You already know what Quote-to-Cash (QTC) is...
The next step to a better sales cycle is finding opportunities to increase speed, accuracy, and productivity within that process. Figure out where improvements can be made by mapping out your QTC!
Quote-to-Cash is the last mile of your sales cycle, starting the moment a customer asks for a quote. It begins with configuration of the quote, includes pricing and development of terms and conditions, and continues through the creation and delivery of a proposal. Once the customer accepts, the QTC process also involves invoicing, billing, and cash collection—all the way down to subscription billing, renewals, and credit card payments. Along the way, a Quote-to-Cash solution helps this process along by eliminating errors, reducing workload, minimizing time spent on each activity, and driving speed and efficiency—all so you can win more deals and leave less money on the table. But how can a Quote-to-Cash tool help your sales cycle, specifically? Where is your current approach falling short?
Map today’s Quote-to-Cash process in order to find opportunity for improvement. Begin as though a customer asked for a completely new quote. Consider completing this mapping activity for a typical quote as well as a few one-offs (custom quotes, competitor-driven quotes, etc.). Don’t forget to include service offerings in your map, as those can often complicate a quote.
Start mapping your Quote-to-Cash process by covering the basic steps: select, configure, price, quote, propose, contract, order, renew, bill, collect, recognize, and analyze. You can fill in the details and expand the map as you go. Work with your sales, sales operations, legal, and finance departments to understand the granular steps involved in each stage of the process. By following a real deal through the cycle and consulting with your colleagues who have experience with each stage, you will get a good picture of what goes into your Quote-to-Cash process.
Ask a lot of questions as you go. How are different team members consulted on the proposal? How can they add their input? How are you managing add-ons and required bundles?
Most importantly—keep your customer experience in mind as you examine your internal processes. Are they left in the dark for weeks as approvals drag on? Do you give them instant updates on status?
Be sure to gather enough detail for a clear understanding; use our guide to help you collect the most important information for every part of your process.
For each step you look at, identify who, what, where, why, and time.
Who is involved in this step? Think about the “RASCI” model:
Responsible: Who owns this?
Accountable: Who is the responsible person accountable to? Who is the authority approving or signing off on this?
Supportive: Who provides resources or plays a supporting role?
Consulted: Who provides necessary information or expertise?
Informed: Who needs to be notified of results after the fact?
Record all of the tools, systems, and applications used. If quotes are configured using an Excel spreadsheet, detail the location, owner, updater, and reviewer. If there is software involved, such as a quoting tool or pricebook in CRM, record the details. If reviews are being managed via email, take note of the process and who is receiving emails. Get the details down even if you are leaning on manual processes, such as creating proposals in Word or referring to a shared drive of past quotes to use as templates.
Where are different steps occurring, physically? Are they being completed in the office, online, or remotely? Where do your files and documents reside—in your desk drawer, on your laptop, or in CRM? Where do your reps go for help during the process? Understand how often quotes, proposals, and reviews bounce around in order to see where you can streamline.
Determine who made the decisions that created this process and understand the reasoning behind it. Why do 3 people review quotes instead of 2 or 4? Why doesn’t Legal review quotes? Are there any gaps? Asking ‘why’ questions will help you determine who needs to be involved in process improvement.
Track the time taken for each step. Time savings is a huge boost for productivity! You want your reps to spend their time selling, not chasing approvals or hunting down proposal templates.
After you’ve mapped out your Quote-to-Cash process, you’ll be ready to start planning improvements. Where can steps be improved or consolidated or eliminated? Where can rules be enforced? Where do errors tend to occur, and what can be done about them? Where does the process bottleneck or slow? How can you get time back?
Now that you can see exactly where automation will help, you might want to consider a Quote-to-Cash solution that will help you get a better handle on your sales process.