Moving beyond straight-line revenue recognition

Your sales team always sends accurate billing details when closing a deal, right? See how Ordway's Salesforce connector can ensure contract details are used to define recurring and non-recurring subscription contracts in Ordway.

Topics covered in this webinar

  • Understanding how data latency issues creep in
  • Exploring optimal ways to structure salesforce objects
  • Seeing semi-automated workflow (CRM agnostic)
  • Exploring two-way data sync between Ordway and Salesforce

About the presenter

Eren-KoontEren Koont, Platform growth, Ordway. 

 

 

Watch the webinar


Read the transcript of the webinar archive

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (00:00):

Okay. It's two oh two here on the East coast of the United States out of our, near our headquarters here in Washington, D C we'll go ahead and get started. Hope everybody is having a great evening, afternoon or morning wherever you are. And we're gonna jump into a topic that is really near and dear to our heart here at Ordway, and that's removing inefficiency in the sales to finance workflow. So just a quick agenda today, as we get going, we're gonna understand sort of how data latency issues creep into a process and how that creates inefficiency. We'll also explore some, some ways to structure your Salesforce objects and other CRM objects to, to facilitate making the sales to finance workflow as frictionless as possible. We'll also just talk briefly about sort of some semiautomated ways of removing inefficiency in the workflow.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (01:00):

And then we'll also spend a good bit of time just talking through some two way syncing between our Ordway platform and the Salesforce CRM platform. And obviously there will be some Q and A at the end. So that leads me to say from a housekeeping standpoint we will be recording this and sharing it with everybody who's registered for the webinar after the after today, I probably early next week. And there is a Q and a tool at the bottom of your zoom screen. And hopefully you have questions along the way, please add them to the chat and to the Q and A, and we'll, I'll do the best to answer them as I can at the end of the webinar. And then finally, we'll be doing a couple of polls throughout just to keep things a little interactive and not just one way conversation, but, hopefully we'll get some feedback from you as well.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (01:56):

So with that, let's continue on a little bit about Ordway. Really billing is in our DNA. We have a team here that's been assembled that has decades of experience in the billing and finance and enterprise software development fields, our CEO Sameer Gulati was an early product manager at Workday. Working on Workday financials helped bring Zuora to market and was an early employee at Intacct which has an amazing ERP. And so my name is Eren Koont and I'm part of the team here at Ordway that is focused on platform growth. And the moral of the story is we've got a deep team that's, that's thinking about these topics of removing sales to finance inefficiency out of your process. And hopefully we can, we can help you at some point down the road, whether it's today or later you know, we, we're here to help educate you and help you solve your problems.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (03:00):

So let's just talk about the problem for a couple of minutes. You know, many organizations that we work with come to us. And, and many of the companies we work we've worked for in the past have sort of a patchwork of process and systems. And so there may be a CRM that is storing certain bits of information, and there may be some Excel spreadsheets that are floating around that store, different parts of the information. There is maybe an internal system that helps with order management. And there's also PDF contracts that are in different folders on a shared drive or a Google drive. So all of these pieces sometimes, work harmoniously together, but oftentimes there is a little bit of friction and a lot of work to overcome the inefficiency that these systems can bring about. So I'm going to start, I'm going to pause here for a second and launch the first poll and ask the question. How would you describe the state of your finance tech stack? Is it resilient? It's working mostly, or it's fairly fragile.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (04:13):

I'll give people 10 seconds or so to answer. We've got some people coming in, people are excited to answer this poll. So we've got a couple more great five, four, three, two, one. Okay. Well, it looks like about two thirds of you are in that working mostly category. And then the last bit of your kind of in that fragile, and what's a, you know, an answer that we hear quite often that people are on the path to resiliency and but none of you self identified as resilient. And that's always good to, to know that you have room to grow and learn.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (05:06):

So I know there's a lot of information on this slide, but we'll spend a little bit of time talking through it. You know, this is sort of a representation of sales to finance workflow. So you start with your CRM, you may have a quoting tool or, you know, just sending Word based, quotes out to customers. There's the contracting redlining process operations to get that contract turned into invoices and sent out billing that, that, you know, people pay. They sometimes don't pay on time with them. Obviously there's the reporting piece of that is where we need to be able to inform our colleagues within the organization of how receivables are going, which customers are past due. You know, what's our current MRR, those kinds of questions that we know we get every single day. Then there's also the revenue schedules that we have to generate to make sure that we're keeping up with accounting standards and making sure that we are not gonna end up in pinstripes somewhere down the road, because we're over or under representing our revenue.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (06:18):

And then obviously there's the general ledger and accounting, and, you know, there's all sorts of little details that, that happen that you have to capture it, all of these systems on along the way. And so, you know, some examples of the discount, the quote, maybe the error is you don't have a way to enforce a too high of a a discount that a sales rep offered or maybe the contract was supposed to be 15 month term on nonstandard term, but still, you know, a viable term versus the standard 12, you know, you may in the process need to credit a customer with for something that you needed to take care of. And if those details don't make it through your system, they can sort of build up and cause problems from whether it's slow to invoice reduce revenue, customer confusion, the time that you spend re preparing accurate reporting, and then actually, you know, tracing errors in your in your general ledger and figuring out where that, that first error came in.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (07:29):

And so today we're going to be spending a lot of time in this first half of the process. But obviously there are additional education that we can do on the second half of the process. And the moral of the story here is that any of these errors that creep in can ultimately cause inefficiency and upset internal as well as external customer. So you certainly don't want your external customers upset at you, but you want to have good working relationships with all of your colleagues within your organization. Alright, so many organizations use CRM to structure some of the data that we, we just talked about and, you know, some examples of CRM or HubSpot Salesforce, Copper CRM, is doing some really interesting things. But you know, these, these CRMs come with tools to you know, out of the box fields and that you can figure they might be the amount of the deal that you're working on, could be at the buyer contact.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (08:36):

The company that you're working with the close date for the deal, if you're expecting it to close in two weeks or two months or two years, hopefully not two years. But those deals do happen and obviously, and then products and price books, but oftentimes organizations get very far down the road before thinking about actually creating additional structure to facilitate that, that data flow through your process. So, you know, you want to make sure that, you know, as you're building out your CRMs, that you have fields to capture things like the billing contract date, the billing start date, the effective date, the payment terms, the contract term which products or services have been purchased along the way. And these are some some fields that may or may not be added to your CRM. And with that, I'd like to actually ask the next poll. So do you currently have custom fields in your CRM to support billing? We'll go ahead and ask them, give people a couple 30 seconds or so to answer the question, Starting to slow down.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (10:08):

Okay. And the poll looks like you're a split about 50 50 between no custom fields and having some custom fields that's a good sign and the best sign is nobody answered that they don't know that they have some of those fields in the system. All right. So you want to definitely build upon the, the out of the box serum functionality. And, you know, we talked about some of these things, but here are just a couple of screenshots of the Salesforce as well as HubSpot CRM. And you know, Salesforce has the the sales part right in the name of their software with sales. But you know, the CRM that HubSpot has really you have to have the sales package to be able to, to structure deals and create custom properties for your CRM to talk with your billing software.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (11:12):

So, but it's very important as you're building out your CRM, that you start laying the foundation for future scale and future efficiency within, within your organization. So once the CRM has these types of fields within their system, you're able to generate reports and, you know, it's good that you have more structure and you have not looking through a 500 individual contract PDFs for terms and doing start dates. And, you know, we, we've all heard the stories about companies that are going through problems like that tracking down and days and hours, figuring out how to get the right invoice to the right person at the right time. But if you have the ability to report within your CRM on these fields you don't really have to spend a lot of time making sure that you've got all the, you know, you don't want to waste your sales reps time trying to figure out what the term was that you actually extended to the customer.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (12:15):

Was there a discount, all those sorts of things, but, you know, without having an intense system, you still can get into error prone situations. And this is just an example, using our Ordway system of, you know, taking some of that manual data and keying it in manually into a new subscription contract. Obviously this is you know, you're halfway to automation by just running reports out of your CRM, but, you know, if you've got things like the billing contract, the start date, the effective date, the terms you're going to be able to at least generate accurate invoices. And after that, who knows what happens, but thankfully Ordway does have answers to that, but that's not the, the topic of this particular webinar. So let's move over to I think what most folks were wanting to come to this webinar to see it was really just talking through the two way sync between Salesforce and the Ordway billing and revenue automation platform.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (13:22):

And so we have a piece of software that connects the two systems seamlessly, and it really allows you to map your Salesforce objects and your, the information in your Salesforce to the Ordway, a system, to be able to keep that source of truth maintained throughout your billing to finance workflow. And so some things that I can do is automate renewals, update, contract details, along the way, you know, make changes midway through. And then also you have the ability to report both in Salesforce, but also within Ordway on all those important KPIs. And the goal really with all of this is to just remove that data, data latency, and making sure that systems are kept in sync and you don't end up letting those errors creep in over time. And so this is a example of you know, some of the additional fields that the Ordway connector adds into Salesforce, and you can see things like the contract effective date, and I'm going to try actually some annotation tools here, which we've, I haven't played with too much in Zoom. So I apologize if it's a little awkward, but you know, as well as the, the contract details on the opportunity object, it seems like zoom is coming out with new tools all the time. And this is certainly a cool tool

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (14:55):

Moving to the next screen.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (15:03):

The other thing that the Ordway system, the Ordway connector does is ties into a unified price book or series of plans and charges that you can add to an opportunity. So this is really eliminating those input errors that you have along the way. So if you know what platform you're adding to the opportunity, the discount that you're offering and it lets you choose between plans and products. And what's good about this too, is that you don't need to issue a TI-32 to any of your reps or 50% discount here that was added to the platform fee ultimately gets to that amount. And there's no manual entry of, of an amount, hopefully with your CRM, you've moved past the King of manual amounts. That's a really important step to, to be able to take as an organization, but definitely one that hopefully you all have done clear the drawings here.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (16:18):

The other important piece is making sure that you build the right person. Oftentimes if you just sort of have your buyer as part of the the opportunity that may or may not be the person that gets the bill, they may just have a generic bill at Lira, Lira, DIA. That's the fictitious company that I can't pronounce here, but the, they may just have a generic billing recipient. And so making sure that you have that billing contact, if part of the opportunity before you actually close when it, and send it over to Ordway is super important and you can use, you want to take advantage of your CRM. You want to take advantage of the fact that you know, who all of your contacts are within an organization and choose the right billing contact.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (17:08):

Best part of the day. You're close winning the opportunity as a team and this at this stage, you can either manually or automatically send this over to Ordway. And really depending on the amount of control you want to have over your, your workflow it's just one of those configuration paths that we do as part of our implementation. Once the deal is sent over to Ordway things are kept in sync. And so you can see that the billing contact came over the Salesforce ID of that new record came over as part of that creation. And it also created a draft subscription that you can, you can activate as when, when the time is right. And the other thing I just want to point out here on this screen is that for all know, this is a different view into your, to your customer relationship management.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (18:06):

So all of the billing events and all of the history of, of working with an organization will be reflected within a single pane of glass for your customer success team, for your people, responsible for your renewals in your organization. So all of the invoices that have been sent out all of the payments, the credits, and refunds if your customers have a usage based if you have a usage based billing pricing structure you'll see a history of all of that. So really not just the contract details, but all of the details surrounding that contract are also stored within the Ordway system. So now you've got this draft subscription in the system, and it's got all of those billing details that we sent over from Salesforce, the contract effective date here in the United States, we had a federal holiday national holiday tomorrow, but this contract is starting tomorrow for whatever reason.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (19:08):

So people are working burning the midnight hour from their business, but they wanted to get started on a, on a holiday. So the rest of the world, it's just another day, but here, some of us will be, we'll be off, but you can also see that draft billing schedules and revenue schedules are created. And then you also see all of the plans and charges that are associated with this this contract. But as we all know, garbage in garbage out, it turned out that we thought it was a 12 month term, but we actually found out after we close won, the deal that, that it was actually a 15 month term. So we actually can edit this detail in Ordway and then sync it back over to Salesforce, you know, without having to manually check to make things are, make sure things are in sync within the, within the two systems. So you can see this, this sync to Ordway right here. And there's whether you have it set up to automatically sync or manually sync, you can sort of see that the contract history is reflected within the Ordway contract associated with their idea, and that you can see that the, the new value and the old value of that contract have been reflected within the record in Salesforce, but that the new value is in fact a 15 month term.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (20:55):

And so for that first half of the, the process you can see all of those details that could have potentially been a source of error in the past have gone away. You you've really put yourself on a path to relentless efficiency. And so, you know, all of that pausing and making sure the invoice is correct before it goes out the, the speed with which you can collect that revenue the, the potential messed up renewal, because you thought it was a 12 month term, but it really was a 15 month term. And the confusion that that might cause on a customer losing faith in you as an organization all of those kinds of both tangible revenue and speed to collecting your revenue, as well as the intangible, just sort of customer satisfaction, components of a relationship really have been solidified by making this part of your process more resilient.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (21:59):

And I'm just going to hint at the fact that you know, we've talked about half the workflow with the time that we have so far, but really the Ordway system was designed to really streamline and eliminate inefficiency across that entire workflow. And if, and the Salesforce examples that we talked about are, are one way that we reduce inefficiency, but we also have the ability to connect to your systems, to pull in usage data or other time sheet data, and generate invoices correctly and efficiently for your customers, do a lot of reporting, help generate accurate revenue schedules, and ultimately can send summary journal entries to your general ledger to close the books efficiently each month. I'm just gonna in summary, you know, really want to hit home, that there are all sorts of sources for errors within your sales to finance process.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (23:02):

And you really want to identify those failure points. They can be large and they can be small, but the small ones can compound and cause problems both internally and externally. And you really want to think of building the structure of your CRM in a way that will set you up for scale. And, you know, we just highlighted some of the, some of the types of additional fields you might want to have in your CRM, but there's obviously more, and we can help you scope out what you're wanting to do with your organization and your process. And really, you know, ultimately you want to be investing in tools that can remove those data latency issues and errors and maintain that source of truth between your CRM and your and your billing system. And this is just a quick quote from your, from somebody that has been using Ordway for a while. And, you know, when we close a customer, they're done, don't have to worry about them. That's ultimately what you want to have happened with your organization and that feeling of confidence, that things are just running seamlessly in the background.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (24:21):

And before we jumped into the questions, part of the program, just want to remind you, we've got a couple more webinars coming up. The, in a couple of weeks, we've got an invoice template designed best practices, which is really fascinating. You know, a lot of times people don't think a lot about that on brand end to end experience for the customer, but you definitely want to make sure that every communication that you have with your, with your customers is reflective of your personality and your organization. And then we're gonna in August be doing a webinar on web books and why we believe that will transform your billing. And obviously, please check out our on demand webinar library at resources dot ordwaylabs.com slash webinars with that. I'm gonna let you ask some questions and hopefully we will get some questions, say, it looks like there's a couple here. Okay. You showed a contract going to, or going back, can you handle creating a renewal? Yeah, let me just go back to a screen here.

Eren Koont, Growth, Ordway (25:35):

We certainly within wasn't the scope of this webinar, but we can create and change renewals opportunities within Salesforce. And that happened, that passed back and forth seamlessly to when we, so definitely can do that. Okay. let's see. So you focused on Salesforce. Do you support other CRM? Yes. We can work with many different CRNs and between out of the box integrations, as well as our API and web hooks, which hopefully you'll come to that webinar in a couple in a month or so. We can support many, many CRMs that are out there, so we'd love to tackle whatever you're wanting to tackle with us. So let's see. Is there any other questions? Okay. Looks like that's it for today, really appreciate you all spending the time this afternoon, hope you learned something, hope you have some ideas to take back to your organization next week tomorrow. And then also we're obviously here to answer any questions. If you really want to dive into automating your, your sales to finance workflow and with that, have a wonderful rest of your day. And we will hopefully be talking soon, take care.