloud

What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor? Look To The Cloud

Saferide App Petty officer Michael Daigle of the US Navy has rolled out an app to curb drunken driving in the Navy ranks. His Saferide ride-sharing service runs on Voxox’s Cloud Phone service which costs just $15 a month and is popular among US Service members abroad, where mobile phones are not permitted for use…

Red Hat Offers Container Native Persistent Storage for Linux Containers

Red Hat Offers Container Native Persistent Storage for Linux Containers

Red Hat Offers Container Storage Latest Red Hat Gluster Storage release enables greater agility and efficiency for OpenShift developers deploying application containers in production SAN FRANCISCO – RED HAT SUMMIT – June 28, 2016 – Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced new storage innovations designed to enable developers to…

Will Your Internet of Things Device Testify Against You?

Will Your Internet of Things Device Testify Against You?

Will Your Internet of Things Device Testify Imagine this:  Your wearable device is subpoenaed to testify against you.  You were driving when you were over the legal alcohol limit and data from a smart Breathalyzer device is used against you. Some might argue that such a use case could potentially safeguard society. However, it poses…

SaaS And The Cloud Are Still Going Strong

SaaS And The Cloud Are Still Going Strong

SaaS And The Cloud With the results of Cisco Global Could Index: 2013-2018 and Hosting and Cloud Study 2014, predictions for the future of cloud computing are notable. Forbes reported that spending on infrastructure-related services has increased as public cloud computing uptake spreads, and reflected on Gartner’s Public Cloud Services Forecast. The public cloud service…

Explosive Growth Of Data-Driven Marketing

Explosive Growth Of Data-Driven Marketing

Data-Driven Marketing There is an absolute endless amount of data that is being accumulated, dissected, analyzed with the important bits extracted and used for a number of purposes. With the amount of data in the world has already reached into multiple zettabytes annually. A Zettabyte is one million petabytes or one thousand exabytes. With data…

Cloud Infographic: The Explosive Growth Of The Cloud

Cloud Infographic: The Explosive Growth Of The Cloud

The Explosive Growth Of The Cloud We’ve been covering cloud computing extensively over the past number of years on CloudTweaks and have truly enjoyed watching the adoption and growth of it. Many novices are still trying to wrap their mind around what the cloud it is and what it does, while others such as thought…

Report: Enterprise Cloud Computing Moves Into Mature Growth Phase

Report: Enterprise Cloud Computing Moves Into Mature Growth Phase

Verizon Cloud Report Enterprises using the cloud, even for mission-critical projects, is no longer new or unusual. It’s now firmly established as a reliable workhorse for an organization and one that can deliver great value and drive transformation. That’s according to a new report from Verizon entitled “State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud 2016.” which…

The Internet of Things Lifts Off To The Cloud

The Internet of Things Lifts Off To The Cloud

The Staggering Size And Potential Of The Internet of Things Here’s a quick statistic that will blow your mind and give you a glimpse into the future. When you break that down, it translates to 127 new devices online every second. In only a decade from now, every single vehicle on earth will be connected…

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Cloud Computing Price War There’s little question that the business world is a competitive place, but probably no area in business truly defines cutthroat quite like cloud computing. At the moment, we are witnessing a heated price war pitting some of the top cloud providers against each other, all in a big way to attract…