Many business owners overlook revenue management as an important driver of profitability and growth. It’s often deemed to be just about empowering your sales and marketing teams to bring in more visitors and generate sales/ deals. This stigma currently shifts towards predictive analytics and AI, with over 50% of market leaders focusing on these technologies. But at the end of the day, they are put in place to drive the same customer-centric efforts and build marketing strategies, so it all pretty much revolves around the same ideas and tactics.
In this haze of buzzwords and ‘snake oil’, companies forget about the underlying areas of operations and their actual impact on the bottom line. One of such areas is revenue management. You can’t build a successful marketing campaign without a revenue management pipeline that facilitates a smooth sales cycle, improves customer loyalty and profit.
Hybris is no stranger to the concept of streamlined revenue management and profit optimization. We previously focused on marketing capabilities of SAP Hybris, so now let’s take a closer look at its revenue management suite that can power a wide variety of operational processes for online businesses.
Navigating Billing Labyrinths
Billing is probably one of the most important aspects of revenue management. It’s the method by which you get paid, so we hope that no further clarification is required. The B2B niche is especially vulnerable to billing issues, as many B2B products are custom and require flexible billing routines (think of all those ‘Get a Quote’ buttons on the Pricing page).
SAP Hybris stands out when it comes to billing versatility. When a company can cut 60% of its physically managed assets (advancing SCM optimization) with Hybris, you know that it’s the real deal. The key features of its capabilities include a variety of payment lifecycle solutions.
Have you ever looked at an invoice trying to figure out which charge relates to what service or product? SAP Hybris tackles this problem by providing a convenient interface and connectivity for all the parties involved in the billing process. This offers better billing transparency and encourages payments.
At the same time, you can reduce your customer care load, simply because customers will be more likely to understand various complex charges and billing details through smarter invoicing.
Another great feature is the ability to consolidate costs within a single billing pipeline. If you have an ecosystem of third-party partners or vendors that are included in your invoices – this is a perfect opportunity to demystify those charges to your clients. Get your price, your partner’s’ price, maintenance, or any other recurring costs – everything in a single location. No paper required and no accountant either.
A streamlined revenue management process can only be achieved when all the stages of the process are easily interconnected. Sure, there are tons of cloud-based third parties that solve different problems within the revenue cycle and can easily work together. But only a unified solution can provide guaranteed connectivity and reliability if it’s in the cloud. Hybris does an excellent job here.
With Hybris, you can have all of the following features under a single hood:
- price quoting for complex products
- order and contract fulfillment automation across a multitude of connected environments
- managing a variety of billing scenarios, from one-time billing to subscription, and usage-based models
- combining the workflow with any of other Hybris Cloud solutions, like Hybris Commerce.
Revenue management is a complicated process for all the parties involved. And while Hybris makes it a lot clearer with some of the features mentioned above, the functionality that helps the customer through the process doesn’t end here. With the rising juggernaut of fintech, people are getting used to paying however they please. Face it, even for some of us a 2-page ordering form seems like a lot of hustle. Things are going to get worse for companies that can’t accommodate these changing revenue pipeline standards. Hybris has a pretty powerful stack of features that can help you achieve just that.
SAP’s DigitalRoute allows businesses to meditate the revenue cycle through a variety of features:
- data collection control for further transfer
- data transformation to ensure payment processing continuity
- data unification within data collection hubs
- ability to meditate processing pipelines in real time
- easy scaling of processing, with 99% uptime guarantee
- control over data transfer to specific downstream components to effectively manage their load (like, what gets to the fraud detection tool that you use, etc.)
- monitoring and acting upon customer spending patterns with built-in capabilities
Additionally, Hybris allows you to manage customer payment relationships via integrated customer care and dispute management capabilities that are necessary to handle the variety of payment options supported by the platform – from Computop and Ingenico to PayPal and others.
Pricing seems like a relatively simple part of the revenue cycle, but at the same time, an unoptimized pricing strategy can significantly diminish your sales and revenue-generating capabilities.
This is especially true if you’re running a subscription-based model, where assigning a value to a specific bundle or product specification can be a pretty subjective task. Hybris has got you covered here with its order management functionality.
It allows you to adapt subscription offers to individual customers, automate renewals and other recurring payments, and manage customer subscription options and hierarchies within a single interface. All of these functions are ‘gently seasoned’ with pricing personalization, custom product offers, and the ability to launch new pricing models with no coding required.
It’s All About that Paper
Yes, one of the value props of Hybris revenue management is the ability to declutter paperwork associated with the billing, invoicing, and SCM management.
But there are still plenty of documents that have to be generated, processed, saved, and transferred through the appropriate channels, like the invoices mentioned above (their digital versions, in this case). This is achieved through the Digital Documents solution by Open Text.
It can distribute and save a wide variety of documents generated during the revenue management cycle:
- order summary
- contract and billing documents
- receipts, coupons, and a variety of other digital and paper-based documents.
All of these are combined and managed through a single platform, accessible and synchronized through various business units and processes. Another added benefit is the fact that your IT won’t have to handle these documents.
Now that we know about all of these possibilities and what they entail for businesses embracing them, let’s turn to one particular feature that makes them especially appealing: the cloud. All of the functions above are available through the SAP-hosted cloud solution. No on-prem hustle and no major development efforts are required. And this brings in a host of benefits that can only be realized through the cloud.
Improved time-to-market velocity: it’s easy to build out a comprehensive B2B or B2C product when much of your backend is outsourced to the cloud.
No firefighting required: if you’re experiencing a sudden surge of orders to process, SAP’s infrastructure can easily manage the influx, in a semi-automatic fashion, avoiding the potential damage control from unfulfilled orders.
The total cost of ownership: as long as you’ve signed up for the on-demand deal, you’ll only be paying for what you’ve used up.
Security: let the third party handle data security and take some responsibilities off your system administrators and engineers.
There are many cloud-based revenue management solutions out there, each with its own set of features and benefits. However, Hybris stands out due to several reasons. Its all-encompassing functionality covers practically the entire revenue cycle, which allows you to build your system around a single solution, cutting the time and costs associated with creating such a complex revenue management ecosystem.
It’s also backed by the reputation and experience of SAP, which guarantees incredible compatibility and stellar uptime for your system. It can easily be integrated with other SAP Commerce offerings within the shortest possible time, allowing you to run all of your online business from a single environment.
And although this solution is on the pricier side, it ultimately saves you costs through faster deployment, better reputation, improved customer relations, and more desirable profit margins.
If you’re looking for ecommerce web development services that can help you get all of the pieces of the Hybris puzzle together, including its revenue management capabilities – feel free to reach out to us.
Do you have any experience implementing and running some of the Hybris tools overviewed in this article? What are some of the less obvious benefits of choosing this solution? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!