Completing The Purchase-To-Pay Circle

Some FinServ businesses offer pricing and quote services for their B2B clients. Others provide payments services to B2B firms.

For configure, price and quote service provider SteelBrick, it simply makes sense to offer both. That is, after all, what the customer wants. SteelBrick Chief Executive Officer Godard Abel told PYMNTS about the acquisition that made this possible, and how that takeover now means SteelBrick can complete the circle of helping businesses strike a deal and start getting paid right away – even across borders.


PYMNTS: We’d really like to know more about SteelBrick’s recently announced acquisition of Invoice IT or, as it’s now known, SteelBrick Billing. SteelBrick has been working internally on its own billing mechanism for its customers, so why make this move?

GA: We acquired Invoice IT primarily because many SteelBrick customers were asking us to extend beyond CPQ (configure, price, quote) to help them automate billing and collections, as well as revenue recognition. We started our relationship by partnering with Invoice IT, and we saw firsthand how customers and prospects liked how our Salesforce native solutions worked together seamlessly with both being built on the Salesforce platform.

Thus we decided an acquisition made sense, so our joint customers can buy the full quote-to-cash capabilities from one company. Our joint customers now benefit from our globally integrated support and services teams. SteelBrick had a much stronger presence in the U.S., while Invoice IT has a stronger presence in the U.K. and India, and so together we now can support customers around the globe.

Once a company has used your quote and pricing tools to strike a deal, how do they send invoices and collect payments? What types of methods can companies use to pay each other?

GA: SteelBrick now can automatically generate an invoice as soon as the a quote is marked “closed/won.” SteelBrick CPQ and Billing (formerly Invoice IT) work together to immediately create and post an order, as well as generate any customer invoices that are due upon signing. In addition, SteelBrick will set up a revenue and billing schedule for all future invoices and then send those invoices to the customer upon billing criteria being met.

Companies can choose to pay online using a variety of methods, including credit cards, ACH and wire transfer. Over 12 different payment gateways are already supported.

What challenges have your clients expressed in making their AR and AP processes more efficient, and how will you look to solve those challenges?

GA: We help make our clients’ AR processes more efficient by automatically generating and sending accurate invoices in real-time as soon as a billing milestone has been met. By making it easy for the end-customer to pay via a variety of payment methods, we accelerate payments and collections.  Furthermore, we can track all receivables right on the customer’s record in our client’s CRM system and trigger both automated and human follow-up on any overdue AR to streamline collections. We don’t manage AP for our clients, but we do make it easier for our clients’ customers to pay their bills making our clients’ clients payments and AP easier to manage.

The acquisition gives you an entrance into the U.K. and European markets. Do you envision being able to facilitate cross-border payments between businesses in the U.S. and EU?

GA: Yes, in fact SteelBrick Billing already supports ACH, PayPal, and credit cards as mechanisms for payments between businesses in the U.S. and EU or anywhere around the world. Almost all of SteelBrick’s 330 customers conduct business in multiple currencies and countries. We enable them to do seamless selling and billing in these global environments.