How Manufacturers Can Lay the Foundation for a Revenue Revolution

Understanding how revenue flows through your company is a critical function in any industry. But many sales organizations evidently don’t: 79 percent miss their forecasts by over 10 percent because of not truly understanding the revenue chain. For manufacturers, this understanding is especially important as they begin to open up additional revenue streams. Subscriptions, usage-based deals, made-to-order configurations, and standard transactional products all add to the complexity of revenue operations. And manufacturing, even in the traditional revenue model, tends to be full of complex SKUs and account-specific prices, which means only using an ERP to manage revenue with additional streams will no longer cut it.

Manufacturers will need to understand the nuances behind creating economies of scale to truly adopt the catalog-driven approach that streamlines revenue management. Salesforce CRM, with its wealth of platforms to support manufacturing-specific needs through Revenue Cloud, Manufacturing Cloud, B2B Commerce, and more, is the answer for manufacturers wondering where to start.

Together, Simplus and enosix bring an efficient, seamless revenue chain to organizations across all industries, but our knowledge is particularly useful for manufacturers who are often looking to integrate several systems into their newly implemented Salesforce CRM. Let’s discover more about the Simplus revenue operations framework and how enosix connects each critical system together while minimizing risk.

Ultimately, the more you rely on middleware to link intricate systems, the more complicated connecting these systems becomes and the more sluggish the data transfer gets, which leads to inaccuracy at the point of sale. It can also become expensive and time-consuming to manage and maintain middleware integrations because you need to keep another system updated and hope your enterprise platforms continue to support that middleware. If a problem arises with any of these integrations, it can be difficult to identify and address before it hampers business productivity.

Revenue operations framework: Understand what you’re connecting

As a manufacturer, your revenue chain could be filled with a multitude of revenue streams, accounts payable systems, finance back-office support platforms, and partner portals—each with critical data that should be in sync with one another to gain the full picture of your revenue. From CPQ and Billing to ERP, it’s easy to see how it can get messy if managed with poor ownership or alignment.

To ensure success with a streamlined, automated revenue chain, Simplus’ revenue operations framework hinges on three key principles tried and tested in our years of experience bringing new revenue to companies:

  1. Take a catalog-driven approach to your revenue operations processes.

This means not only understanding your products but also how your people and systems interact with your products. Ask yourself what is my product type? Is it transactional, or subscription, service, or usage-based? For manufacturers, there might be a greater emphasis on transactional, run rate type business models, but not necessarily given the changing landscape and pivots as manufacturers look to diversifying revenue streams and offerings.

Manufacturing has enough complexities and nuances as a business without adding unnecessary complications. When it comes to your revenue operations, limiting your systems to only those you truly need, ie. ERP, CRM, CPQ, will go a long way to reducing errors.

  1. Have as few systems as possible.

This is where integration solutions from enosix come into play, enabling the complex data, configurations, and rules in your back-end SAP system to be virtualized in your front-end systems of engagement (visualized in the diagram below as red circles). Taking a keen eye to streamline your systems will be appreciated not just by sales but across the org, take finance for example. Finance often finds themselves manually reconciling errors that occurred upstream (i.e. mismatched data) to ensure the accuracy of company financials.

Traditional approaches to integration use middleware to connect data from one system to another by mapping data fields in ERP to CRM. These tools are made to simply extract data from ERP, map it to fields in CRM (transform), and load it into the system. It doesn’t take into account the complexities of the business processes stored in your ERP, or what will happen when you make changes to the data in the front-end that need to be reflected back in ERP. enosix allows manufacturers to directly interact with data stored in ERP from CRM, CPQ, and other front-end systems of engagement. Unlike traditional middleware that uses iPaaS or ETL (extract, transform, load) methods to move data from one system to another, enosix allows you to keep all the calculations, business processes, and logic in ERP, and still interact with the data from the front-end. There’s no separate middleware to maintain master data rulesets, or data quality suites that can cause issues when changes are made to the processes in either CRM or ERP. Eliminating middleware helps you to keep the number of systems to a minimum and reduces potential for errors caused by manipulating data outside of its core system.

Stay tuned—part three of the revenue operations framework, as well as a deep dive use case on how you can optimize integrations with enosix, will return to the blog shortly. Until then, learn more about data integration and revenue optimization with Simplus.

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