Salesforce’s announcement of the Revenue Cloud has created a flurry of articles and whitepapers on what it is, how it can benefit customers, and naturally, how companies like us can help you chart the shortest path to success on the Cloud of all Lead-to-Revenue Clouds.
Why it was conceived, I believe, is more important than what’s in it. Salesforce clearly saw an opportunity to improve monetisation across its well-established products in the world of Lead-to-Revenue by creating a subscription “bundle” (the irony is likely lost on my non-CPQ audience!). So, what’s the new wave of opportunities they plan on surfing?
My linear (read unimaginative and slow) train of thoughts steered me to the usual suspects: a pricing advantage generated by selling an aggregate subscription (bundle), deeper customer engagement across the complete Lead-to-Revenue journey – through “a complete solution” that appeals to multiple buyer personas from Sales to Finance, beating competitors claiming similar “Enterprise Cloud” and / or Revenue Management prowess – Conga-Apttus, Microsoft and Oracle come to mind, although, they’d need a few iterations (reincarnations even) before they could offer similar functionality with the same transactional ease we’ve come to expect from Benioff’s “CRM”.
These reasons aren’t likely to be completely invalid; they would, however, serve to establish a tenuous connection at best, to the business driver behind the launch of Revenue Cloud.
A more plausible motivation is very likely the evolution of the B2B sales process to a more consumer centric digitised model. A highly tailored buying experience, a flexible customer journey, improved depth and frequency of recurring customer engagement, a safeguard against eroding margins, and now, COVID 19, are factors that have accelerated this trend.
A few B2B Enterprises have successfully pivoted to offer a “shopping experience” rather than relying only on the traditional Enterprise sales process. The (far more sophisticated) B2B buyer is now empowered to shape her own buying experience on her own terms and at her own pace. The resemblance to a B2C consumer – who have access to a commerce store front, a “shopping cart” and the ability to pick and choose products and interactions, to fit her unique needs – is uncanny.
The pivot to Consumerised B2B Sales, has reframed Sales from a Revenue Management perspective. Instead of “selling” product (think Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glenn Ross), to generate a revenue, we are now talking about “connecting” Revenue Streams to the Enterprise. Sounds similar but it’s not. It’s an entirely different way of looking at the value chain. “Lead-to-Revenue” sounds antiquated and very circa 2020. There’s definitely a new process name lurking here somewhere, waiting to be coined by some clever management consultant…Revenue-to-Growth, perhaps? I tried.
The efficacy of a system, that enables this step change in customer centricity, is predicated on frictionless Revenue flow from prospects and consumers, all the way to Finance. Sure, configure, price, quote (and Billing & Rev Rec) continue to be essential building blocks, but only in context of Revenue Streams – the raison d’etre for the Revenue Cloud.
Revenue Cloud unites CPQ, Billing, CPQ for Partner Communities, CPQ for Customer Communities and CPQ and B2B Commerce Connector, Vlocity (industry) workflows, and Tableau’s real time insights to help customers model live Revenue Streams.
If you are a Revenue Management Leader in a B2B Enterprise looking to benefit from this new reality, please reach out to us. Our “Revenue Growth Specialists” at Hansen are here to accelerate your Revenue Cloud journey through a diagnostic Health Check.
Author : Raj Chatterjee
Hansen’s Sales Director, Raj Chatterjee, is passionate about identifying and articulating differential value enabled through Enterprise software. He views every conversation with prospective buyers as an opportunity to discover and monetise untapped potential in their business. Raj loves to get into solutioning discussions but his attempts at actually designing enterprise solutions are usually foiled by his specialist colleagues more suited for that job!
Hansen is a specialist consultancy helping you maximise Lead-to-Cash ROI. Our expertise is focused on unlocking value from your investments in CPQ, Billing and Unified Commerce on the Salesforce platform. We are actively engaged with organisations like the World Economic Forum, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Deutsche Bank and Sandoz(Novartis) to transform their businesses at pace.
The “Hansen Difference” can be attributed to our CPQ and Billing heritage which is layered with process acumen established across many successful projects and industries. With Hansen, you can expect a trusted advisor invested in the success of our customers.