Smartsheet Vastly Improves and Expands AR Capability and Simultaneously Creates Better Customer Experience with Tesorio
Results with Tesorio include:
- Eliminated spreadsheet tracking of 150,000+ customers
- Expanded outreach capabilities for 11,000 open invoices and counting
- Increased productivity with collectors now spending 85% of their working day in only one system
- Exceeded a recent quarterly cash goal by approximately $14 million
- Combined AR with customer care, a key organizational goal
As a workspace collaboration platform, Smartsheet has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years. Wade Moss, Director of Financial Operations, and his Financial Care Group have been on the frontlines of this massive upward growth trajectory, now handling an AR portfolio of more than 150,000 customers who are continually expanding usage even as new customers onboard every day.
Smartsheet is heavily embedded in its customers’ organizations, so it’s not a matter of whether customers will pay, explains Wade. Rather, the Financial Care Group’s goal is to collect cash efficiently and effectively while also delivering thorough and thoughtful service to improve the overall customer experience down to the AR level. “Think of it as customer care with a financial bend to it.”
Managing Rapid Growth with Existing AR Staffing Model
Prior to implementing Tesorio, one of Smartsheet’s biggest AR challenges was managing the growth in invoices at its desired level of customer care with limited resources, says Will Young, Senior Manager of Accounts Receivable. “From a bandwidth perspective, Tesorio has really helped us to be able to scale our ever-growing customer base using our existing staffing model,” he says. Today that equates to approximately 11,000 open invoices a month with room for more.
Additionally, many of Smartsheet’s invoices are part of its annual subscription service, which auto-renews. Wade says, “Any SaaS company that runs an auto-renewal process feels this pain: You send an invoice at renewal time equal to or with a small bump over last year, and customers immediately ask why or want to know how they can make adjustments. ”Answering such auto-renewal questions along with others about purchase order issues or incorrect invoices took the AR team a lot of time to resolve manually. From a management perspective, Wade needed a system that provided him full visibility to ensure these issues were handled efficiently and effectively. “That’s exactly what Tesorio is providing! I can jump in there and see exactly where things are, even easily drilling down into customers and invoices in order to see what’s really going on.”
Creating Dynamic Dunning Campaigns without Involving IT
Smartsheet’s dunning was previously generated by its ERP system, which was binary, i.e., notices were either turned on or turned off. When on, the ERP system sent automated and unwanted notices to customers that weren’t personalized or planned, which Wade points out “wasn’t the best customer experience.”These dunning campaigns were also IT-dependent, so any changes had to be elevated to the change board, causing huge delays and offering no leeway to create differentiated campaigns. “We need to treat our customers uniquely depending on the relationship, and we couldn’t do that with an ERP system that sent the same thing to everybody.”This environment also led to other issues:
- Everything related to dunning campaigns was tracked in another system
- Customer responses went to a team inbox that had to be manually sorted to get it to the assigned collector
With Tesorio, they can easily create dynamic dunning campaigns themselves, track them in one system, and allow high-priority account communications to route to the designated team member able to quickly address the issue and build the relationship. It’s a tremendous value add to be able to differentiate customer experiences, especially with high-priority accounts, says Wade. “I never have to worry about a high-dollar ARR account getting an inappropriate dunning notice, and that is huge.”Kirsty Neville, Senior Manager of Financial Operations EMEA, marvels at how user-friendly Tesorio is for dunning efforts. Even if you’re not technically minded, you can easily adjust campaigns as needed, she says.
Syncing with Salesforce for Greater Collaboration
Similar to many organizations, the salespeople at Smartsheet live in Salesforce. Before Tesorio, the financial care team had no way to access all the valuable information housed in that system to help them collect unpaid invoices or to ensure that a planned dunning message didn’t jeopardize a renewal or contract expansion. But now, “the connection between Tesorio and Salesforce prioritizes customer satisfaction and receivables in one place,” says Wade.
The entire organization benefits from this increased visibility, allowing them to work in unison. Wade’s team can fully support sales in its efforts to expand relationships and attract new ones while trusting that it has the most up-to-date customer data because Tesorio is pulling the account and contact information directly from Salesforce. This also makes it far more efficient and feasible to create customer-friendly dunning campaigns. “By using Tesorio’s customer tagging, I can make sure it’s about the customer and not the amount on the invoice,” he notes.
Shifting to a Proactive AR Approach
Before Tesorio, “we were always behind the eight ball and chasing customers for past due payments, whereas today we can actually catch them on the front side,” says Will. This includes using Tesorio to send out the following proactive notices:
- Six days after the invoice is sent: To ask if the customer has everything it needs to remit payment
- Six days before payment is due: To remind the customer about the upcoming date
This helps the AR team focus more on customer relationship-building than on “constantly chasing after something that’s past due,” which helps improve the customer experience. The byproduct of that has been record-setting cash flow. For example, in a recent quarter, the team substantially exceeded its cash goal by approximately $14 million.
Dealing with Multiple Currencies with No Problem
Calling Tesorio “hands down, the best collections tool,” Kirsty notes how easy it makes handling multiple international currencies, something she says can be a huge headache for international companies. Once customers are invoiced in their own currency, Tesorio converts that into Smartsheet’s reporting currency so they don’t end up with reports that have a mixture of currencies to be sorted out.
From the Tesorio dashboard, “if you’re looking at an invoice, you can see what the reporting currency is and what the billing currency is, and it’s not skewing that data in reports, which is something that I personally haven’t seen before in any other system,” she adds.
Elevating AR Capabilities with Tesorio
It’s been more than a year since Smartsheet implemented Tesorio, and the impact has been significant:
- Greater flexibility: In addition to creating customized dunning campaigns, the Financial Care Group can easily tag information or export data fields as needed, and they can test out communication cadences to determine what works best in various situations.
- Improved productivity: There is no need to manually update notes or copy and paste information between multiple systems. And accounts can be easily reassigned throughout the team as needed.
“We’ve been able to move a lot of processes out of multiple systems into Tesorio,” says Drew Utterback, Financial and Systems Analyst for Smartsheet Inc. From a leadership perspective, there’s great visibility for quicker decision-making, and from the collectors’ point of view, they can easily initiate AR tasks so they can handle Smartsheet’s growing volume of customers.