Carlson Thought Leadership in Finance & Technology

How to Boost Your SaaS Firm's Bottom Line with the Integrated Revenue Planning Process

May 10, 2018 / by Lauren Strohmeier

The Carlson Ecosystem-1A company’s ability to manage its finances contributes to its long-term growth. Companies that implement effective processes for handling operating expenses and projecting revenue will position themselves for favorable outcomes. What’s the formula for a prosperous future? It’s the integrated revenue planning process.

For your company to achieve optimal performance, you must make revenue forecasting more comprehensive and accurate. During the integrated revenue planning process, all elements work together within an overarching architecture. You can recognize components that drive business performance and leverage that information to strengthen your company’s finances.

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To identify which revenue sources to track and project, create a revenue model in a cloud-based performance management system like Adaptive Insights. You’ll get a clear picture of how and from where your company is generating revenue. What are the major SaaS components? They include new deals, existing customers, churn, upsell, and other factors.

When you examine these components individually, as well as perform top-down revenue modeling and detailed bottoms-up forecasts, you create a more comprehensive revenue forecast. Because you can track multiple streams of revenue with this model, the insights you gain provide effective means to strategize.

Image1-1New Deals

New deals include your new customers who license software from your company. How much revenue is your company bringing in from these purchases? By compiling data at varying levels of detail, you’ll have an accurate data source for your forecast. For example, contracts, customers, and product lines are excellent levels of granularity.

When you gather this information from a CRM platform like Salesforce, and combine it with the finance team’s adjustments, you form a comprehensive forecast that provides real-time insights.

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Existing Deals

Your existing customers are a main source of revenue, as they make repeat purchases or subscription renewals. Therefore, it’s critical to factor them into your analysis. When you examine this data, you gain insight into customer satisfaction levels. How do they feel about your products and/or services? Using that knowledge, you can then develop programs that increase customer satisfaction.

When assessing the data, look at varying levels of detail. The contract, customer, and run rate are excellent levels of granularity. Gather this information from data sources like Salesforce and Sage Intacct, then combine it with the finance team’s adjustments, to create your renewals forecast.

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Churn and Upsell

Because customers come and go, it’s best to find out the reasons for churn. What’s happening? When you examine patterns, you can attribute the churn to specific changes and developments. Using that knowledge, you can implement processes that minimize churn.

You should also consider the revenue the company generates from upselling practices. Are your customers upgrading their plans? This can be a significant source of additional revenue. When you look at the effectiveness of your upselling campaigns, you can make adjustments accordingly.

As noted below, there are three levels of granularity that affect churn and upsell revenue, including deal specific rates, new and existing business specific rates, and global assumed rates.

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Integration and Automation

How can you achieve an integrated revenue planning process? The success of your process depends on how you use your source systems (i.e. Salesforce, Sage Intacct, Adaptive Insights, and more). That’s why it’s imperative to make the process run smoothly. What’s the best way to achieve efficiency? It’s through automated integration.

Integration automation pulls data from various source systems into one centralized location, such as Adaptive Insights. As the data automatically syncs, you will have the insights needed to make informed decisions on revenue planning. Because the data flow happens on a scheduled basis, it saves you time and creates efficiency for your company.

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What’s another benefit of integration? Because your data is in a centralized location, you can analyze operational and financial data together. When you analyze the data side-by-side, you have the complete picture of your company’s performance. That’s a great perspective to bring to the table when making key decisions that determine your company’s future.


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Eliminate Silos Between Finance, Accounting, and Sales

When companies don’t integrate, their data systems operate in isolation. Since their systems are not connected, it’s not possible to pinpoint cross-departmental patterns.

Integration is the solution that eliminates the silos between finance, accounting, and sales. It brings the data together so everyone is working from the same sheet of music. The result? Better collaboration that leads to higher productivity and revenue.


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Integrated revenue planning is a dynamic process that requires the ideal technology. By using data integration tools such as DataBlend to your company’s benefit, you align your strategy with the reality of your company’s performance. You foster teamwork. You also create comprehensive and accurate forecasts. Ultimately, you get the picture that helps your revenue take off.

If you want to learn more about how to increase your revenue, tune into our integrated revenue planning webinar.

Are you interested in boosting your revenue through integrated revenue planning? Request a demo.

 

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