Bottom Line: Truth-testing sales pipelines, channel revenue forecasts and pricing to make sure they’re stable takes the majority of B2B Chief Financial Officers’ and Chief Revenue Officers’ time today. Salesforce launching Revenue Cloud now is well-timed as it shows the potential to bring greater revenue visibility and control while improving customer experiences.
For many B2B companies, revenue, pricing and profit stability are a moving target right now. Chief Revenue Officers (CROs), Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), sales, pricing and channel teams devote days out of every week verifying forecast and booked revenue is stable. CFOs I’ve spoken with say B2B buying cycles defy and often contradict one-and-done forecasting techniques of the past, making stability challenging to achieve.
Why Salesforce Launched Revenue Cloud Now
What’s needed is a real-time pulse on all channel sales, revenue and pricing to reduce risk. As one CRO said, “my team and I make sure the revenue we’re counting on is real – that it will happen when we expect it to.” The CRO explained that tracking CPQ sales through channel partners is the most time-consuming & challenging yet the most essential to knowing margin and profits are stable.
CFOs, CROs, sales and channel sales operations teams deal with revenue, margin and pricing uncertainty every day that slows down their sales efforts. Salesforce announcing Revenue Cloud now shows the potential to help revenue and sales leaders get back in control of their channels. Freeing up sales and revenue leaders and their teams while improving the buying experience across all digital channels is what B2B companies need today to stay competitive.
Interested in learning more about Salesforce timing the launch of Revenue Cloud, I spoke with Pascal Yammine, SVP and GM of Revenue Cloud. He explained that Salesforce had been looking at how to automate their customers’ revenue cycles before the pandemic, yet the current conditions accelerated its development. Revenue Cloud brings together CPQ and Billing, Partner Relationship Management and B2B Commerce capabilities to help businesses control their revenue growth across every channel and is part of the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform. The following is a dashboard from Revenue Cloud that illustrates how channel revenue can be verified, forecast and managed. Salesforce is making full use of its Tableau acquisition to drive intuitive, useful dashboards in real-time based on revenue data.MORE FOR YOU
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Revenue Cloud’s Greatest Potential Is Improving Channel Pricing Stability
Revenue Cloud looks to help Salesforce customers accelerate new revenue streams by transforming their B2B buying experiences. Pricing needs to lead the way to achieve these goals, so B2B companies can also achieve greater revenue efficiency. Getting channel pricing right has its own set of challenges, including the following:
- Providing intuitive, easily-understood pricing and margin guardrails ideally within Salesforce so every member of sales and channel partner sales teams can make use of them in every quote they create.
- Getting price optimization right for each type of channel, channel partner, deal type and product/services mix.
- Achieving pricing consistency across all channel partners through an automated system that can scale to include new channel partners and new channels as needed.
- Closing the Middle Office gaps to achieve more dynamic, intelligent pricing in real-time across all channels.
Discrete and process manufacturers, distribution and services businesses waste hundreds of hours a month manually compensating for lack of Middle Office integration that also slows down pricing decisions. Closing the Middle Office gap starting with pricing optimization that scales across channels has a successful track record across the Salesforce customer base. Salesforce partners who are leaders in price optimization include Vendavo, whose shared customers with Salesforce include BNSF, a leading transportation and logistics services provider. By standardizing Vendavo pricing and CPQ solutions on Salesforce, BNSF has improved quote-to-order times from 90 to 1.5 days.
I asked Bruno Slosse, President and CEO of Vendavo for his perspective on the Revenue Cloud announcement. “Having the voice of Salesforce in the revenue management market is key to its growth. It’s a very positive development for the industry,” Bruno said. Bruno observed that Salesforce's influence in the market will also help more discrete and process manufacturers, distribution and services businesses take on the challenge of closing gaps in their Middle Office. “It’s great to see Salesforce put the spotlight on revenue management for channels. We see price optimization as integral to their vision and look forward to helping our shared customers succeed.”
Revenue Cloud creates the framework to scale channel selling, subscription and services revenue and support new digital business models created this year in response to the pandemic. For Revenue Cloud to reach its full potential, it will need to provide real-time pricing guidance, price optimization and a transparent price improvement roadmap to customers by relying on partners with pricing expertise. Partners with pricing expertise include Vendavo, who have shared customers with Salesforce in discrete and process manufacturing, distribution and services.
Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2020/11/15/why-salesforce-launching-revenue-cloud-now-is-what-sales-leaders-need/
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