Every year businesses across industries spend a fortune on marketing their products and or services to generate interest among potential buyers for their offerings. So, what happens after a customer expresses interest in your business offering? The journey that transforms a potential lead into a revenue-generating customer is in itself a complicated one. It begins with generating a quote to managing orders fulfillment, billing, cash collections and reconciliation, and accounts management. In business terms, this is called the Quote-to-Cash process or QTC. It encompasses all the steps that handles an expression of interest from the customer and converting into cash collected and allocated to respective accounts after order delivery.
Challenges with manual processes
In the olden days, this process was managed manually, resulting in inefficiencies and extensive overheads across the QTC value chain. Different departments or sub-departments within a department had to collaborate to arrive at a streamlined QTC process. Very often, this resulted in erroneous quotes or incorrect billing made to the customer.
Challenges with legacy systems
Then came the era of software-defined QTC wherein; much of the process involved in QTC was tracked and monitored through software systems. This helped in reducing errors when compared to manual bookkeeping and helped in making the lives of stakeholders involved in the QTC a much easier one. But older-generation QTC solutions had their fair share of problems and challenges as well:
- They still involved manual data entry by different people across the QTC value chain and served just as a mechanism for storing information on the whole process rather than enabling a better QTC process.
- The manual capturing of data resulted in delays and, in several cases, erroneous data inputs as well.
- Without proper reporting capabilities, these legacy systems offered very little transparency on product pricing information and terms and conditions in the quote to end buyers thereby leading to a not so favorable experience for buyers.
- They did not offer the flexibility for businesses to configure complex product or service variations like for example, packaged offerings or bundles to streamline sales and customer experience.
Hello modern Quote-to-Cash Enablement Systems
Ultimately, the quote to cash process found its most promising potential with end-to-end automation enabled by modern digital platforms. These platforms created a holistic experience for the Quote-to-Cash process wherein most activities are driven autonomously by automated processes – resulting in a much better end-customer experience.
Modern QTC platforms make it easier for businesses to effortlessly manage all actions and mechanisms involved in the quote to cash journey of a business lead. It helps in automating the QTC process by leveraging intelligent insights through data-driven operations.
Let’s examine 4 ways in which modern QTC platforms prove to be a game changer for businesses:
1. Seamless product configuration
Using modern Quote-to-Cash platforms, businesses can introduce many products with varying charge types for their offerings such as one-time upfront or variable portions or fixed subscription fee, etc. and deliver the product or service accordingly. They even allow businesses to offer regional specifications such as local currency support or local tax specifications according to the sale geography.
2. Personalization in pricing
Modern Quote-to-Cash platforms enable automation across different functions and processes in the QTC journey. This allows businesses to easily roll out personalized pricing offers to better entice buyers. The personalization may be in the form of a discount or a custom quote for bundled offerings or any similar price variations. All necessary dependent sub-functions within the QTC cycle will be autonomously managed by the platform to ensure that the price variation is captured correctly across all dependent systems and the end-user experience is seamless.
3. Transparent contract management
For businesses such as SaaS companies, the relationship with customers is captured and maintained through a complex contracting process. With new generation QTC platforms, this contracting becomes transparent and businesses can easily create or modify customer contracts with seamless reporting to all stakeholders involved. This transparency can help grow trust within customers and ensure that they always remain loyal to the brand.
4. Faster order cycle
With an integrated QTC platform, it becomes easier for businesses to turn agile with customer relationships. Sales personnel have the flexibility to get faster approvals from across departments, generate pre-designed quote templates within minutes, and improve the conversion time of quotes to orders. In a fast-paced market, customers do not have the time to wait for long sales cycles. They want instant quotes for their preferred interests, and modern QTC platforms offer this speed with all its glory. They are integrated with popular document signature authentication tools to make approvals transparent and secure and enable the automation of business workflows involved in a QTC cycle.
Modern Quote-to-Cash platforms can play a pivotal role in better automation of the QTC cycle. With seamless management of pricing as well as transparent contracting, businesses can focus on improving sales efficiencies and winning more deals from customers, instead of struggling with inflexible or partially automated legacy QTC processes.
By leveraging the speed and flexibility of a modern QTC platform like OneBill, businesses can deliver a truly personalized experience for end customers in their quote to cash cycle.