From Legacy to Leadership: 3 Culture Steps to Smooth Your Transition to Billing Improvements

May 24, 2019

Implementing new technology can be difficult in the best of situations. A solid professional services team and implementation process are critical for success. But cultural roadblocks, like the persistent refrain “that’s how we’ve always done it,” can stagnate your company in manual processes.

 

Even though the business and customer benefits of cloud-based billing have been made clear, I hear the following reservations from team members often:

  • The current system does the job we need
  • Any change will be costly
  • This will disrupt our customers’ business
  • We won’t see any benefit for over a year

 

Do any of those sound familiar to you? Perhaps your organization has begun to see the value in updating your legacy system to a modern, automated billing system, but has run into common roadblocks to progress.

 

It’s easy to become tied into a corporate process purely because it has become a manual juggernaut developed over several years. Changing now may carry the perception of skyrocketing costs or slow employee onboarding.

 

The following steps will help your organization overcome their resistance to change.

 

1. Highlight Your Motivations for Change

Change within an organisation is associated with feelings of fear and anxiety, which can lead to lack of strategic planning for the future. Changing core processes that sit at the heart of your business means implementing new processes and technology. For comptrollers and IT staff, this change will look like a daunting step.

 

Legacy systems are normally high maintenance and may involve past modifications and patching.

Some organizations may continue with legacy systems on the basis of the old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" But new technologies will help run your company in a more agile, flexible, and efficient manner and you should not let prior processes or legacy systems, that no longer serve your business best, dictate your choices moving forward.

 

We recommend talking with staff about the problems your experiencing, highlighting the issues they’re facing daily. Most IT projects will drive transformation and disrupt established, but less-efficient processes. Specifically, highlight the following points as clearly as possible.

  • The current costs associated with inefficient processes
  • Share or document any customer experience complaints
  • Demonstrate that current processes will not scale well with company growth

 

Change should be demonstrated as a positive for the business, providing the opportunity to improve strategies and streamline processes. With the right partner and a thoughtful implementation plan, an automated billing system can deliver the required solutions effectively and simply. Such an approach limits any disruption to your customers.

 

2. Clear and Frequent Communications 

You cannot over-communicate when you are asking your organization to change. Every successful executive who has led a successful change management effort expresses the need for over-communicating during any change experience and makes this statement in retrospect.

 

Employees frequently complain about a lack of communication, especially during times of change and that results in resistance. No one does this perfectly, but there are four common components that work together to create shared meaning for organizations.

  • Sender: should possess authority (such as an executive or decision maker), authenticity and present with clarity and detail.
  • Receiver: must listen, ask questions and trust the sender.
  • Delivery: method must suit the circumstances for both the sender and receiver.
  • Content: must resonate and connect with receivers beliefs. And contain information the employees want to hear and answer their questions.

Training opportunities are another communication factor. Employees can be fearful of change because they’re uncertain they will be able to perform their assigned roles as well as they have done in the past. The best way to address this is to ensure any team has the skills necessary for change.

 

Working with your billing solutions partner to discover the best training program for any new system will give employees the confidence to adopt new processes. Invite all stakeholders to a discussion of their training needs. With inclusion comes a sense of ownership in the new process and ensures employees feel positive in moving forward with an automated system.

 

3. Reduce Individual Resistance by Focusing on the Benefits of Automation 

Many individuals are resistant to changing their current billing processes simply because they don’t see the value that automation can deliver. Effectively conveying the multiple benefits they’ll gain through new processes is vital to change management.

 

Financial leaders can highlight the lasting benefits to this change by communicating the following points to your team often. Automation instantly provides the following benefits:

  • Improved accuracy and faster invoice delivery
    Improved accuracy within the Finance Department creates time to focus on other issues, like outstanding bills, and subscription changes. Automated responses account queries also increase customer satisfaction.
  • Reduce dependency on the IT department
    Automation removes human error and increases the speed of delivery and efficiency. With the human factor removed, inefficient errors are eliminated.
  • Automated operations ensure that jobs are not forgotten or run out of sequence
    Automated operations ensure that tasks run in sequence, jobs are completed successfully, data is correct and that any special processing requirements are performed.
  • Easily manageable event-based automation
    Automation allows you to easily maintain contracts and account statuses automatically with a designed and functional built-in customer lifecycle management.

 

Choose Improvements Over Frustrations

As organizations grow and develop, customer management and increasingly complex billing practices place extra demands on finance and accounting departments. Building trust and loyalty secures customer confidence. However, issues with billing can quickly undermine the customer relationships you work so hard to establish. The right automated billing solution can improve both internal processes and customer confidence.

 

Selecting a billing solution that supports your automation needs is a challenge. So we put together the Comprehensive Guide to Automated Billing Processes, download it today.

Topics: billing platform

Author: Jeff Weiss

Jeff brings his leadership experience to our Professional Services team with a background in transformative implementations of cloud applications. He has a strong focus on working with our customers to deliver state of the art solutions in a fast and agile manner. Jeff led consulting and implementation teams at Accenture and Cloud Sherpas prior to joining BillingPlatform. His experience ranges from small businesses through enterprise level Fortune 500 companies. Jeff has led teams that completed implementations in over 20 countries.

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