Simplifying Payments with Salesforce.

With Salesforce, we can simplify international recurring payments for more businesses, opening up new markets and new opportunities.”

Hiroki Takeuchi, CEO, GoCardless
customer since 2019


increase in prospect interactions in 12 months


GoCardless helps more businesses simplify recurring payments with Salesforce

Everyone wants to get paid quickly and easily. But for organisations collecting recurring payments, the process is often complicated and time-consuming - and can even result in lost revenue.

GoCardless is on a mission to change that - and already has for 55,000 organisations around the world. “We want to take the pain out of getting paid for businesses with recurring revenue,” explained Hiroki Takeuchi, GoCardless CEO. “With Salesforce, we can make bank debits more accessible for more organisations, helping them reach and retain more customers.”

And GoCardless is scaling up in style - and at speed. In the first six months of 2020, bookings increased by 80% compared with the total recorded for the previous year.

Turning recurring payments into a competitive advantage

Although bank debits are the preferred payment method for the majority of consumers and companies, this option is not available to everyone - especially nonprofits, sole traders, and SMEs with low turnovers or transaction volumes. With its global network of partners and innovative platform, GoCardless makes bank debit payments more inclusive - and more intelligent.

“We want to turn payments into a competitive advantage by reducing churn, costs, and complexity,” said Takeuchi. “By simplifying the collection and reconciliation of payments across borders, we help businesses increase efficiency and visibility of their cashflow.”

GoCardless prepares for growth with new customer experience platform

GoCardless has grown significantly and rapidly since it was founded by Takeuchi and two friends in 2011. Its platform, which integrates local bank debit schemes and foreign exchange capabilities, processes around $15 billion in transactions a year for brands such as The Guardian, Comic Relief, and DocuSign. But there are still more markets to disrupt and more partners and customers to sign up.

To support its growth ambitions, the team needed to take a more strategic approach to not only sales but also marketing and customer service.  GoCardless already used Salesforce for pipeline management and decided to embark on a major reboot in 2019. “We stripped everything back to basics and thought not just about where we wanted to be today but also tomorrow,” explained Simon Gilks, Director of Global Sales Operations and Enablement at GoCardless. “As a result, we decided to make Salesforce our customer experience platform.”

Sales team double activity levels in 12 months

Around half of GoCardless employees now use the platform - from customer success managers and onboarding analysts to legal advisors and CXO leaders. “We keep adding more functions and teams - everyone wants to be part of this amazing journey,” added Gilks.

And it has been one amazing journey - especially for the GoCardless sales team. In May 2020, the 47 person strong team clocked up around 18,000 calls and emails with prospect customers - more than double the activity levels for the same period of last year. “With Sales Cloud, every interaction with a prospect is linked to the opportunity record, which makes it easier to track progress and bring in colleagues to help close deals,” explained Gilks. 

Personalised content increases lead generation

The sales team can even see how people have responded to different marketing campaigns and online content. “With Pardot, we can see the full prospect journey in real-time, which means the sales team can have more relevant conversations and close more deals,” commented Victoria Zazulina, Marketing Operations Executive at GoCardless.

Content is personalised based on a prospect’s previous interactions on digital and social channels as well as engagement with the sales team. “We’ve created more than 50 journeys that align with common payment challenges and act as great conversation starters with customers,” explained Zazulina. “We’ve also developed other journeys based on behavioural and demographic data, which helps to make our marketing processes more efficient and scalable.”

A more personalised approach to nurturing prospects contributed to a significant increase in the conversion of marketing leads into sales opportunities between January 2019 and January 2020. “Pardot has helped to bring the sales and marketing teams closer together, which enhances lead generation and qualification,” added Zazulina. The sales team can also collaborate with colleagues in finance and onboarding via Chatter, which helps to ensure new customers are set up on the GoCardless platform as quickly as possible. 

Analytics and dashboards boost visibility and quality of sales pipeline.

With a CEO with a background in mathematics, it’s not surprising that GoCardless is obsessed with numbers. As well as providing personalised dashboards for every member of the sales team, GoCardless has created customised reports for individual contributors and managers. “With Sales Cloud, the CXO team can see our top opportunities for the current and next quarter in a single place instead of having to look at different spreadsheets,” said Gilks. “This makes it easier to spot - and address - any potential gaps.”  

To enable them to drill down even deeper into the pipeline, sales managers use Tableau CRM. “We can slice and dice opportunities in so many different ways - industry vertical, country, sales rep,” explained Gilks. “We can also see what deals are about to close, which gives us a better idea of what is happening in the market.”

GoCardless helps businesses adapt payments during pandemic.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, this visibility was invaluable. “With Salesforce, we can react to commercial ups and downs more quickly,” added Gilks. Although the crisis is expected to boost the subscription economy in the long-term by eliminating the need for face-to-face cash and card payments, the initial impact of lockdown measures on some businesses, such as local gyms, was devastating.  

To make it simpler for customers to suspend subscriptions in bulk, GoCardless developed a new feature for its payments platform within a matter of days. “By pausing rather than cancelling bank mandates, businesses will be able to reactivate payments more easily,” explained Nicola Hamilton, Director of Communications at GoCardless. “We want to help our customers stay in business and get paid promptly for their services.”

Greater visibility and smarter processes enrich the customer journey.

Customer success has always been important to GoCardless. “We want to make sure no GoCardless customer gets left behind,” said Chief Customer Officer Pat Phelan. “With Service Cloud, we can track and enrich the customer journey - from the initial onboarding to ongoing account management.”

To ensure it can provide a seamless customer experience, GoCardless needs advance visibility of new deals as well as contract renewals. “With Service Cloud, we can forecast the resources needed to meet changing customer demand and get smarter at capacity management,” explained Phelan. “A customer success manager is assigned as soon as contract negotiations start which means they can support the sales rep in closing the deal. They can also reach out to the customer to make introductions - it’s such a simple thing but makes a massive difference.”

GoCardless has set up a number of automated triggers and workflows in Service Cloud to ensure tasks are assigned to relevant team members. Everyone has visibility of previous customer interactions, which ensures a seamless experience. This centralised approach means GoCardless can evaluate its performance at different milestones as well as overall customer satisfaction rates, which feed future innovations and improvements.

To further enrich the customer experience, GoCardless plans to use Quip to make the account review process more collaborative and to implement a new customer self-service hub on Community Cloud.

Online community boosts partner collaboration

GoCardless already uses Salesforce’s Partner Relationship Management on Community Cloud to enable greater collaboration with its 220-plus partners. “Customer referrals from our partners are key to our revenue model,” explained Edward Massey, Head of Strategic Partnerships. “The partner community makes it easier for them to share new leads, which has led to an increase in referrals.”

To support its international growth plans, GoCardless hopes to sign up another 100 partners to the community by the end of 2022. “With Community Cloud, we can onboard partners significantly faster than before,” said Massey. “By creating an ecosystem of partners, we can offer our recurring payment capabilities to more businesses via integrations with their existing software platforms.”

The partnership between GoCardless and Salesforce has expanded well beyond the company’s own use of the platform. In 2019, GoCardless launched a fully integrated application that enables Salesforce Billing customers to automate the collection of their recurring invoice or subscription payments from within the Salesforce platform. Available on the AppExchange, the GoCardless app covers eight currencies and leverages machine learning to reduce payment failure.

GoCardless helps its customers grow their businesses

Developing more integrations and attracting more investment will be key for GoCardless as it transitions from start-up to scale-up mode. It raised an additional $75 million in funding in early 2019 from a number of investors, including Salesforce Ventures.

“We want to keep growing and enable our customers to do the same,” said Takeuchi. “With Salesforce, we can simplify international recurring payments for more businesses, opening up new markets and new opportunities.”


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