Closing a deal and getting paid looks very different when selling through a sales team compared to a web-based purchase. You’ll increasingly have to negotiate with procurement departments and tackle legal scrutiny before the dotted line is fully signed. Even when that’s not the case, you’ll certainly need to orchestrate the provisioning, management, and reconciliation of payments done through invoicing. That process can swallow huge amounts of time and money, especially if and when it’s reliant on manual interventions, which it often is. Great sales operations are needed from the start so that when you grow things don’t fall apart.
Configure, price, quote
Unlike purchases made online, where the price is set and the payment process automated, selling to large businesses typically requires configuring a bespoke software package, including customizations, integrations and optional features, as well as services like team training. Other factors like discounts and payment terms will need to be reflected in the price and quote. When selling internationally, the currency of the quote and payment will differ based on location. These variables are all determined in conversation, and will need the sales rep to actively document them in your CRM. If deals are being made but data is not being updated or entered properly, there will be a world of trouble downstream, with invoices not being issued correctly and revenue not being recognized accurately.
Invoice delivery, payment, and reconciliation
Issuing a handful of invoices manually is manageable, but as the number increases, the time and resources required can get out of hand. Not only do they need creating and delivering, late payments need chasing to make sure all the money you’re owed actually reaches your bank. Buyers in different countries will want to pay their invoice in different ways, which might require you to set up and manage regional bank accounts. You’ll also be creating invoices and chasing up payments in different languages and currencies. Employing invoice automation can take care of a lot of the legwork here, saving you time and helping you get paid earlier. Every payment, once received, needs to be reconciled with its invoice to confirm accuracy. You’ll want to look into accounting tools, like Quickbooks, to help streamline this process, but also plan for an increase in Finance Ops headcount.
Reporting and compliance
By selling online and through your sales team, you’ll have payments coming in from different channels and from different methods which can easily leave you with siloed financial data. You’ll want to consolidate these revenue streams so you have a clear and reliable view. Sounds simple, but those we have spoken to have detailed how complex this becomes. This is particularly important when selling software globally, as you’ll need to keep on top of your sales tax liabilities in different jurisdictions (unless you sell through a merchant of record). SaaS metrics tools can help give you the visibility you need here.