5 simple steps to preventing revenue leakage and key areas to audit

RevOps 365, Subscription Billing Suite

Published on: January 23, 2024

In the dynamic business landscape, safeguarding your revenue is paramount for long-term success. Revenue leakage, the subtle but significant loss of income, can erode profits and hinder growth if left unchecked. In our ever-connected world, understanding the importance of preventing revenue leakage is crucial.

In our previous blog on revenue leakage, we delved into the fundamentals—defining revenue leakage, exploring its root causes, and providing a straightforward tool for calculating your profit drain. Building on that foundation, this installment focuses on actionable steps. We’ll guide you through the process of conducting a targeted audit to identify specific types of revenue leakage affecting your bottom line. Moreover, we’ll present practical solutions to plug those leaks and initiate measures to prevent any further profit drain. Let’s embark on a journey to safeguard your revenue and fortify your financial well-being.

core causes of revenue leakage image (1)

5 steps you can take to start preventing revenue leakage today

1. Rank your leaks by economic value and resource drain

When searching for revenue leaks in your company, it’s like solving a puzzle – there are leaks in various departments, and it can be overwhelming. To simplify the process, start by estimating areas where the leaks might be originating. While it’s common to focus on the top accounts, it’s crucial to involve those closest to the revenue generation process for a comprehensive understanding.

Once you consolidate your ideas about where the leakage occurs, rank the leaks by economic value (including time and other resources spent). Prioritize those causing the most significant financial impact, directing your attention to the major contributors before tackling smaller issues. For instance, if a substantial leak costs $4,500 per month while seven minor leaks add up to $1,030, address the big hitting one first.

Finally, test your theories through a thorough audit, involving the finance team and those responsible for revenue generation. This audit should scrutinize data, processes, and retrace steps related to key revenue moments to ensure accuracy in identifying and addressing the leaks. Here’s a short questionnaire to help you give your finance function a health check.

Possible outcomes of this step:

  • Allocate resources more effectively and get the most return for effort
  • Allows your team to tackle the most impactful issues first
  • Helps in resolving critical issues that may have a cascading effect
  • Recover significant amounts, contributing to improved overall financial health
  • Fosters a culture of informed decision-making, as outcomes are based on evidence


2. Scrutinize all vendor contracts and identify missing or expired contracts

Simply put, the first step in preventing revenue leakage is carefully checking all your agreements with your suppliers. In the business world, everything runs on contracts – from buying goods to getting services like coffee or office cleaning. Sometimes, these contracts can be a headache. They might be missing, expired, or nobody really knows what’s in them. There could be changes discussed in emails that aren’t reflected in the official contracts.

To sort this out, we recommend looking at all your contracts with vendors and customers. It’s like a checkup for your agreements. Start by focusing on the big suppliers—those who are crucial to your business. Ask your purchasing team to evaluate them based on factors like complexity and past experiences. This helps identify any potential issues and ensures that your contracts are in good shape.

Possible outcomes of this step: 

  • Update missing or expired vendor contracts with up-to-date terms and pricing
  • Identify errors in your systems and increase accuracy in your financial processes
  • Ensure your financial planning aligns with current market conditions
  • Provide leverage for negotiations and potentially reduce costs with key vendors
  • Enables your business to adapt to current trends and opportunities in the market


3. Pay close attention to your churn metrics and be proactive in reducing them

Understanding and identifying churn metrics is crucial for any company looking to grow, as these metrics provide valuable insights into areas that need improvement. In the past, calculating churn rates was challenging, but with today’s abundance of data, tracking and using churn metrics for adjustments has become much easier. Knowing your churn rate acts as a litmus test for your business health – satisfied customers will stay, while a high churn rate indicates potential issues with your service that need attention.

It’s common for companies to overlook churn metrics until it’s too late, leading to a sudden increase in churn rates that causes concern. However, proactively reducing churn rates, even when they are low, is a smart approach. By understanding why customers leave, you can make necessary adjustments to retain them and refine your services before more subscribers decide to leave. Learn more about how to calculate and reduce subscriber churn in this blog.

Possible outcomes of this step:

  • Enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty, reducing the likelihood of customers leaving
  • Refine products and services, providing value that encourages long-term customers
  • Protects recurring revenue streams against voluntary and involuntary churn
  • Provides a clear picture of customer satisfaction and potential areas of improvement
  • Demonstrates a commitment to customer success, fostering a positive reputation and referrals


4. Audit all invoicing and billing processes and automate where possible

Making sure our billing and invoicing processes run smoothly is super important for preventing revenue leakage. It’s like giving our business a health check. By carefully auditing these processes, we can spot areas where things might be slowing down or where mistakes could be happening. The goal is to make everything work better and be more accurate. Our blog on the savings you can make by automating recurring billing is a useful resource when making a case for automation.

One way to achieve this is by using automation tools, such as special software designed for recurring invoices. These tools easily fit into our current ways of doing things and help prevent errors in our billing process. For instance, automation can handle tasks like setting billing periods and creating invoices with all the correct details. Simple changes like incorporating automation can have a big impact on ensuring we receive all the money we’re supposed to. So, looking at how we handle billing and invoices and finding ways to make it smoother can truly pay off in the long run.

Possible outcomes of this step:

  • Ensures that invoices are accurate and reflective of the services provided
  • Streamlines billing tasks saving significant time for finance teams
  • Speeds up invoicing cycles, leading to prompt and consistent billing
  • Minimizing errors prevents disputes and maintains positive customer relationships
  • Capture revenue that might have been overlooked or delayed in manual processes


5. Tackle project visibility and cross-functional communication

Dealing with project visibility and cross-functional communication is crucial in preventing revenue leakage, often arising from seemingly simple issues. A major culprit is insufficient internal communication. For example, if the sales team lacks information on pricing or key policies, they might unintentionally sell services at lower rates or miss opportunities for upselling. Such misalignment can lead to significant revenue leakage over time. Effective communication between teams can prevent these costly mistakes, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Additionally, inadequate project visibility, especially in invoicing and revenue-generating processes, makes it difficult to proactively manage services and accurately assess performance. This lack of transparency can result in lost or delayed revenue. In project management, issues like scope creep, delayed deadlines, and inaccurate budget estimates can contribute to revenue leakage. Another concern is inaccurate billing due to poor tracking of billable hours, potentially resulting in services provided beyond what’s billed. Addressing these communication and visibility challenges is vital for preventing revenue leakage and maintaining financial health.

Possible outcomes of this step:

  • Prevents costly mistakes, such as underselling services or missing upselling opportunities
  • Enhances efficiency by ensuring everyone is well-informed about pricing structures, policies, and service offerings
  • Helps identify and address issues promptly, reducing the likelihood of lost or delayed revenue
  • Prevents issues like issues like scope creep, delayed deadlines, and incorrect budget estimates
  • Ensures accurate tracking of billable hours, preventing services from being provided beyond what’s billed

RevOps 365 CTA banner

to our blog updates