SalesTechStar Interview with Jayaram Bhat, CEO at Monetize360
Jayaram Bhat, CEO at Monetize360 talks about the benefits of dynamic pricing systems in this catch up with SalesTechStar:
Hi Jayaram, welcome to this SalesTechStar chat, tell us more about your journey through the years and the story behind Monetize360?
Thank you for the opportunity! I’ve spent 40 years leading enterprise software companies, and have seen the sales and billing model evolve from on-premise perpetual license, to cloud-based standard subscription, and recently to usage-based. And, in some cases, I’ve even recently seen companies moving toward complex, specialized terms that are specific to individual deals. This is where the future lies (Monetize360).
While the complexity for sales and billing departments has gone up exponentially, billing and pricing platforms that can handle complexity remain expensive and difficult to manage, requiring a significant amount of ongoing expensive development and consulting just to be able to handle the basics of complex pricing & billing. This is critical stuff – where sales and billing come together to deliver the best possible revenue for the company. And, yet, the solutions available today haven’t met the need.
Monetize360 streamlines and automates even the most complex pricing and billing scenarios, meeting the needs of modern enterprise companies. Our founder, Murali Saravu, spent 20 years in the biggest companies in the world, including Cisco, Intuit and others, designing their billing systems. He may very well be the most knowledgeable resource on this topic in this space.
Murali took all of his vast experience and designed a no-code billing and pricing monetization hub that is as simple to use as it is sophisticated. With point and click technology, sales and billing teams can model potential deal terms, define the best possible pricing scenarios, and implement those decisions.
The monetization hub is elegant, effective, and addresses even the most complex scenarios. When Murali asked me to come on as CEO it was a no-brainer.
We’d love to hear more about Monetize360’s latest funding round (congratulations!).
Thank you! We couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome of our seed round. We recently raised 3.2M fromSVQuad and Idealab, as well as from fellow entrepreneurs and investors. Their vote of confidence is a testament to the work Murali and the development team have done to date, and now it is time to scale our operations, bringing Monetize360 to more customers. We’ve just hired a Chief Commercial Officer, and we’re going to be moving rapidly in the next 3-12 months to bring Monetize360 to enterprise technology companies as well as to financial brands.
In your view, why is it now becoming more crucial for sales departments to have a stronger and more dynamic pricing and billing structure – how can this benefit sales and customer facing teams?
Dynamic pricing allows sales leaders to give customers exactly what they want and need, with exactly the right terms, at exactly the right cadence. And, it simultaneously optimizes revenue.
In many ways, dynamic or usage-based is synonymous with value-based pricing. In value-based pricing you set the optimal price that works for the organization and its customer. Usage-based terms help get you there.
With dynamic, usage-based pricing and billing, sales teams are no longer limited to standard subscription models, but can create plans that are as customized as possible. With Monetize360’s monetization hub, sales can deliver every deal with the right terms, at the right time, all the while easing the process for the finance team
Usage based pricing is required to implement product lead growth. You start with a free tier and adjust prices as the usage grows. However this makes billing more complex and Monetize360 is the perfect solution to implement product lead growth strategies.
To date, the complexity of implementing dynamic, usage-based billing has been a barrier. But, with Monetize360’s no-code monetization hub, companies are able to get up and running without requiring custom coding or lengthy installs. This makes the process of effectively billing customers seamless, for both the team driving revenue, and the team managing the financial aspects of the business. And the elimination of ongoing development and consulting services has a significant benefit on cost-reduction and time-to-market.
Especially in the B2B marketplace, how can better alignment between finance, sales and product departments benefit overall company output and goals? A few best practices (and technologies besides those like Monetize360!) that you would advise teams to use more of here!
Sales and finance don’t always have the same priorities, so aligning around common priorities is a necessary first step. Sales wants to close deals, and finance wants to increase revenue and simplify the billing, receivables and revenue modeling and recognition.. What if the sales and finance teams could accomplish these goals simultaneously?
Other examples could include customer success tools like Gainsight provide the 360 degree view of the customer and score cards or solutions from High Radius that help the invoice to cash space, reducing DSO.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the future of automation and no-code platforms? How will these technologies change the game for today’s operations/sales and marketing teams?
No code platforms are having a moment right now, for good reason. These applications are fast, easy, and incredibly cost effective. Many people think about no-code platforms for front end applications, but there is a lot of power and potential in the no-code movement for the whole organization – including front and back office applications.
In our case, the reduction of the massive amount of custom development required to enable legacy billing systems to handle complexity, such as usage-based requirements, is game-changing for companies, because it allows them to bring better solutions their customers want to market faster, at lower cost.
I’m bullish on the potential of no-code to transform enterprise operations.
We’d love to hear more about some immediate near-future plans for Monetize360 and upcoming innovations that users can look forward to?
Monetization success goes beyond billing. It starts with designing the services with the right set of dimensions and measures and pricing rules. It then needs to connect with the product engineering to collect usage data and bring it to the ratable format using a data pipeline with a rich set of data processing rules. Customers should be able to buy the products and services where customer-specific pricing is modeled and deal/contracts are created. Finally ensuring the customer is invoiced as per the contract terms and ensure transparency and trust is established with the end customers.
To make this come together, we have and continue to invest in R&D to make our platform apps like service designer, deal manager, usage mediation, rating, AI/ML based forecasting and billing. With our team’s deep domain expertise, we have developed domain specific language (DSL) that makes our platform a “no-code” solution for monetization. We will continue to develop and extend our platform to include additional features and capabilities needed by our customers. Especially to address more complex, creative, and innovative pricing/business strategies being implemented by customers.
Some last thoughts and entrepreneurial takeaways before we wrap up?
Many large companies and Financial Institutions still use very old technology for billing. Often mainframe based solutions and a patchwork of other technologies with a liberal sprinkling of spreadsheets and long forgotten network connections. These systems will not scale as companies grow or implement new and innovative business processes. We see a huge tide of companies replacing such old technology with modern billing solutions and Monetize360 is perfectly positioned to help them in this transition.
Personally having been involved with growing about a dozen companies from an early stage to success, I find that the early growth stages are the most exciting parts of the journey. Finding product market fit in an early stage company is always challenging but when you see the early indicators of such a fit, like we do at Monetize360, it becomes very gratifying. Delivering a solution to a customer’s difficult to solve problem and experiencing the incredibly positive reaction from the users is the best feeling in the world. This is what all entrepreneurs live for and I am really enjoying this phase of Monetize360.
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