Sure-Fire Strategies for Driving Customer E-Invoicing Adoption

Monday, June 23, 2014

The benefits of using electronic invoicing for accounts receivables are clear to suppliers.

Compared to traditional paper processes, electronic invoicing and payment reduces average collections costs from $35 to $1, while accelerating Days Sales Outstanding by 80 percent.

What isn’t clear to suppliers is how to drive customer adoption of electronic invoicing and payment solutions such as Direct Insite’s PAYBOX® platform, to ensure a strong return on investment.

Below are six strategies to help suppliers develop an electronic invoicing adoption program:

  1. Assign resources to on-going customer adoption initiatives: These individuals should be champions for the endeavor, prepared to answer questions from internal and external constituents and serve as a liaison with senior management to drive organizational change. Many suppliers create an electronic invoicing adoption committee that meets periodically to set objectives, define adoption initiatives, share lessons learned, and review progress.
  2. Communicate your plans: Clearly explain your plan for transitioning to electronic invoicing and payments to customers, including the start date and any potential mandates for laggards. Include messaging about electronic invoicing and payment in your contracts, on your customer portals, in your customer review calls and in proposals to prospective customers. Be sure to reach out to key customers early to understand their requirements and potential concerns. You have a vested interest in gaining their strong support. Also, don’t forget that large companies are likely to be technology savvy, and the most willing to participate.
  3. Make it easy for customers to register for electronic invoicing and payment: Direct Insite and other vendors offer web-based tools that automate the process of customer registration, authentication and validation, and the exchange of early-pay discount terms.
  4. Frame the benefits of electronic invoicing in terms that will resonate with customers: Explain that electronic invoicing and payment reduces a customer’s operational costs.
  5. Make electronic invoicing and payment adoption a team effort: Achieving optimum electronic invoicing adoption requires participation by all members of your finance team, including procurement, shared services and treasury. All customer-facing employees should be briefed on your electronic invoicing and payment initiative, so they don’t unwittingly hinder your enrollment activities with their response to customers. Many organizations have found that their collections and call center staff are especially effective at driving adoption.
  6. Leverage your solutions provider: Direct Insite and other solutions providers can offer expertise gleaned from other billers who have successfully deployed electronic invoicing. Direct Insite also offers onboarding services to help suppliers drive customer adoption.

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