Achieving a lean deal desk with HubSpot Sales CRM to Ordway platform workflow. Read Tidelift video transcript.

Brian Weisberg, Head of Finance and Business Operations:

Everyone seems to integrate with Salesforce these days, but not everyone integrates with HubSpot. So, the fact that Ordway has a HubSpot integration is one, and two, the fact that Ordway is really the only billing system I've found that supports the enterprise or B2B SaaS sales motion. So, they're really the only option.

I'm Brian Weisberg. I run finance and business operations for Tidelift. We help organizations manage their open source. So, think of it almost as like a Netflix or Spotify, but for open source software. Our previous solution [Chargebee], made it difficult, we often felt like we were trying to fit a square peg in a round hole and having to bend the buying process to satisfy the billing system. I need to be able to work smarter, not harder. And that's really where something like an Ordway comes in.

One of the ways in which Ordway has helped me is reducing the need for a formal deal desk. We have this native integration with HubSpot, there's a sync to Ordway button, and I can automatically schedule up a draft contract that I can then review to make sure all the prorations and the pricing is accurate and just set it live. Setting up our CRM integration was super simple. I was able to work both hand-in-hand with the CS, the customer success team, as well as the product manager who's in charge of the integration, and they both were willing to not just teach me but also walk me through it and helped me understand how the integration works.

My experience setting up and configuring the HubSpot Connector app was seamless. Rolling out Ordway really helped me streamline my quote-to-cash process. It enabled us to easily convert deals from a "closed won" status to a draft contract in Ordway with the click of a button. The number one biggest benefit of working with Ordway is the fact that they listen and understand our business. I recommend Ordway to all of my finance and accounting peers working at B2B SaaS businesses. It's the first time in my career that I have not had buyer's remorse with a billing and subscription management solution.

Boston-based software company Tidelift enables customers to accelerate app development with catalogs of proactively maintained open source components, backed by maintainers. A Tidelift subscription includes all of the tools businesses need to efficiently track and manage open source across their organization.

This relationship with open source maintainers is a core piece of the Tidelift offering. Tidelift pays a revenue share to these individuals and small teams based on the dollars that they are able to bill and collect from their customers. The unique revenue share component of the Tidelift business model necessitated a SaaS subscription billing system that could handle complexity and change with ease. 

Tidelift demo page_

The challenge

Complex contracts and Chargebee caused countless hours of manual billing work and internal friction

Tidelift’s land and expand sales strategy required a billing system that could easily handle contract changes and upgrades throughout the course of the customer lifecycle. Their business dictates bespoke recurring subscriptions with many mid-contract changes. Their legacy billing process rigid was unable to absorb this added layer of complexity without tedious manual intervention for the Tidelift sales and finance teams. This left them in a constant struggle to structure customer contracts and associated billings.

“Our customers are large organizations with certain processes or certain ways of buying. And our previous solution [Chargebee] made it difficult. It often felt like we were trying to fit a square peg in a round hole and having to bend the buying process to satisfy the billing system,” said Brian Weisberg, Head of Finance and Business Operations at Tidelift. 

The Tidelift team needed a way align their ability to bill customers with the way customers want to buy. 

Tidelift Brian_Head of Finance

The solution

Seamless CRM (HubSpot Sales) to billing workflow reduces need for additional headcount

After evaluating several SaaS recurring billing solutions, Tidelift chose the Ordway billing and revenue automation platform for multiple reasons: 

  • Flexibility to support Tidelift’s unique billing and contract structure requirements
  • Ordway team’s comprehensive understanding of B2B enterprise SaaS
  • Infrastructure for current and future rev-share with open-source maintainers 
  • Support throughout implementation and an attitude of “listening over selling”

Rather than cobbling together an order-to-revenue flow with their HubSpot CRM and an iPaaS system like Zapier or Workato, Tidelift relied on Ordway for automated recurring billing to simplify and unify their process.

With Ordway streamlining Tidelift’s sales-to-finance workflow, converting new deals into recurring revenue now only requires a few clicks of a button.

“Everyone seems to integrate with Salesforce these days, but not everyone integrates with HubSpot,” said Weisberg. “So the fact that Ordway has a HubSpot integration is one, and two, coming back to the fact that Ordway is really the only billing system I've found that supports the enterprise or B2B SaaS sales motion. So they're really the only option.”

Ordway’s implementation team made the process of connecting to HubSpot seamless, avoiding disruption to the Tidelift process. “So my experience setting up and configuring the HubSpot connector app. Gosh, I mean, I honestly don't remember it was seamless. It was so easy,” said Weisberg. 

The direct integration between Ordway and HubSpot means customer contract data flows seamlessly between systems via API and webhooks. And the Ordway automated billing software reduces the need for Tidelift to hire additional full-time equivalent (FTE) employees just to run billing operations. 

Tidelift site

The results

Lean “deal desk” means a happy sales team, happy customers, and fewer FTEs 

Tidelift streamlined their quote-to-cash process,  enabling them to easily convert deals from a "closed won" status to a draft contract in Ordway with the click of a button. More importantly, Tidelift avoided adding tens of thousands of dollars in costs by not needing to hire an employee or contract to manage their billing process.

Process for the sales team when ready to close new business: 

  • Sales rep marks deal "Closed Won"
  • Finance sets billing requirements in HubSpot, and data syncs with the click of a button in Ordway 
  • Ordway automatically schedules up a draft contract for Head of Finance to review prorations and pricing before setting live (note: Tidelift desired this extra check and some Ordway customers choose full contract automation)

“Was partnering with Ordway the right decision for Tidelift? Absolutely. It's the first time in my career that I have not had buyer's remorse with a billing and subscription management solution,” said Weisberg. “I recommend Ordway to all of my finance and accounting peers working at B2B SaaS businesses, especially those with the land and expand sales motion.”

By aligning their internal systems and process with the way their customers want to buy, Tidelift can focus on scaling their business efficiently and transforming the world of open source.