Demand for efficiency drives digital payments
In B2B payments, there is always a power dynamic between buyer and seller, with the more powerful deciding the terms. Today, however, the two sides increasingly find common ground.
Using electronic payments benefits both buyer and seller, he added, streamlining reconciliation and reducing the time spent processing checks and paper invoices.
Make a digital roadmap to an ideal state
Today’s mid-market companies are looking to digitize their operations – and payments in particular – and they don’t have the resources to do it wrong.
“They have to get it right the first time, and thinking about a digital roadmap to get you to your ideal state can be an absolutely overwhelming task,” said Johnston.
He recommended that companies consider whether they are looking to increase their revenues or reduce their costs. Businesses that focus on a digital opportunity tend to fall into one of two camps, he said. They need more leads, more pipeline, and more revenue, or they have it all in place and need to avoid being overwhelmed with throughput so they can deliver on what they promise customers.
Thinking about the customer experience
“If you decide that payments can help you as far as automation, the only thing a midsize business needs to think about is integration into accounting software and [enterprise resource planning (ERP)] – that’s the key to actually automating this process, ”said Johnston.
It is also important to think about the customer experience because everyone in the B2B chain is also a consumer and has done business with merchants who offer customer experience (CX), user experience (UX) and user interface ( UI) formidable.
“In B2B, we have to remember that if they are doing something in their personal life, they expect it to be just as easy in their professional life, if not easier,” noted Johnston.
Invest time today to save time tomorrow
Everyone has learned over the past 18 months that digitization offers resilience, which has contributed to the current trend. And that wisdom is shifting to smaller and smaller companies.
“If you get 1,000 invoices every month, there’s a clear need for an automation flow,” said Johnston. “But now you see companies that only have 100 invoices left saying, ‘There’s an opportunity for me to do some automation. The question is: how far can we go in the queue? “
Looking ahead, Johnston said he expects to see continued investments in ways to eliminate manual processes.
“I would just like to encourage people, as they reflect on their 2022 plans, to ask what they can do today,” he said. “There is still time to act today to really show the effectiveness of the year or the benefits in terms of income in 2022.”