Automate Tasks to Simplify Workflows with Rev.io on Zapier

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Rev.io’s commitment to help service providers stay lean and grow revenue efficiently has greatly influenced our approach to integration options throughout 2018 and into 2019. We’re always looking for new ways to enhance our usage-rating and billing system. That is why we are extremely excited to announce our public launch on the Zapier platform. Zapier is a tool that allows you to automate tasks and save time by connecting apps you use every day. Using Zapier’s extensive platform, you can connect Rev.io to 1,000+ apps with the click of a button!

Now, you can save time and automate processes by using Zapier to connect Rev.io with 1,000+ apps.

What’s a Zap And How Do I Use It?

To automate workflows, you set up “Zaps” on Zapier’s platform that connect Rev.io with another available app, like Salesforce or ConnectWise Manage. A Zap is simply a series of steps that are configured to automate processes like adding a contact to a Customer Account in Rev.io when a contact is added to that Customer Account in Salesforce. You can also configure multi-step Zaps that allow you to link multiple apps together. Our app comes with pre-configured templates for “plug and play” ease of use!

What can I do with Rev.io’s Zaps?

What Does Rev.io’s App Do Today?

Today, Rev.io’s app will offer 4 Triggers, 1 Search, and 2 Actions. Triggers, Searches, and Actions (TSAs) are Zapier’s terms for the work the platform performs. From the Zapier Terminology guide, “A Trigger is the event that starts a Zap… An Action is an event a Zap performs…” and search is a search performed inside the Rev.io app. We’re expecting to expand Rev.io’s list of Zaps throughout this year, but you can always access the most updated list of TSAs on the Rev.io app.

Currently, Rev.io’s Zapier app will offer:

Triggers

  • New Customer
  • Request Status Changed
  • New Payment
  • Customer Profile Updated

Search(es)

  • Find Customer

Actions

  • Add Note to Customer
  • Add Contact to Customer

Where Can I Learn More About Zapier And Rev.io’s Zaps?

If you need more help with a Zap, take a look at our on-demand webinar recording, or check out the multitude of Zapier related resources:

You can get started today by logging into Rev.io and navigating to the user menu in the top right where you will see our newly embedded Zapier Widget or going straight to Zapier’s website to setup a Zap! That’s right, you can access our Zapier Widget directly from Rev.io’s usage-rating and billing system.

Access Zapier through Rev.io’s usage-rating and billing system.

Ready to get started? Check out our on-demand webinar recording for a tour of Rev.io’s zaps and functionality. Not a client or partner yet? Get in touch with us to learn more about Rev.io’s usage-rating and billing engine with integrated customer management, tax calculation, workflow processes, device inventory, custom quoting!

Top Considerations for Adopting Usage-Based Pricing, Rating, & Billing

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Billing a customer based on how much they use might sound simple, but there are many complexities to usage-based pricing. Before adopting a rating engine and billing system, many service providers rely on pulling data from monitored systems into spreadsheets, reformat the data, and then load the customer usage data into a billing system once (or sometimes more) per billing cycle. This manual and tedious approach to creating end-customer invoices may work for low volume businesses, but as you scale your business, the billing process can slow you down exponentially.

Before we consider usage and rating, let’s cover the basics:

1. What is usage?

Usage is the ability to bill a customer for what they have used over a given period. Customers pay for what they use based on the service usage which could take the form of commission, discounts, licenses, messages sent, GB, MB, bandwidth, etc.

2. What is rating?

Rating is the charge or price for a particular event.

3. What is rating usage?

Rating usage is a process of converting the quantity of service during a period of time into monetary value for a customer. For example, the price of a 10 minutes call is $4 at the rate of $0.40 per minute. Usage metering framework tracks the use of any unit type and calculates the charges for the end-customer’s invoice.

When it comes to rating usage and usage-based pricing, there are several business impacts to consider before going “all-in.”

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Usage data collection – Think about how you’re going to gather the customer’s usage data and strategies for parsing it out by customer. Often this can be done with unique identifiers for each customer.
  • Pricing – With pricing, you have lots of options to choose from, including standard, tiered, flat-rate, volume-tiered, pay-as-you-go, and many more. Ensure scalability by selecting a billing system that can accommodate complex pricing models.
  • Multi-location customers – Consider ways that usage could be pulled across multi-location accounts and divided into different groups, based on your end-customer’s needs.

When the threshold for usage is crossed, overage charges or payments can apply mid-billing cycle. In order to accurately bill customers, use a flexible billing system that automates processes for calculating bills and generating invoices.

There are five stages of the usage lifecycle:

1. Acquisition – This is the process of acquiring usage data from the various source systems.

2. Transformation – Reformat the data for further processing.

3. Pricing/ Rating – Using your selected pricing models, this is how you monetize your offering.

4. Pooling – Usage data is pooled across resellers, company departments, or other attributed that impact the charged price.

5. Thresholding – Customer satisfaction is more important than ever. Will they be alerted when their usage crosses certain limits?

At Rev.io, our telecom billing platform will help you monetize and grow your billing business by managing offers, financial processes and customer accounts. For more information on usage and rating, please read our ATL Communications Automates Consumption-Based Billing post where we discuss a case study. If you want to know how to leverage our new REST API, please read our REST API Integration for Usage-Based Billing post. Reach out to us using our Contact Us form and let us help you grow your subscription business.

4 Ways to Build a Great Company Culture

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Looking to improve your company’s culture? According to Forbes, 92% of companies said that improving their company’s culture would improve the value of the company. That’s right, in addition to boosting overall employee morale, culture can also increase revenue. Rev.io has had a fantastic culture since we started in 2002. As a leading provider of IoT and telecom billing software with several Best Places to Work and Top Workplaces awards under our belt, we’re sharing the secret sauce to cultivating culture the Rev.io way.

Companies often struggle with which department should lead the charge towards a strong company culture. The truth is, it begins with your leadership team and prioritizing business initiatives around your most important asset, your employees.

As a growing provider of billing software over the past 15 years, we’ve learned to develop an outstanding culture that promotes growth. Here are four ways you can start building a great company culture:

1. Culture BEGINS With ESTABLISHING A Mission & Values

At Rev.io, we believe that developing a strong culture begins with defining your mission and company values. Our mission—to be the best billing software and back-office company in the world by providing innovative solutions and extraordinary service to our clients and end-users—drives our goals and strategic initiatives. However, the culture of our company (which drives the direction of our billing software) is really defined by our ACT TOP values:

  • Achieving Extraordinary Results
  • Caring for Employees, Clients, and the Community
  • Take Responsibility and Act Like an Owner
  • Transparent Leadership
  • Opportunity to Make a Positive Difference
  • Passion for Innovation

That being said, it’s not enough to stop there. Once you’ve created your mission and values, you’ll have to find ways to weave these into your daily meetings, calls, presentations, and employees’ lives.

Here are a few ways we promote our mission and values internally:

  • We begin each meeting by reviewing the mission and values
  • We share our values with prospective billing software clients during our first sales call
  • We structure our monthly employee award around our values and ask our team to nominate peers who embody our values
  • We develop strategic initiatives and goals around our mission and values
  • We showcase our mission and values around our office (in conference rooms, in the lobby, and in the break room)

2. Foster Team Building While Giving Back

The Rev.io team devotes an entire day to community service as part of our commitment to the “Caring for Employees, Clients, and Community” value. On May 17th, all of our employees volunteered at MedShare, a local organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in underserved communities by sourcing and delivering surplus medical supplies and equipment to countries in need around the world. By taking time away from the business, Rev.io contributed to a great cause and fostered team building

Not sure what organization to get involved with? Sending a quick survey to your employees to find out if there are any groups or associations they’re passionate about is a great way strategy and gets others involved in the planning process!

3. Invest In Your Employees With Ongoing Training & Leadership Development

The future success of your organization depends on developing the next generation of leadership. Some of Rev.io’s rising leaders are selected to be a part of the Operational Leadership Team “OLT.”  This team strengthens our ACT TOP values, collaborates cross-functionally to overcome challenges, and executes strategic initiatives.

In case you missed our Q&A with Rev.io’s Operational Leadership Team, it’s a great read! Establishing a group of up-and-coming individuals, similar to Rev.io’s OLT, gives your employees a chance to further their career, tackle new challenges, and grow their skill set.

Another idea for investing in your employees is establishing a cadence of leadership training. Every other Thursday morning Rev.io employees have a chance to get together to listen to a TED Talk or leadership podcast, discuss the content, share examples from their roles, and see how it applies to the business. In addition to taking the hour to listen to leadership practices, this also gives our team a chance to network with leaders in the organization and other departments. This time is invaluable to the Rev.io Team, and is something that can be easily replicated at other companies!

Rev.io’s leaders understand the importance of developing our people and we set aside a percentage of our budget for local networking events. Pay for your employees to attend training conferences and allow them to participate in opportunities to grow their career. Not only will your business benefit from investing in your employees’ experiences, you’ll also build a culture of loyalty and reduce turnover.

4. Build A Culture That You Would Want To Join

The last point here is the most simple but often overlooked. In the words of Kevin Elko, our 2017 Client Summit keynote speaker, “this is about people.” We get it, your company has lofty goals, limited resources, and revenue targets to meet. We do too! That being said, the employees’ expectations of a company are changing and it’s important that your company adapts to those changes. It’s one word – flexibility. Providing your employees with flexibility around schedule, office environment, and work from home days will create a more loyal and productive workforce.

We’ve made it easy for our employees to work remotely and after-hours with video-conferencing applications and collaboration tools like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Slack. In the technology world we live in today,  most of your employees can work anywhere with internet access. Having a flexible work environment shows compassion for your employees, some of who may have long commutes, young kids getting out of school early, or spouses with crazy schedules. When your employees feel valued, they feel a sense of self-accountability and go above and beyond for the company.

Equally as important as flexibility, is designing an office environment that represents the culture. Walking into an office and instantly feeling the energy of the organization helps with recruiting, sales meetings, and even investors.

Here are several no-cost or low-cost office ideas, taken directly from Rev.io’s HQ:

  • Dress-down code – leave that suit and tie at home folks (you can even wear shorts and flip-flops)!
  • Ping-pong table – cross-department tournaments anyone?
  • Standing desk room – turn a conference room or empty office into a “quiet room” of standing desks and you’ll be shocked by how many people use it!
  • Lounge room – create a room where employees can get away from their desk and get their creative ideas flowing.
  • Communal library – bring in those books that you love but you’ve already read and share them with the team!
  • Book club – read a book together and meet once a week (during a BYO-lunch meeting) to discuss each chapter.

Creating a great culture is all about establishing an organizational focus (mission and values), embodying your values, investing in your people, embracing flexibility, and aligning your office space to your culture.

Ready to join our fast-growing company? Get in touch to learn more about Rev.io’s billing software! Or, check out our culture page for more employee benefits and our jobs page for open positions. We’d love to hear from you!

3 Characteristics of an Intelligent Billing Platform

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Why is it important to have an intelligent cloud based billing platform? Particularly for Communications and IoT service providers, operating without an automated billing, usage-rating, and customer/ device management solution can inhibit growth.

In our most recent survey, The Current State of Communications and IoT, 73% of companies said they’re seeing at least a 20% annual growth rate. If you’ve found the financial health of your business suffering from revenue leakage, billing errors, or high employee overhead, it’s time to consider other options.

Communications Billing System

When evaluating billing platforms, there are several ways to separate the duds from the game-changers. Look for a cloud based billing platform that meets the following characteristics:

1. customizable platform with scalability

Adopting a new technology consumes one of your biggest resources – time. Before you make an investment, be sure to think about where your company is headed. Will you be adding a new offering? Expanding into a new market? Moving from an inside sales to an agent model? Be sure to consider the scalability of the new software and your future company initiatives.

 An intelligent cloud based billing platform should eliminate manual processes and make it easier to grow.  Look for a customizable IoT and Communications billing platform with built-in inventory management, integrated tax calculation, and workflow automation capabilities. The leading Billing-as-a-Service platforms allow you to consolidate multiple systems and provides a clear picture into your revenue and customers.

A good platform will not only meet your company’s needs but will also empower your customers. Complement your offering with a robust self-service customer portal for tracking usage, support tickets, locations, and new orders. At Rev.io, we think of ourselves as your billing partner – rather than just another software – and we’ve developed additional tools to help clients improve satisfaction and reduce churn. By coupling our intelligent telecom billing platform with self-enablement portals, our clients build lasting relationships with customers and agents.

2. intelligent billing & integrated usage-rating

Subscription and pay-as-you-go pricing models have changed the way modern consumers and businesses interact. In order to stay current, Communications and IoT service providers must incorporate usage-based offerings into their services. With the right technology, consumption-based billing becomes simple. Look for an IoT and Communications billing platform with an established network of strategic partners and integrations; this will streamline manual processes by populating usage-rating and automating new orders, service suspensions, and disconnects. For additional usage-based billing tips, check out our 4 Considerations of Consumption-Based Pricing blog post!

In addition to facilitating usage-based pricing structures, you can identify a top-notch billing system by evaluating your billing partner’s development roadmap, ease of integration, and internal team. Here are some questions to ask while your searching for potential billing partners:

  • What percentage of your revenue do you reinvest into R&D for platform enhancements?
  • Are your software engineers?
  • Do you have a REST API or other method to build new integrations? (Check out Rev.io’s REST API design documentation here)
  • What methods are in place for clients to share their ideas or influence your development roadmap?
  • How many enhancements were made to the platform last year?
  • How many integrations have you built to third-party platforms?
  • BONUS QUESTION: How can I create custom proposals in the billing platform to quote potential new customers or orders?

3. established onboarding and ongoing training programs

After spending the time to thoroughly vet a new software and deciding to implement the technology, the last thing you want is to fall on your face during the onboarding or training phase. Inquiring about the onboarding process can save you time and money (and possibly a huge headache). The best billing platforms have created a detailed implementation model and have knowledgeable, in-house onboarding and training teams.

When evaluating a billing partner, here are the best questions to ask about onboarding:

  • Can you share with me the full onboarding plan and detailed documentation about the process?
  • Will our company have an assigned, main point of contact that works with us during the entire implementation?
  • Do you have technical experts to help with migrating data from our old platform?
  • How will I be notified as we move through different onboarding stages?
  • Who will be training our team on how to use the platform and what’s the process for the getting additional training afterwards?
  • Will any of our training sessions be in person?
  • BONUS QUESTION: Can I speak to two references who recently went through onboarding your platform?

Whether you’re just ensuring you’re in good hands with your current IoT or Communications billing system or already evaluating new back-office technologies, we can help! And the good news is, adopting a new platform doesn’t have to be daunting. Subscribe to receive industry news and tips to help you grow, delivered straight to your inbox. Or, request a demo to see how Rev.io can help you achieve revenue goals.

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Top 7 Softwares Every Recurring Revenue Business Needs

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For the recurring revenue business owner, the notion of managing hundreds to thousands of customers isn’t a pipe dream – it’s an everyday reality.

While running a subscription business model can offer powerful predictability, customer management can quickly become a nightmare without visibility and optimization. Luckily, there are some incredible softwares on the market to help recurring revenue businesses like yours evolve from reactive to proactive in the customer management department.

Here are seven powerful online tools to help you connect the dots in the recurring revenue business ecosystem:

Zendesk

Customer experience top of mind? It should be. 88% of customers prefer doing business with a company that offers quality customer service over a company that has the latest and most innovative products. Zendesk builds software to help businesses like yours achieve better relationships with customers. Most recurring revenue businesses have to sift through massive amounts of customer data – this software helps you make sense of it all.

Kissmetrics

‘Who are my most valuable customers?’ ‘Which campaigns are bringing in the most revenue?’ ‘Which features do our customers value most?’ ‘What’s causing our customers to cancel services?’ These are all questions recurring revenue business owners ponder on a daily basis, and Kissmetrics provides the answers with valuable behavioral data. The platform is easy to use and will help you cut churn and increase upgrades.

Fullstory

Want to dive deeper into your customer experience? Fullstory can provide all the information you need to stay proactive. Their software helps tell the story of your customer journey by capturing every click, scroll, page transition, and more. You’ll be able to travel back in time to witness the exact moment a web user experienced friction in the buying journey. We appreciate the intuitive design and Atlanta-based address of this recurring revenue management platform.

Mixpanel

Navigating the product development process alone can be a long and lonely road. Mixpanel helps with this. Coining themselves as “the only product analytics platform that lets everyone in your organization deeply understand each user journey,” their software performs complex behavioral analysis and delivers actionable insights in seconds. We appreciate their 99.99% uptime.

Twilio

For all of our communications nerds out there, Twilio is a dream come true. Their cloud communications platform helps businesses build apps to communicate with…well…anyone in the world. They take care of the infrastructure so businesses can easily add messaging, voice and video to your web and mobile applications. Brilliant.

Salesforce

Recurring revenue business will be hard pressed to experience substantial growth without investing in a powerful CRM. Salesforce’s complete cloud-based suite of business applications grow with your business and offer some incredible perks – including a powerful community of experts committed to helping you grow. Salesforce helps recurring revenue businesses close more deals and connect with customers in a personal and powerful way.

Broadsoft

Global leaders in cloud communications, team collaboration and contact center solutions, we’re proud to feature Broadsoft  in our integrated billing solutions. As a unified communication software, Broadsoft offers businesses a comprehensive, mobile-integrated and open communication suite to make communication and collaboration easier.

Rev.io

Bonus round! So, we’ve filled you in on the top seven softwares you need to create a well-rounded recurring revenue ecosystem, but there’s one more we can’t help but include on the list. Rev.io helps you turn subscribers into lifelong customers by helping you optimize your revenue models and billing capabilities. If you’re interested in seeing how our telecom billing platform manage less and win more, request a demo today.

While specific software adoption is completely dependent on your business model, these tools are helpful for most recurring revenue businesses. See any that we missed? Leave us a comment below!

Optimizing Your Subscription and Recurring-Revenue Business

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If you’re a subscription business owner, you know how critical revenue optimization is to your bottom line. Perhaps you often wonder whether you are offering the right subscription at the right time for the right price. Or, once you lock in those customers, how you will encourage them to stick around for the long haul.

It all comes down to the numbers for recurring revenue businesses. Metrics should empower subscription businesses to gain a better understanding of their customer base while keeping a close eye on the overall health of the business. So we wanted to know – what metrics are the most important for a SaaS or subscription based business?

Since Rev.io is the system that powers billing, we took a look at all of the top reports used by our most successful clients. Interestingly, we found a fairly clear trend on which reports are used on a weekly, if not daily, basis… and we want to share them with you. Here are five critical metrics to optimize your subscription-based business for the very best results.

Keep a Close Eye on MRR

Your MRR (or Monthly Recurring Revenue) is the average of your pricing plans and billing periods, normalized to a monthly total.. Additional MRR will typically stem from new customers’ purchases or current customers upgrading. Check in with this number often to determine what lead to the change over previous months and be sure to watch trending data. If you notice a decrease month-over-month, you may have a bigger problem with customer retention. MRR gives you a clear view of your revenue stream and will point you in the right direction for further optimization.

Minimize Your Billing Errors

It may seem obvious but, without doubt, there is a correlation between increased billing errors and decreased customer LTV. Why? Modern customers expect flawless relationships with their service providers. One slip up on the back end could cause a lack of trust and eventual churn for recurring revenue businesses. There are plenty of service providers out there – make sure your customers have plenty of reasons to stick around.

Get Comfortable With A/R Aging

Don’t worry, we’re not going to take you back to accounting class, but the status of your accounts receivable is critical for optimization. These numbers will give you an idea of the overall effectiveness of your collections department and help you determine whether action is needed.

For subscription businesses, bills are sent and collected on a regular basis, making AR a critical part of operational success. Rev.io’s AR aging reports shows each customer’s current balance, 30-day balance, 60-day balance, 90-day balance, 120-day balance, and total balance. Having all of this data in one place makes monthly reconciliation faster and more effective.

Make LTV Your Best Friend

As your subscription business grows, you’ll start to turn your focus more to a customer’s LTV, the revenue a customer is expected to bring in over the course of their subscription. The goal of any recurring revenue business is to turn subscribers into lifelong customers, and LTV is the best way to track this long-term value. Increased LTV for a subscription business comes down to the product and the way you take care of your customers. Our integrated customer profiles make it easy to communicate and deliver with confidence.

Ready to optimize your revenue models at lightening speed? Don’t go at it alone – a powerful subscription billing system will give you all the insights and data you need to scale faster. Rev.io allows you to easily customize and manage your service offerings so you can upsell and cross-sell smarter. Check back in for more tips to grow and optimize your recurring revenue or subscription business.

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