Salesforce adds billing in Sales Cloud upgrade

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When Salesforce added new features to its Sales Cloud platform, it opted to not only improve the prospect marketing and selling aspects of generating sales in its CRM platform, but to also include a billing capability.

The addition of a billing feature is a natural next step for bringing the platform into the full sales lifecycle. While the Sales Cloud has helped companies to prospect, market and close sales in the past, adding the capability to generate one-time and recurring bills brings it forward in the cycle.

“While we’ve automated much of the quote-to-cash cycle, there’s still a gap between contract and actually invoicing a customer to pay," said Rebecca Wetteman, vice president of research at Nucleus Research. "Making it all happen in the same application streamlines the last mile of quote to cash and should reduce data entry and the possibility of errors while helping accelerating invoicing and payment."

The added billing feature is also a recognition that an increasing number of companies are moving away from a single purchase model that has a single bill, to a usage-based billing model that relies on recurring bills. A clear example is the software industry that has moved from selling one-time annual licenses for on-premise software to hosted in the cloud solutions that are billed monthly based on the number users or total usage.

Stripe added a recurring billing feature in April to help its clients take advantage of a dual trend of usage-based billing and the subscription economy. When Stripe launched its billing product, it said there was a 100% annual growth in the subscription e-commerce market over each of the past five years.

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