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In a highly competitive, high volume sales landscape, deals are made and closed quickly. The pace of business is accelerating, and so are sales cycles. To gain and maintain a competitive edge, sales teams and sales leaders need streamlined, efficient processes. Yet many businesses have complex sales scenarios that make the quote-to-cash lifecycle difficult to navigate efficiently without making costly errors.

Quote-to-cash: An approach for workflows

There are challenges when it comes to quote­-to-­cash workflows—most of them related to manual steps required to push the quote, sales order, contract, and invoice out the door. These non­-revenue generating activities eat away at the profitability and efficiency of sales operations.

Automating these activities gives ‘selling days’ back to your sales teams each month. Smart companies automate as much as possible. The end-to-end process of going from quote-to-cash is more of a minefield than many business leaders realize and can take significant cycles away from your sales teams’ productivity. Understanding the hazards can help you and your company negotiate the process more effectively.

Let’s take a look at one technology and approach to streamlining quote-to-cash:

Generating proposals, quotes, contracts and invoices

There are a number of customer-facing documents — such as proposals, quotes, contracts and invoices — used to manage the customer lifecycle. A company’s sales team may configure deals that are complex, with dependencies across products and pricing. That sales team can start by automating document generation directly through Salesforce. Salesforce CPQ provides automation while also giving control to key members of sales to ensure that discounts and packaging make sense. This way we can guarantee that salespeople sell a workable combination of products within set price windows. While taking advantage of the benefits of CPQ, the sales team can also easily generate the documents they need through our document solution.

Combining solutions for a customized workflow

Every organization has a variety of needs and requirements that have to be met through a unique combination of solutions. Leveraging multiple solutions in a “technology cocktail” a company can:

  • Automate the administrative data, document, and contract tasks related to even the most complex business scenarios
  • Create a new way to interact with Salesforce data, turning any list view in Salesforce into a spreadsheet experience, making it easier to view and act on the data that drives business
  • Produce multi­-format, enterprise ­grade documents to support pre to post sales activities, like proposals and marketing collateral with rich text and images
  • Deliver redlining capabilities that ease negotiations and speed up the sales cycle
  • Provide automated rich reporting for clean and actionable insight on our activities in Salesforce
  • Set up and maintain pricing rules, product features, options, bundles through inline record editing

Dynamic documents

When a company chooses a templated document solution that is highly customizable, sales leaders can easily modify documents to create a consistent brand experience. They can also leverage the technology to send quotes, contracts, and invoices all at the same time.

While each company’s quote-to-cash situation may be unique, the need to concoct a cocktail of solutions is not. One size does not fit all. When a company takes the time to step back and study the quote-to-cash process, they can formulate the right mix of solutions to drive efficiency.

Learn more about Conga at the company’s annual user conference, Conga Connect, March 6-9 in Orlando. The first 50 people to register will receive 50% off their registration fees with code SFConga17.

About the Author

Doug Rybacki leads product strategy, product management, and product education for Conga’s products and services. He has more than 25 years of experience in building businesses, products, and teams. Prior to Conga, Doug led teams at Medversant Technologies, DocuSign, LexisNexis, and the Texas Office of Court Administration. In addition to Product Management, he has experience in leading product development, business development, and accounting functions. Doug has an MBA from the University of Washington and a BBA from The University of Texas.