Growing your B2B subscription business is complex - just think of the many invoicing, CRM, and subscription systems or spreadsheets that need to be juggled.
It would involve efficient management of recurring client subscription events from trial activations to new sign-ups, renewals, upgrade, downgrade, and cancellations.
Now imagine manually handling all these processes day-in and day-out for advanced subscription models, with client data spread across disparate systems. Errors are likely to creep in and disrupt the customer experience!
Admin tasks related to billing and subscription management are also very time-consuming - so much so that you end up not having the bandwidth to nurture your relationship with existing customers or go after new prospects.
To unravel this seemingly impossible Gordian knot of subscription management and scale your B2B business, you must adopt a reliable solution that manages the subscription lifecycle end-to-end.
Read on, as we deep-dive into how a B2B subscription software can automate recurring revenue and open up new avenues for revenue generation.
What does a subscription management hub do?
Need to quickly open up new sales channels, streamline your quote to cash flow, forecast recurring revenue, or communicate details of evolving product offerings?
A subscription management hub can help by allowing you to access CRM, payment gateway, and other subscriptions - all under one roof.
So, no more broken subscription workflows or fragmented data.
Just think of a B2B subscription software as your core system for all things related to improving subscription control, internal productivity, revenue, and compliance.
It not only streamlines and automates financial and operational management, but also increases sales efficiency, and empowers you to make data-backed business decisions.
The EdTech company, Kognity, is a great example of a business that uses a subscription hub to control subscriptions and invoicing more effectively. In fact, it helped them save 30% of time spent on administration and billing tasks.
Essentially, a one one-stop-SaaS-solution for all things subscription management ensures:
- Subscription orders are fulfilled correctly - Most companies have a wide variety of plans, variants, modules, partners, and prices to be managed. A B2B subscription software delivers unique solutions to every customer and helps organize all your dynamic subscriptions.
- Orders are billed accurately - In each client’s subscription lifecycle, there will be endless events related to customer billing, usage rating, credit calculation, and pro-rating. All billing and usage details are extracted from appropriate ERPs by the subscription hub, to automate recurring and usage billing processes and enable quick settlement of payments.
- Revenue is recognized appropriately - Once the billing, payment, and revenue recognition happens, you need to balance the books for accounting compliance purposes. A good subscription management hub offers in-depth detailing of each financial transaction, with each entry automatically segmented and assigned to sub-ledgers. Also, the insights derived from the financial data improve revenue reconciliation and predictability and resource allocation.
- No opportunity to secure more revenue is missed - Data is at the cornerstone of any business, your subscription business included. The subscription hub technology not only helps you accurately collect and harness real-time metrics, such as customer lifetime value (CLV), renewal rate, and annual recurring revenue but also delivers custom reports to lead your business in the right direction.
5 B2B subscription software features that spell success
In today’s digital economy, using digital tools to manage subscription lifecycles isn't a luxury, it's a basic cost of doing business. It is an investment in growth that offers better subscription control, automation, correct metrics, and time-saving.
To gain complete control over your subscription business here is a checklist of B2B subscription software features to look for:
- Cloud-based and scalable: A B2B subscription hub is onboarded to manage scores of subscriptions. And as your business grows you would want the technology to handle spikes in transactions and subscription data. Therefore, choose a cloud-based B2B SaaS solution that enables high vertical scalability and makes it possible for users to access the technology from any internet-enabled device and location.
- Built-in data analytics tools: Subscriptions are dynamic, so it's important to automatically capture real-time subscription data, track fluctuations in key performance indicators (KPI), and access reports.
The ideal subscription hub does away with ledgers and spreadsheets and offers a single source of truth for subscription data. And detailed reporting and analytics can improve recurring revenue and cash flow forecasts. To understand the value-add this analytics feature delivers, just look at Younium’s Subscription Insights tool. It offers finance teams on-demand business performance and revenue metrics on-demand.
- Innovation-driven: Technology is evolving at an incredible speed. So, when you choose a subscription hub, you would want the vendor to be at the cutting-edge of innovation, constantly upgrading their solution with the latest features. So, make sure you check that your shortlisted subscription management software has a proper release plan for its future updates.
- AI-powered: You need a solution that automates recurring billing and reconciliation with the general ledger and proactively communicates the status of different transactions with the customers. By digitizing all these admin workflows the subscription management solution frees up your time to focus more on customer retention and acquisition.
- Seamless B2B subscription integrations: If you could manage your entire subscription portfolio, from one platform, without having to invest in building custom patches from scratch it would enable you to better coordinate with other departments like your sales and finance team. This, in turn, would deliver better data for investment reporting.
Using APIs and connectors, a developer-friendly B2B subscription software fills the gap between the sales CRM, billing gateways, financial system, customer support system, service desk system, and most importantly - your company's own products and services.
What’s next for B2B subscription software?
The subscription model has revolutionized the way B2B companies build revenue and stronger recurring relationships. So, it is here to stay. Naturally, so are subscription management technologies that help you gain greater control over the business model’s many moving parts.
Currently, the average B2B client expects their subscription hubs to be:
- Mobile-first (prioritizes mobile app and mobile web capabilities on desktop)
- AI and real-time analytics-driven (enables billing and accounting automation)
- Flexible (has integrations and connectors that enable easy sync with apps and data sources)
Even with all these advanced features, the subscription industry has only scratched the surface in terms of smart tech solutions.
You can expect a lot more innovation to crop up in the future, as technologies and customer needs evolve.
But, at the very minimum, the subscription management tool should be flexible enough to handle all your current systems.
Therefore, what you need is a comprehensive subscription hub that connects sales, marketing, support, and customer management software - enabling an instant flow of information to a central data repository.
Click here to find out more about Younium’s integrations with HubSpot, Netsuite and more.