Salesforce Quote to Cash
Improving your Quote-to-Cash Process
Most executives agree that the Quote-to-Cash process is one of today’s most important business process. It ultimately is responsible for driving revenue once your team has client engagement. From a high level, the Quote-to-Cash process connects a customer’s intent to buy (What hopefully is in your CRM tool) to a company’s realization of revenue (your back-end ERP platform), including the entirety of your sales, quote, contract, and customer lifecycles. For most organizations this is all to often a disconnected and siloed cycle, leading to manual and inefficient internal efforts putting one of the most important items to your business at risk (Your deals!) In addition the amount of effort your employees and customers are having to put into that exchange can be downright daunting.
If you can optimize what should be highly collaborative aspects of your business, you often speed up your sales cycles, reduce customer and employee efforts and bring levels of visibility throughout your organization and the Quote-to-Cash process. At this point, we also want to acknowledge if these processes where easy everyone would have perfected them by now, rest assured most have not!
“ACT” to help Improve your CPQ Cycle
So how does something like an effective CPQ implementation help you improve your Quote-to-Cash process? ACT is a acronym to focus on when speaking with your team and identifying rough spots in the early Quote-To-Cash cycle.
Does your sales teams still allow quotes and proposals to sit siloed on a individual desktop or laptop? Better yet they bury them on a shared drive under a folder you only hope can be found if needed. While a shared drive is the lesser of those two sales evils, version control and finding what you actually need to work on is often lacking
“Practice does not always make perfect”. In today’s world of more complex products and the need to have increased speed to market, helping your team quote correctly on a consistent basis is not just a training exercise for your sales manager and reps. Best practices point to a combination of quality process, tools that guide, and training especially for new hires as items that will increase consistency. The quality of your teams quotes will also be improved and should be a consideration, ensuring their message is not lost in poor quality proposals
We hope you would agree that “Speed matters” in your business. If your team is not keeping pace with your customers expectations, someone else is. In this age of hyper sales automation, the teams and individuals that bring fast, quality, and professional looking quotes, in a professional demeaner increased the odds of your team winning the business. Add processes that lower your clients effort overall and watch your top and bottom line growth.
The Smart Data process is always focused on our customer. We listen, connect you with our experts, and put the right team together to get you the results you need.
Modern CRM platforms and or their ecosystem partners are bringing more CPQ (Configure Price Quote) solutions to the market. As a Salesforce Partner we have our biases, but this article was not about that. What most CPQ tools can do for your Quote-to-Cash process is improve the ACT of configuring, pricing, and the time needed. Our suggestion is start with a simple (and we do mean simple) three step process.
Make sure you capture, in writing, your process. Ensure you not only get your senior reps process, but also that recent new hire that may have fresh eyes and can call out gaps your senior people have just paved over and gave up on fixing years ago.
Take your written process and focus in on the three key functional areas to improve on or at least become more efficient at with your team. Three good areas are how you gather information for quotes, how and who configures those quotes, and how do you build those quotes faster with quality.
Implement & Encourage
Again we will not sell you on which CPQ tools are the best, but moving forward with a simple implementation of many of today’s CPQ tools will show returns. Ensure you iterate, encourage, and monitor usage. Old habits especially among sales people are real obstacles to any CPQ implementation so encourage and inspection often.
Quote-To-Cash process will remain an area many businesses will continue to need to improve on. Accessibility, Consistency, and Time taken to place enough quality in your customer hands will remain a part of what separates great sales teams from the rest and improve the front end of your process. Modern CPQ tools are an important part of that process when implemented correctly. While we should pause and acknowledge this is just the starting point for any organization getting started with improving their Quote-to-Cash process, it is a wildly important and foundational piece of that process. It will pay solid returns on any investments and if it hasn’t it often is due to lack of iteration, encouragement, and monitoring.
For more or additional insights around Cash-To-Quote or CPQ processes please submit your information and we are always happy to talk and help in any way possible. The new Salesforce Revenue Cloud is a great package that provides these features. As we like to say “Our business IS your business”