A global provider of Buyer Experience (BX) software, Vivun offers an AI-powered PreSales platform that gives technical selling teams the tools to operate effectively, automate demos, and drive seamless collaboration across sales and product teams. The platform helps businesses deliver exceptional customer experiences and stand apart from the competition.
As Vice President of Finance at Vivun, Kevin Spinelli oversees accounting, FP&A, IT, business systems, deal desk, and revenue operations. He was looking for a way to replace his existing manual process with a fully automated and streamlined quote-to-revenue system that could handle their unique business model, which includes a multi-year pricing ramp.
"There are businesses with relatively simple subscription structures, like $20 a month," Spinelli said. "But we’re in enterprise B2B, and this space tends to have the hardest use cases, such as multi-year ramps. For example, you charge $100K the first year, $200K the second, and $300K the third, but you contract all of that upfront, and then you amend it and amend it again — because the customer is continuing to buy more. That was a primary use case for us as we were looking for a solution."
The unique use case meant legacy CPQ systems were out of the question, because they can’t handle complex quoting structures. “That's a use case that a lot of the existing systems frankly just can't handle. And even if they handle it, as a sales person it is confusing and cumbersome from a quoting perspective,” Spinelli said.
"The Nirvana state for us is to have one vendor develop a full stack order-to-revenue solution that's built to work together from the beginning," said Matt Darrow, Co-founder and CEO of Vivun. Darrow is intimately familiar with the quote-to-revenue space, having spent over 10 years at companies like Big Machines, which was acquired by Oracle and became Oracle CPQ, and at Zuora, where he served as the VP and general manager of Zuora CPQ and Zuora Insights.
"Having correct financials derives from the seamless flow of data throughout the quote-to-revenue process," Darrow explained. "That can’t happen when it’s dispersed across a bunch of disparate, acquired technologies that you’ve stitched together. You need a unified solution that’s designed to work cohesively."
Accommodating this business model was challenging and created a lot of work for the sales team, as well as for the finance department. Before implementing Subskribe, Spinelli and his team had been using Google Sheets to manage the quoting process. Sales reps would create a PDF from the Google Sheet and send it through DocuSign. Next, they’d have to type the quote into NetSuite to create an invoice and reenter all of the information again into Salesforce, so they could run metrics for reporting purposes.
Without a unified quote-to-revenue architecture, the quoting and billing process was slow, tedious, and prone to human errors. Additionally, reconciliation was extremely arduous and time-consuming, causing delays in closing the books.
Vivun’s challenge is a common issue for SaaS businesses. Manual quoting and billing can get the job done, but at the cost of significant time and resources. An alternative is adopting a legacy CPQ or billing system, but these solutions often require heavy integrations and workarounds to accommodate complex deal structures, such as a multi-year ramp. They’re also difficult to use and require extensive in-house expertise and ongoing administrative support.
"If you look at incumbents in this space, their architecture is extremely complicated," Spinelli said. "Even amongst their own products, complex custom integrations are required from quoting to billing, and from billing to revenue recognition. I didn’t want those in my architecture, and I don't have a person to build or maintain them."
"Order-to-revenue systems are the lifeblood of how our company functions,” Darrow said. "You just can’t bring revenue in the door without them. Getting a quote to a customer so they sign the order, making sure that I can correctly bill them and my taxes are square, and ensuring that revenue is recognized and accounted for— these are critical capabilities for generating revenue."
After evaluating several options, Darrow and Spinelli determined that only Subskribe could meet all of their requirements. The solution makes the entire quote-to-revenue process painless for Vivun with a unified approach to CPQ, billing, and revenue recognition.
Be up and running in weeks, not years.
Enjoy an intuitive and easy to use UI, without extensive training.
Create complex enterprise quotes in under a minute.
Eliminate the unnecessary costs of maintaining separate CPQ, Billing, and Revenue Recognition systems.
Simplify reporting and eliminate data silos.
By integrating every step of the workflow into a single solution, Subskribe slashes time spent quoting, invoicing, and entering data, dramatically reducing the burden on the deal desk, sales reps, and the finance team. Now, the sales team can spend more time providing exceptional buying experiences and expanding customer relationships, while the finance team can close the books faster so the business can more quickly adapt to monthly and quarterly results.
Subskribe’s unified approach to quote-to-revenue brings quoting, billing, and revenue recognition all under one single, streamlined platform, doing away with the siloed, patched-together systems typical of legacy providers. Purpose-built for the needs of B2B SaaS organizations, Subskribe addresses the problems unique to the industry, from ramp deals to amendments to renewals and upsells.
"Subskribe’s kill zone is B2B SaaS," Darrow said. "And that focus on making B2B SaaS really successful is what allows them to ignore all of the other features and add-ons that tend to stretch these systems well beyond their product-market fit. Subskribe’s simplicity — the quote is the order is the invoice is the revenue — allows us to get the value, agility, and results that we were hoping for."
When it came to selecting a vendor, it was this innovative approach to quote-to-revenue that helped Vivun choose Subskribe over two other large, established players in the market. "There’s a lack of innovation with incumbents," Spinelli said. "But I see a ton of innovation with Subskribe."
According to Darrow, who has extensive experience in the CPQ and billing space at companies like Big Machines and Zuora, he knew exactly what he would get with the legacy players, and he took notice of Subskribe because of its unique take on quote-to-revenue.
"I knew their approach was different," Darrow said. "We decided to take a bit of an early bet on Subskribe, and I’m so happy we did."
Going live with Subskribe took just four months, and a big measure of success for Vivun was ensuring that all of their transactions could run through Subskribe on Day 1.
"What happens a lot in this solution space is that you put a system like this in, but less than half of the deals will go through it," explained Darrow. "The sales reps revolt or the system doesn’t work — it becomes more of a headache than just doing it all manually. But with Subskribe, we went live quickly, and all of our transactions now flow through Subskribe."
According to Spinelli, using Subskribe has also eliminated the need to employ technical engineering resources to create and maintain the integrations for connecting and automating the various steps of the quote-to-revenue process.
"Without Subskribe, we would have had to hire engineers to build the integrations as well as an IT engineer — and that can be very expensive," Spinelli said. "And if you don’t hire the right person, you lose all that investment in onboarding and training. Subskribe’s end-to-end architecture is simple to implement and maintain, saving us multiple headcounts," he said.
"Before Subskribe, the entire quote-to-revenue process was highly manual and error-prone," Spinelli said. "Now, we have eliminated the two most time-consuming steps — quoting and invoicing — so that everything is unified and seamless."
"I think the thing that is the most powerful if you’re considering Subskribe is that you are in their sweet spot zone, which is complex B2B SaaS," said Darrow. "Know that if you're in this space, Subskribe works. It just works. And that's the easiest way to think about it."