How long do you think it should take your business to get up and running with an automated billing solution?
Two weeks? Two months? Two years?
While speed to implementation is important, in certain software scenarios it can be risky to get up and running in too short of a timeline. Why? If the data import and testing phases are inadequate, flaws in data and business logic can be introduced right back into your billing process. And of course, these lead to costly errors and unhappy customers.
On the other hand, if implementation takes a year or more, you delay seeing any return on your decision to invest in the software. And you’re also still suffering with the pain points of the billing process you’re trying to replace.
So where’s the happy medium?
Your automated recurring billing software—and the implementation team you’re working with—need to marry speed with thoroughness when it comes to getting you up and running.
In other words, get it done fast, but moreover, get it done right.
Our team at Stax Bill developed and honed our onboarding process to do just that.
If you’re looking to transform your business’s recurring billing, we’ve put together some tips for creating a smooth transition to billing automation that will get you seeing a return on your investment in the shortest timeframe.
3 Factors that impact the speed of your automated recurring billing onboarding
While some recurring billing software options claim a one-month average turnaround time on implementation, other options on the market frequently fall into that one-year-plus category. At Stax Bill, we tell customers our average implementation time is 60 days.
Two months can seem like a long time, but this extra cushion allows for a very crucial step: that adequate setup and testing we talked about earlier.
Of course, this two-month timeline is just a generalization, and over the years we’ve learned a lot about how to expedite effective implementation. The key is working together like a true partnership.
TIP: If you’re going through the sales process and it’s sounding like a lot of the burden of figuring out how to set up your recurring billing software is going to fall to your team, that’s a red flag.
You want to work with a dedicated implementation manager backed by an expert billing automation team that’s planning to work side-by-side with your team.
- Their priority should be to get your software setup exactly how it needs to be to meet the unique needs of your business, and
- they should take the time to really understand your business’s workflows so they can not only automate your billing, but also optimize it.
That being said, there are a few things that can be done on your end going into your implementation to help ensure things go as smoothly and quickly as possible.
1. Clean up your data
The customer and billing data you provide your software implementation team can make or break your time to realizing value.
If your data is stored in multiple spreadsheets from different sources or has a lot of gaps or flaws, this can slow down your business’s onboarding process considerably. The data needs to be cleaned up before it can be imported into your new automated billing software.
Want a quicker-than-average time to implementation?
- Start cleaning up your customer data while you’re still in the buying phase, and
- once you select your billing solution, your implementation manager should be happy to help clean up that data even further.
Then you really could be up and running in just a month’s time.
2. Know what you sell and how you want to sell it
Some businesses use the onboarding process as the time to decide how they’d like the back end of their subscription billing platform to be set up. It’s a common approach, but if speedy implementation is important to you, it probably isn’t the most ideal one.
Having a clear picture of what your product catalog should look like when your billing software is set up can drastically reduce your time to ROI.
TIP: Deciding the following, and more, in advance helps speed up the onboarding process and gets you seeing that ROI sooner.
- What will your recurring billing frequencies be?
- How will you handle discounting?
- When will you recognize revenue?
3. Choose a recurring billing software provider that enables a faster time to ROI
As you can see, it’s entirely possible for a new customer to be set up to automate billing within a month.
And though we don’t advertise it as being the norm, Stax Bill offers two key differentiators that enable us to help even the most complex customers see ROI more quickly and effectively than other billing solutions on the market.
- Advanced catalog flexibility: Chances are, your subscription business’s billing needs are complex. Trust us, you’re in great company! You have your standard offerings, but also likely some customers on custom plans, special pricing, or taking advantage of various discounts and coupons.
A billing system with a flexible catalog easily accommodates customization—without months of setup or forcing some customers back onto regular plans.
- Powerful API: Billing isn’t a standalone process. Automating your revenue engine is part of an overall digital transformation that requires a well-integrated technology stack. That is, all your software solutions should work together to make it a seamless process.
You need to connect to your CRM, accounting, ERP, taxation software, and more. Stax Bill supports many native integrations and offers a powerful, REST-based API so we can provide the flexibility to integrate with the platforms you use.
At the end of the day, we happily guide you through the process to make sure you’re successful. And it’s Stax Bill’s technological capabilities that enable us to do that.
The impact of onboarding and your business’s automated billing ROI
So where exactly is the ROI from an onboarding perspective?
It’s all about time saved.
The faster we can get you up and running, the faster you can start reducing the amount of time spent on your recurring billing. The sooner you can reduce the manual labor in your billing process, the sooner you can wave goodbye to human error. And of course, the sooner you eliminate human error, the sooner you can start saving money.
But these time savings shouldn’t come at the expense of the quality of your onboarding—rushing the implementation process will set you up for more problems further down the line.