Intro (the story)
Imagine that you have dozens or more customers who signed up for your products, they are happy but you need to manage the business on a daily basis: charge, bill, invoice, resolve payment issues, contact the customer, send emails, confirmations, etc. On top of that you want to manage your customer relationship, perhaps run marketing campaigns, sell additional products, respond to queries. Today, users have to switch between multiple systems like Billing, CRM, Marketing, and manually join the processes, create customers on each side and create external mapping to connect the information between the systems. This is cumbersome, time consuming and cost ineffective. Our project is about to change that by systems integration, enabling Sales Reps to sell and manage Subscriptions straight from CRM.
Our mission is to enable CRM users to create and manage subscriptions straight from Salesforce by integrating two cloud systems: Chargify and Salesforce.
For those who are new to subscriptions: services like Netflix, or Spotify are being sold in subscription model: in exchange of monthly price we get access to video or music library. There are many other services or products that can be sold in the same model, i.e. healthcare programs, eSport services, access to knowledge, games, news, and many other.
Our team consists of four dedicated members: 1x Product Owner, 1x Sr.Developer/Architect, 1x Developer, 0.5x TeamLead, 0.5x QA. We deliver the project in Scrum framework, using variety of Salesforce tech: Apex, Lightning Web Components, Batch Processing, Restful APIs. At the end of the process we will publish the application for download in the AppExchange.
Powerful Clouds (systems we integrate)
Chargify is a cloud based SaaS solution for managing billing of products and services offered in a Subscription model. Some of the features:
- Offer & Product mgmt
- Subscription mgmt
- Recurring billing
- Revenue retention & recognition
- Payments (Credit Card, Invoices)
Salesforce is a well known, and currently #1 CRM (Customer Relationship Management), also cloud based, system in the World. It allows you to manage Customers, Sales, Marketing, Service, and even more, depending on your business domain and level of customization you are willing to bring to this system.
Each system can function independently with its own core data base of Customers, Contacts and Products, therefore first things first; let's synchronize the core to assure data consistency and avoid duplicates. Next we synchronize Subscriptions, Transactions and Invoices. Data from Chargify to Salesforce is synchronized as frequently as each 15 min, whereas the data from Salesforce to Chargify flow instantly. For both directions we use Restful API with secured connection.
What do I get in Salesforce?
1. Sell Subscriptions straight from Account or Contact record
"Create Subscription" button opens the Subscription Wizard which allows you to quickly select a product, components, apply discounts, preview the total cost and activate subscription for the Customer.
2. Sell Subscriptions using Opportunities
Configure subscription and preview the cost right from Opportunity. Click the "Add Subscription" button and follow the Subscription Wizard: select Product, Components, Discounts/Coupons and preview the Price details. The Preview price and configuration is stored on Opportunity, so you can come back later and modify the Subscription Preview. Once the subscription is agreed with a customer it can be activated either automatically on Opportunity Closed/Won, or manually at any stage of the process with one click "Activate" button.
3. Report on Subscriptions
Having subscription data synchronized to Salesforce allow you to create your own types of reports, slice and dice data the way you need.
4. Monitor Products performance
The relation between Products and Subscriptions enable to report on: Revenue by Product, track NPIs (new product introductions) and monitor products performance.
5. Accounts & Contacts new perspective:
Integration connects your Accounts and Contacts with Subscriptions which enables new actionable information:
- Account Revenue - to monitor the total revenue generated by current and parent accounts
- Next Billing Date and Amount - so you always know what to expect
- Last Payment Status - allows you to monitor and act if the payment has failed and for what reason
- Credit Card Expiration Date - to proactively remind your subscribes about the date and action required
- Credit Card Status - expired cards should never be left unattended, so the feature will allow you to assign actions and owners to follow up with the customer
So if you already have a product or considering selling your products or services in subscription model, you will soon search for a solutions. You could build it yourself, or request custom solution, but is it really worth it ? Here is an interesting and independent article treating "Build vs Buy", perhaps it can help you to make a decision.
If you are interested and would like to get more information - please reach out, request a demo, or ask question. IT Solutions Architects is a Salesforce Provisional Partner, helping firms to get max out of Salesforce by customization, integrations or administration - feel free to get in touch with me on Linked In - Tomasz Kulinski.
Thank you for reading :)