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10 Ways Payment Plans in Salesforce Can Help You Ride Out the Recession

How did we get here

Australia was already heading for its first recession since the nineties. Then the whole country caught on fire. Then someone mingled with a bat in China. Then that person coughed on another person, who coughed on another. Then people were only allowed to leave their homes to buy an inadvisable amount of toilet paper. Before we knew it this long-predicted recession was on our doorstep, entirely ignoring physical distancing recommendations. Apart from bean farmers and toilet paper manufacturers, things aren’t looking particularly rosy for commercial enterprises right now. But while there’s no hope for a vaccine against the fast approaching recession, there does exist a prescription that may help to soothe the symptoms.

Subscription billing.

Let’s say you’re an office supply company using Salesforce. Because working remotely is so hot right now, business is good, although many of your customers aren’t doing quite so well. After choosing a $1400 home office setup, a customer asks to pay the amount off in instalments. “Not a problem,” you say, and construct a plan of $200/month over seven months, with payments taken automatically. “But how does a subscription billing tool help me in a recession?” you ask, and it’s a fair question. To understand the advantages of subscription billing, we first need to understand the ways in which a recession is bad for business.

How a recession will hurt your business

A sputtering economy makes it difficult to: Retain current customers: Less money = tighter purse strings. Unless you deal in a product that’s at the pointy end of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (we’re looking at you, toilet paper), many customers are forced to stop buying. Acquire new customers: If you can’t retain your current customers, what chance do you have to acquire new ones? Retain staff: And so the knock-on effects begin. With revenue seriously reduced, can you afford to keep your loyal workers? Chase debts: You’re owed money, but the customer can’t pay within the terms originally agreed. You’re left with no choice but to spend money - on debt collectors - to chase money. It doesn’t seem likely that something as simple as subscription billing could work to offset all of these effects. But as we’ll soon see, there are many ways in which payment plans could be your business’s most powerful weapon against a vengeful economy.

10 ways subscription billing helps you in a recession

  1. Maintain sales and cash flow
  2. A lump sum now, or a succession of smaller sums over the coming months? Given the recent and unprecedented volatility, you might be inclined to take the latter. Subscription billing allows you to maintain steady cash flow, keeping your business afloat even in the toughest of times, like when someone shopping for exotic meats accidentally shuts the world down.

  3. Retain loyal staff
  4. Steady cash flow not only keeps your business afloat, it keeps your staff employed. This could mean that you avoid difficult conversations with loyal workers, and that you’re armed with a trained, experienced workforce when things inevitably improve. Meanwhile your competitors, who laid off Tom, Dick and Harry, are forced to rebuild their team from the ground up.

  5. Improve profit margins
  6. Anyone who has ordered KFC to their door on a Sunday morning will know that people pay for convenience. If you offer subscription billing, you’re giving them just that. You therefore won’t need to rely as heavily on discounts and promotions to lure customers in.

  7. Retain more customers
  8. Recessions don’t last forever. When things pick back up, who will your customer go to: a new business, or the one they’ve been dealing with every month for the last year? As long as you offer a good service, subscription billing leads to a lower customer churn rate by granting you regular client contact.

  9. Acquire new customers
  10. Not only can subscription billing ensure that you retain your current customers, it can help you to recoup old ones and acquire new ones. If you’re offering a similar deal to a competitor, subscription billing could well be the gentle nudge that pushes the customer your way.

  11. Enjoy lower defaulting
  12. While Hollywood has done its best to make debt collection look cool, the truth is that it’s a tedious, stressful and expensive endeavour, particularly if you have to call in the professionals (who use concrete boots far less often in real life). With subscription billing, you can expect far lower defaults on payments, because you can...

  13. Adjust payment plans on the fly
  14. Following on from our earlier example, let’s say that our remote worker has run into financial strife after four months. $600 is still outstanding, but they currently have very little money coming in. Thankfully a subscription billing service like skedupay enables you to instantly change the terms of the agreement, so you transfer the outstanding $600 onto a new 12-month instalment plan.

  15. Show your caring side
  16. Corporate responsibility is in the spotlight these days. By offering subscription billing, and allowing your customers to pay for goods or services in a way that best suits them, you can demonstrate (and, just quietly, advertise) that you put the customer first.

  17. Simplify payment management
  18. Keeping on top of who has paid, who hasn’t, and what your cash flow is expected to be can be tricky. Not with a subscription billing service like skedupay. A simple dashboard makes management simple, and highlights any payments that need chasing.

  19. Offer a better customer experience
  20. The business case is clear. The customer case is almost clearer. Purchases can be converted into small, predictable, easy-to-manage payments that are spread over time. Terms can be adjusted instantly. Payments can be timed perfectly. It’s a classic win-win situation.

So what now?

A butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazon, then a storm ravages half of Europe. A guy makes bat stew in Wuhan, then the world economy collapses. We live in a volatile world; if you want stability, you’ll need to BYO. By converting once-off sales into long term, predictable revenue, skedupay allows you to do exactly that.

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