Wouldn't it be great if your company was paid when your deal is won? For most businesses today, this is not the case. Instead, revenue is earned over a period of time - the life of a services contract, the timeframe of a subscription or when payments are made for a delivered product. The good news is, you can use your financial system to get a handle on this number and know when your client will … “show you the money” (thank you, Jerry Maguire).
But how do you acknowledge this varying stream of revenue on deals that haven’t been won yet? Since the revenue won’t flow into your company on the day that you close the deal, you need to be able to properly predict when it will. If you can’t make this adjustment in your revenue pipeline, how can you properly forecast? If you use Salesforce, you can utilize the Revenue Schedule functionality to help.
Salesforce will allow you to determine the type of schedule available for use. A “quantity schedule” is based on product delivery while a “revenue schedule” is based on product payments. A revenue and quantity schedule can be used when your product or service has a scheduled delivery and a payment schedule. If your customers pay on a regular schedule then you may find that a default schedule is the best way to proceed.
The standard functionality of Salesforce will allow you to set up a default schedule associated with a specific product in a specific price book. Whenever your users add the product to an opportunity, the default revenue schedule is used. The concept is straightforward and easy to execute.
We always encourage the use of the standard functionality when your business case fits. However, there are situations where this might not work for your business. If you are not using Products, for example, you would be creating additional org maintenance by building and managing a revenue schedule for each Product. Depending on how many different revenue schedules you need to make accurate projections, you could also find yourself creating more Products than you sell, just to allow for all your scenarios.
Using third-party applications to help manage and enhance Salesforce Revenue Schedules is an option. The GSP Revenue Schedule available on the AppExchange allows you to easily customize the standard revenue schedules for easy maintenance. It also addresses functionality limitations like shifting revenue schedule dates when the close date changes, allowing for edits to the forecast as deal details become known, and providing flexible dashboard and reporting.
Sometimes custom development is the best fit. You may determine that using Products does not make sense or you may decide that your team does not need additional steps in their process. In these cases, you can customize your salesforce to allow for a revenue schedule to be populated upon opportunity saving. You can also add parameters to determine which deals fall into which schedule type without troubling your sales team for any more information.
The use of Salesforce Revenue Schedules can greatly give your management team insight into what your pipeline really looks like. It gives projected revenue visibility using the information that your team has already collected, and keep it all in one system! Whether you decide to use the standard Salesforce functionality, use an AppExchange product or go custom, the benefits of a more realistic revenue inflow are invaluable. Ready to forecast your 2020 revenue, we’re here to help!