Why Quote-to-Cash is Only Half the Journey

Disruptive technology pushes organisations to review their business processes—an essential need for end-to-end solutions that will automate and accelerate data flow across teams.

Business silos, separate apps, incomplete data? A lack of priority from the leadership team to address these issues? All are no longer an option for fast-moving, high-growth businesses.

Consumers are looking to buy what they need at a click of a button and expectations are high for the business to keep up or lose market share. According to Salesforce research, “70 per cent of customers say that they expect connected experiences in which brands know their preferences across touchpoints.”

 

Working towards a user-centric approach

To meet consumer expectations and deliver an exceptional customer experience, all business units must come together, from marketing to sales to fulfilment and billing. Creating one end-to-end platform that provides one source of truth across the organisation.

The Lead-to-Ledger process focuses on the customer journey in the moments that matter, from lead generation to the general ledger. Mapping transaction costs such as travel expenses and resource planning into the sales journey to give a more accurate view of all business units. Therefore enabling the CFO to have access to real-time data and contextual intelligence and feed back into the sales teams to sell faster and smarter. Quote-to-Cash brings together Configuring, Pricing, Quoting and Billing to manage business costs and sales opportunities. Legacy revenue management systems won’t cut it!

 

Leads: AI and marketing working together

In addition, AI in mar-tech is streamlining efforts for the marketing department, automating repetitive tasks, and handling complex workflows to drive results, freeing up marketers to focus on the part of the job that requires the most humanity – engaging and serving customers.

Ninety-one per cent of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that offer relevant information and recommendations. 80% are more likely to purchase from a brand that personalises its customer experience, and 72% only engage with targeted marketing messages.

 

Connecting marketing to sales

Harnessing the power of AI, Sales are shown high-scoring leads. Enabling more responsiveness to customers’ needs and interests, through the right messaging, on the most appropriate channel. Generating valuable insights for your reps to close the deal faster and smarter.

Without a connected system, salespeople can spend days tracking down customer data, contacting them on a whim without fully understanding the buyer’s intent.

When you have multiple configurable products, a client base with varying complexities, and salespeople or finance departments working across numerous orders, as well as operating different systems simultaneously, there’s a considerable risk of revenue leakage, and relationships with clients can be challenging. With artificial intelligence and good-quality contact information, the sales teams can spend more time engaging and targeting the right opportunities.

Understanding the customer through effective engagement enables the sales team to gather information to recommend the right solution, whether a product or a service.

 

The true cost of sale

Product catalogues are getting more complex as customer demands increase. Sales reps are entrusted to know all the product specifications, limitations, special offers and ‘deals of the day’ to keep up with the different customisations. If they get it wrong, the business pays a hefty price in potential loss of revenue and reputation.

Consequently, you can upload allows all the products, options, discounts and prices in your Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) system ready for quotes to be configured, priced and sent to the customer in minutes.

A sales executive may want to offer a larger discount or bundle products together to increase the overall package to close a sale. With a unified system, the salesperson will know the limits. Ensuring the deal is profitable and can be delivered as promised. CPQ also identifies opportunities to up-sell, cross-sell and offer alternatives based on the customer needs.

 

Streamlined automation from Quote-to-Cash

Providing quotes at speed, with confidence in delivery and accuracy on pricing, gives the business a competitive advantage and boosts its reputation. The lack of bureaucracy empowers employees and speeds up the process. If a deal size exceeds the sign-off, notifications can be activated automatically, keeping all parties informed.

Collecting the relevant data to this point enables a contract to be automatically created, with all line items present as agreed and sent to the client/customer online. The fulfilment team have also got the information they need to arrange delivery. One platform, one source of truth, throughout the journey. But what about the costs?

 

Managing the bottom-line

Furthermore, expense management and resource planning can have significant cost centres and must be integrated before contract creation. If they aren’t, there’s a risk of revenue leakage, inaccurate reporting and miscalculated commission payments.

This isn’t the fault of the CFO, especially when working across legacy, disparate applications. Finally, CFOs have large amounts of data available to them and manage all the financial moving parts of the business. Isn’t it powerful if they could put this data to the best use to provide more accurate reports and insights, taking Quote-to-Cash to Lead-to-Ledger?

Speak to the team to discover how we can make this happen.