Conga & Salesforce: Automatic Invoicing
A really interesting requirement came to us from an existing client leveraging Salesforce to run their partner channel business - They wanted to create an automated self invoice for partners who had referred sales deals to them where the opportunities had been won.
After firmly attaching our consulting cap and doing some more digging we found out a little more about the requirement:
- The invoices had to be sent automatically on a specific day of the month. No human intervention was key as it currently absorbed an entire day for one of their staff and was a bad use of resources.
- A pre Invoice statement had to be sent to partners 10 days prior to any final Invoice so that any contested payments could be resolved before the final pay run. This had to be delivered in Excel format to allow partners to easily sort their payments and again no human intervention was required as this took a further day to facilitate.
- The solution had to cater for 2 different Invoice templates as different partners worked with different divisions within the company. Branding was key here and something not available out of the box with Salesforce.
- Payments where sometimes spread over a number of months so the solution needed to know how much to pay out in a given month based on multiple inputs.
This particular client is a great example of how forward thinking, young and learning company use Salesforce and their Application partners to scale as needed. As they will admit they do not have the luxury of knowing exactly where their market is going and how their business should look in 2-3 years. Thats why Salesforce is perfect for them, they can scale, add, remove , change as they gain more insight into their market. With the help of Xenogenix of course!
After some investigating we decided that a combination of two Conga products would offer the most scalable and cost effective solution. We had things to consider such as email limits, data usage limits and of course governor limits within Salesforce. Conga offered a platform that would take all of the processing outside of Salesforce , do its magic , then place the needed output back into the CRM in the right place.
The Apps we used where:
1.) The very well known Conga Composer solution.
This allowed us to create our templates and design the merge structure for the Invoice easily and effectively. We could retain the branding the customer desired and allow them to easily make changes when needed. We could also choose multiple output formats such as PDF, EXCEL, WORD, even POWERPOINT.
As a complimentary add on we took advantage of:
2.) Conga Conductor
The Conga Conductor add on is simply brilliant! You can use it in a whole manner of ways but at its core principle it allows you to schedule and run automated batch merges. Those merges can be downloaded to your desktop as a zip file, attached to records or best of all emailed directly to a list of contacts that reside in your CRM.
For this requirement if you remember , the Invoices had to include the individual partners collated payment data for a given month. Using salesforce reports and the functionality within conductor we could simply pass multiple filter values to the data before a merge took place making each Invoice collate the needed data for each partner from a single report. The solution could merge 1000’s of partner specific documents without even clicking a button. Needless to say this offered huge time savings for the client.
We are now looking at a similar solution for their supplier chain which absorbs more time than their partner channel. With Composer and Conductor this will be a doddle!
This entire solution took only 3 days to deliver and will keep giving time back for years to come!