Quote-to-Cash is a term used to describe the set of business processes that encompass the final stages of the sales funnel. The sales process, by which new leads are found and guided forward, is vital. In fact, 88% of high performing marketing teams say an effective customer journey strategy is critical to success. Quote-to-Cash refers to the sale itself, from initial offers (or quotes) to payment (or cash). More specifically, Quote-to-Cash encompasses configure price quote (CPQ), and generally includes the following steps:
Your business creates products or services and presents them to your customers. Ideally, the products you present should be tailored to your customers as individuals. The products should fill your clients’ unique needs, and be introduced in a way that demonstrates that your business understands those needs.
Just as the product presentation needs to fit the needs of individual clients, the pricing should likewise be personalized. Different customers — even customers that are ready to buy — often require different motivation to finalize a purchase. This step takes into account discounts and other special offers that you can use to incentivize you clients.
Once the price has been tailored to fit your clients, your next step is to create a formal quote. Customers who are considering making a purchase expect to receive a quote that is accurate, timely, and easy to follow.
- Contract Negotiation
For the sales relationship to be clearly understood by everyone involved, contracts need to be drawn up and approved. Contracts are often revised several times over the life of a sale, so it’s important that they be accurate and timely. Otherwise, they could easily halt lead progress.
- Order Management
With contracts signed, it is now up to you to ensure that the right clients receive the right orders. This step involves organizing invoices, keeping track of stock, and ensuring that any shipping is handled professionally and timely.
After finalizing the sale, all charges are accounted for and a bill is sent to the customer. The invoice should include any agreed-upon discounts or other special deals, and should be created and sent within a pre-established timeframe.
- Payment Receipt
As clients pay for your products and services, that influx of money should be tracked and reviewed for accuracy.
In short, the Quote-to-Cash process may only encompass the final steps involved in cementing a sale, but it presents a number of hazards that could potentially derail everything you and your client have been working towards. Quote-to-cash solutions and software tools are designed to help keep everything on track.
Quote-to-cash and CPQ solutions that are enhanced with CRM technology can help optimize your entire quote-to-cash process. By taking everything that sales managers need to see a sale finalized, CPQ solutions can effectively eliminate the downtime and inaccuracies that plague the quote-to-cash process. Here are several ways that an effective CPQ tool can improve your business:
Creating proposals, quotes, contracts, and other vital documents takes time, and leaves little room for error. CPQ solutions allow your sales managers to automate these important steps. By pulling from all relevant data, CPQ tools can create accurate, professional documents at the push of a button.
- Guided Selling
The best sales reps are able to quickly identify which products or services would be the best fit for each customer. Advanced CPQ solutions gather and analyze client data, creating a detailed picture of who your customer is, and what they care about. This gives sales managers an edge when it comes to selling. It’s so effectives that sales representatives who use CPQ are 26% more likely to achieve their quotas.
- Faster Turnaround
By ironing out the wrinkles in the quote-to-cash process, CPQ tools can drastically shorten client turnaround time. Automated contracts, easy access to client and product data, and the ability to effectively manage and report on revenue all result in a sales process with no speed bumps. You and your clients can keep everything moving at the right pace.
- Improved Accuracy
With contracts constantly being sent, reviewed, revised, etc., there are a lot of opportunities for error to creep in. By taking advantage of CPQ solutions that draw from reliable data sources to auto-populate forms with the right information, you can take those kinds of errors out of the equation.
- Personalized Service
With so much riding on the quote-to-cash process, it can be easy to start to think of your clients as little more than numbers. However, by recognizing their individual wants and needs, you can improve your client relationships. Personalized offers and discounts can help incentivize leads into finalizing a sale. Those leads will be more willing to share data with you for analytics — 57% of consumers agree they’re willing to share data with companies that send personalized offers and discounts.
Unfortunately, not all quote-to-cash and CPQ solutions offer the same level of service. As such, choosing a superior quote-to-cash platform for your business is a must. Salesforce Quote-to-Cash is built on the world’s number-one CRM solution.
Salesforce Quote-to-Cash incorporates Salesforce CPQ, Salesforce Billing, and Salesforce Lightning into a single, CRM-enhanced powerhouse. This gives your sales managers complete control over the sales process. Salesforce fills all the roles expected of any effective CPQ and quote-to-cash solution, but takes things even further by consolidating it into a single, easy-to-use, cloud-based tool. Users can automate quotes and invoices, collect payments, manage subscriptions, view and adjust terms, and generate reports all from an intuitively designed dashboard. Salesforce Quote-to-Cash also features mobile-first design, meaning that whether you’re using a desktop computer or a mobile smart device, you’ll have full access to all the tools you need to see the sales process through to the end.