STRATEGIC GUIDANCE

Bridging the gap between sales and finance with Zuora

In today’s turbulent economy, market conditions are forcing businesses to change how they operate. As investors dig deeper into company bottom-line financials rather than just top-line revenue, they’re not just looking at growth anymore, but efficient growth. At the same time, buyers are feeling pressure to cut costs by paying for only high-value, flexible services tailored to their specific needs.
As sales teams explore creative ways to win new deals and retain existing clients, finance teams must position themselves to support the rise of complex monetization streams and innovative pricing models. Generating revenue through bespoke contracts and nurturing customers through upsells is part of doing business today, but these approaches introduce complexity to determining standalone selling price (SSP) allocations and performance obligations.
Modern Businesses need a quote-to-revenue (QTR) approach that can help them scale efficiently by adapting pricing strategies and onboarding new revenue streams quickly, to provide more flexibility to customers. But your finance team also needs to be able to reconcile bookings, billing, and revenue efficiently. To overcome these challenges, your organization has three options:
  1. Customize your ERP. Continuously updating your enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform requires time, money, and IT resources to build and maintain, and requires advanced customization to support complex revenue models.
  2. Extend your CRM (Customer Relationship Management). CRMs are built for sales teams, not for finance and accounting teams. That’s why it’s critical to connect your CRM to systems with appropriate financial controls and consistent service catalogs to support downstream billing and revenue recognition activities.
  3. Unify your QTR process. Align your QTR process across sales and finance teams through a strategic deal desk to maintain scalability, flexibility, and compliance.

Streamline your QTR process with Zuora

Zuora is the industry leader in automated billing operations, and provides the leading quoting software for quoting any combination of subscriptions, products, and services throughout the entire subscriber lifecycle.
Zuora enables companies to:
  • Configure pricing models that align value with offerings.
  • Streamline billing operations.
  • Automate revenue recognition for some of the most complex monetization scenarios.
  • Keep sales and revenue teams connected in the configure-price-quote (CPQ) process.
There are four primary ways Zuora supports QTR success.
Accrued revenue is especially important for SaaS based businesses offering services to customers on an ongoing basis over an extended period.

1. Align sales and revenue through the quoting process

Keep teams connected with QTR automation that makes the CPQ process an informed, united effort.
 
  • Represent the flexibility of services during the quoting process
    Configure dynamic service terms on as little as a single page or multi-year ramp deals that change over time, and adjust customer-specific pricing and discounting.
  • Create quotes for multi-year deals
    Provide support for new quotes, access metrics that measure the financial impact of subscription changes, and see subscriber history for increased insight into value and revenue.
  • Automate the quote-to-cash process
    Increase automation for the financial impact of new subscriptions or subscription changes and address subscription complexities with a CPQ tool built for recurring revenue.
 

2. Configure pricing effectively

Flexibly configure pricing for unique customer, product, subscription, and service needs.
 
  • Quote for much of the entire customer lifecycle
    Zuora helps ensure that numbers are accurate at many points in a contract’s duration.
  • Quickly deploy new pricing
    Create time-based discounts, different price points, and bundles with a centralized product catalog that runs across direct sales, partners, and self-serve portals.
  • Monetize subscriptions, consumption-based pricing, and one-time fees
    With 50+ out-of-the-box pricing models, Zuora makes it easy to price all your service offerings without requiring custom configurations.
 

3. Streamline your billing operations

Automate revenue recognition and sync it with quoting platforms to help ensure what sales includes in a quote can be sold and billed — without a huge amount of manual overhead.
 
  • Consolidate bookings and billing data
    Combine subscriptions, promotions, changes, and more in a single order by driving traffic and changes through Zuora.
  • Automate contract changes
    Stay on top of upsells, early renewals, add-ons, or downsells.
  • Maximize collections
    Use AI-driven retry schedules to retry payment failures at optimal times.
 

4. Automate revenue recognition while increasing compliance

Recognize many revenue streams — subscriptions, one-time offers, consumption offers, a combination of the three — with minimal accounting costs and reduced risk using Zuora’s automated solutions.
 
  • Automate all 5 steps of ASC 606
    Zuora makes compliance simple for most complex business models.
  • Optimize close processes
    Reconcile books in near real time with automated rev rec tools that support a fast close and reduced pain points in audits.
  • More Accurately report and forecast revenue
    With pre-built reports and waterfalls for deferred and unbilled revenue, Zuora helps aggregate and analyze transaction data faster and with fewer errors.
 

How Zuora compares to traditional CPQ software

Quoting for subscriptions is different from quoting for products. CPQ tools often lack the flexibility to support dynamic and time-awareness aspects of recurring revenue deals — such as subscription pricing models, ramps, and billing timing. Here’s how Zuora can help streamline the quote-to-revenue process with flexible CPQ, billing, and revenue recognition solutions.

Traditional CPQ platform

CPQ is disjointed from downstream financial processes
Focuses on sales and orders
Relies on ERP features and 
manual workarounds
Designed for one-time product 
sales and features

Zuora

Integrates with your CPQ to enrich with more robust financial data
Unifies sales and financial data to measure the financial impact of changes on sales compensation, customer value, and overall business
Recognizes, reconciles, and analyzes revenue streams in near real time 
with automation
Tailors QTR processes to support complex revenue models such as deals ramped over time, quoting for changes that happen over the subscribers lifecycle, and consumption charges

Traditional CPQ platform

Zuora

CPQ is disjointed from downstream financial processes
Integrates with your CPQ to enrich with more robust financial data
Focuses on sales and orders
Unifies sales and financial data to measure the financial impact of changes on sales compensation, customer value, and overall business
Relies on ERP features and 
manual workarounds
Recognizes, reconciles, and analyzes revenue streams in near real time 
with automation
Designed for one-time product 
sales and features
Tailors QTR processes to support complex revenue models such as deals ramped over time, quoting for changes that happen over the subscribers lifecycle, and consumption charges

Reach your quote-to-revenue potential

The custom contracts and sophisticated revenue models you use to generate revenue today introduce financial complexity that requires sophisticated QTR technology. With powerful, integrated CPQ, billing, and revenue automation tools in place, your businesses can monetize new offerings, bill with agility, and recognize revenue seamlessly — while keeping your sales and finance teams in sync.
Looking for a QTR solution that’s purpose-built for quoting and recognizing any combination of subscriptions, products, and services? Zuora can help your finance team pursue new growth strategies, streamline billing operations, automate revenue recognition, and stay connected throughout the sales and billing cycle.

Best Practices in Financial Controls

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Financial Controls Start with a Strong CPQ & Deal Desk
When approached as a cross-functional alignment between the people making a product, the people selling a product, and the people billing a product, finance teams can empower sales success while mitigating risk throughout the quote-to-revenue (QTR) process.

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How to Unlock Resilience through Consumption Monetization
EY and Zuora’s SSG team deep dived into how companies can closer align the value of their services to how their customers are willing to consume them. Using strategic pricing levers like consumption-based models can give businesses the flexibility to meet their customers’ changing demands while continuing to drive revenue predictability for their business even throughout uncertain economic conditions. Watch now

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Evolving Your Deal Desk for Modern Business
One of the biggest perpetual challenges facing organizations is driving change across siloed business functions. To combat this, companies are establishing interstitial teams designed to bridge process and information gaps in order to achieve better outcomes. For example, “deal desk” has emerged as an interstitial team in B2B organizations to bridge sales and finance teams, enabling companies with modern business models without sacrificing financial controls.

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