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While traditional billing platforms are sufficient for basic subscriptions, low-volume sales, and one-time payments, many businesses find it difficult to adapt them to the rapidly changing needs of their customers.
Agile billing is a flexible, cloud-based alternative designed to meet the needs of larger and more complex businesses.
What is Agile Billing?
Agile billing is a flexible billing system designed to make it easy for businesses to quickly adjust their pricing models, manage complex subscription plans, process usage-based billing, and automate recurring payments.
Unlike traditional billing solutions from legacy ERP providers, it offers a wide range of features that make it easier to track customer activity across multiple channels, manage payment plans on an individual basis, and customize the user experience with automated emails and custom fields.
Features of agile billing include:
- Automation: Automate billing processes and payment plans to free up time and resources.
- Flexible pricing models: Easily adjust pricing models to meet customer needs.
- Seamless integration: Connect with multiple third-party platforms for easy access to data for front-office and back-office operations.
- Comprehensive reporting: Generate reports on customer activity, subscriptions, and payments.
Agile billing also provides enhanced security measures to protect both customers’ data and businesses’ finances. As cloud-native software, end-to-end encryption and authentication features are built-in, meaning sensitive customer information is kept secure.
- Flexible Billing: A concept characterized by the ability to quickly and easily adapt to customers’ unique needs and payment plans.
- Usage-Based Billing: A billing system that charges customers for products or services based on their usage, rather than a one-time fee.
- Cloud-Based Billing: A billing platform hosted in the cloud and accessed over an internet connection.
Why Organizations Need Agile Billing
Across the board, more than 71% of companies are using agile. HR, finance, and administration—roles that include billing operations—are listed as primary sources of agile functions. Agile billing offers many benefits to companies that use it, including:
Based on Data
Agile billing allows companies to track customer activity, subscription usage, and payments in real-time. This allows them to collect, access, and quantify data, allowing for better decision-making and more informed pricing strategies.
When organizations can identify patterns in customer usage, see where sales are trending, and adjust pricing models or payment plans to accommodate, the decisions they make to further the business are more sound and reliable.
Improved Customer Experience
Giving customers options when it comes to how they pay, the subscription they choose, or the usage-based model they prefer, provides customers with more freedom and control over their billing experience.
This leads to increased customer satisfaction, improved loyalty, and ultimately more revenue for businesses.
Since agile billing platforms collect data on customer activity and preferences, the dunning process for missed payments or expired subscriptions can be automated to reduce frustrations.
Manage Complex Pricing and Billing Structures
Agencies, enterprise businesses, software companies, and many other kinds of organizations deal with complex pricing and billing structures. Agile billing allows them to easily adjust those structures in response to customer behavior, market conditions, or other external factors.
This makes it easier for businesses to take advantage of new opportunities while managing their own expenses efficiently.
Scalable and Flexible
No business stays in the same position forever, and adding a new product, microservice, or access plan to the mix can require significant changes in the way they bill customers.
For instance, when companies switch from one-time to subscription billing, they need the flexibility to make changes on the fly.
Since agile billing platforms easily scale to accommodate changes, businesses can make quick adjustments and avoid disruption of their billing cycle.
Revenue growth is the ultimate goal of any business, and it signifies customer and product success. Agile billing allows businesses to customize their pricing models, use variation in the way they bill customers, and ultimately maximize revenue.
Organizations are also able to optimize their billing cycles by offering discounts or promotions when customers are likely to pay more quickly, with greater frequency, or at a higher value.
Since it automates many of the cumbersome billing processes (i.e., collecting, tracking, and processing payments), businesses can focus their teams on strategic initiatives that drive growth rather than worrying about billing headaches.
Most organizations think about their billing process in terms of speed, accuracy, and functionality. But security is a critical element as well.
When customers input their payment information, they trust that businesses will safeguard that data. Any sensitive information that’s transmitted should be encrypted to protect against identity theft and fraud.
In addition, businesses should use a PCI-compliant billing platform to ensure compliance with industry standards for credit card security.
Agile billing software offers built-in features to streamline compliance and keep customer data safe.
Agile Billing Model vs. Traditional Billing Models
Agile billing has a few critical differences from traditional models:
- Traditional billing models are based on a one-size-fits-all approach, while agile billing is flexible and focused on customer satisfaction.
- In traditional billing, businesses send invoices at the end of the month (or another set period) for the previous month’s usage. Agile billing allows businesses to bill customers at different intervals (monthly, quarterly, etc.) based on usage.
- Agile billing delivers incremental value through dynamic billing, while traditional models are typically fixed-priced with upfront payments or a one-time fee.
- Traditional billing is typically done manually, while agile billing uses automation to streamline the process.
- With traditional billing models, businesses have little visibility into customer behavior or preferences. Agile billing platforms collect data that businesses can use to improve their products, target marketing efforts, and more.
Agile billing models are more suitable for organizations that require frequent updates to their services and flexible payment solutions for their customers.
Traditional models are still useful for businesses that have consistent needs, limited price negotiation, and predictable costs and outcomes.
Advantages of an Agile Billing Model
Given the significant upgrades from legacy systems, agile billing solutions offer a number of advantages for businesses and their customers.
- Ease and efficiency: Intelligent billing makes it easy for companies to manage their billing processes with less effort and fewer resources.
- Cost savings: Automation eliminates the need for manual processing, which saves time and money associated with labor costs, software licenses, and human errors.
- Improved customer satisfaction: Customers are billed according to their usage or preferences, so they only pay for what they need.
- Greater transparency: Throughout the billing cycle, agile solutions help customers understand and plan for their upcoming bills without surprises—a factor especially important for services industries.
- Reduced customer churn: A modern billing solution ensures customers don’t have to deal with billing mistakes like overcharging or charging for the wrong services. This instills trust in the relationship and ensures it runs smoothly.
Revenue Opportunities Derived from Agile Billing
Sophisticated billing models offer more than just streamlined processes. They can also provide opportunities to increase revenue by leveraging different customer behaviors and preferences.
- Dynamic pricing: Charge customers based on their usage or preferences, such as off personalized discounts or promotions when customers are likely to pay more quickly, with greater frequency, or at a higher value.
- Subscription models: Enable customers to “subscribe” to your services on a recurring basis, which can improve customer lifetime value and reduce churn.
- Pay-as-you-go models: Utilize this usage-based for customers who want the flexibility to only pay for what they use, when they use it
- Missed revenue detection: Due to internal inefficiencies, revenue leaks usually go unnoticed. With agile billing solutions, businesses can detect and address potential revenue issues before they become a problem.
- Better insights for revenue strategies: Analytics and insights from customer payment times, values, and preferences help businesses tailor offers for different customer segments to maximize revenue.
Software for Agile Billing
Agile billing transformation relies on a few different software to create cohesive billing experiences.
Depending on the business model, a company will use most or all of these solutions:
ERP: Enterprise resource planning systems manage procurement, materials and inventory, financials, HR and payroll, and several other processes. ERP integrates with agile billing software to ensure accurate invoicing between vendors and suppliers.
- CRM: Customer relationship management solutions work with billing to ensure accurate data and customer segmentation based on payment preferences, behaviors, and customer size.
- Ecommerce Platforms: Ecommerce stores enable customers to buy services online and make payments through their preferred channel. This can include subscription models, pay-as-you-go billing, or one-time purchases.
- Payment Gateways: Payment gateways facilitate payment processing and store customer data securely.
- Billing & Invoicing Software: By automating the entire billing process, modern invoicing solutions help service businesses, vendors, and retailers manage their payments more efficiently.
- CPQ: CPQ software features billing automation, complex product configuration, dynamic pricing, and many of the other features required for a modern billing solution.
People Also Ask
What are the different types of billing models?
There several types of billing models for different businesses, including:
– Time- and material-based billing
– Fixed price subscription billing
– Pay-as-you-go billing
– Dynamic pricing
– Bundled pricing
– Microservices-based billing
– Quote-based pricing
How does an agile billing system work?
An agile billing system is a combination of software and processes that enable businesses to create, manage, and process billing operations more efficiently. This includes features like automated invoicing, dynamic pricing, payment gateways, and analytics tools that insights into customer preferences. Businesses use the data from agile billing systems to optimize pricing and revenue strategies.