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The term “quote-to-cash” is a popular process expression utilized across many industry segments today. Many enterprises have effectively optimized their Quote-to-Cash processes and, as a result, have realized significant improvements in operational and financial efficiencies. Many other enterprises have struggled to fully synthesize the various elements of Quote-to-Cash into a coherent and holistic process.
What is Quote-to-Cash? What are the primary benefits of a healthy Quote-to-Cash process? In this post we will attempt to shed some light on these questions.
What is Quote-to-Cash?
Quote-to-Cash (QTC) is the process by which an enterprises drives revenue. An effective QTC process will provide visibility, automation, and control of critical elements within the business lifecycle: from the creation of a sales opportunity all the way through receipt of payment.
QTC performance can impact virtually every aspect of an operation and can therefore be either a positive driving force, or a significant impediment. A highly efficient QTC process can help drive revenue as well as profit.
Large enterprises that employ geographically disperse operations are increasingly dependent upon fully integrated QTC processes and solutions to maximize business operations and to achieve competitive advantage. However, regardless of size or structure, any enterprise can realize significant benefits from an efficient QTC process.
Benefits of a Healthy QTC Process
A healthy QTC process—supported by various integrations of supporting solutions—will provide tangible benefits across several operational functions within a business; those would include:
Sales (inside sales and external sales forces)
Many sales organizations suffer from lack of a consolidated—real-time—view of product and pricing information. This lack of a 360° view of the ecosystem inhibits the ability to quickly react to quick-turn sales opportunities and to provide potential customers with the latest product and pricing information.
An efficient QTC process enables decision-making that is based on actual real-time data instead of assumptions. It provides the means for geographically dispersed sales teams to operate with product and pricing information that is accurate and accessible.
A dynamic QTC process can provide a real time view of an entire pipeline forecast. This enables stakeholders to make decisions based on predictive analytics generated from a variety of data sources. Forecast owners have the ability to establish custom parameters and automated triggers to initiate forecast adjustment in time to have real impact.
The QTC process can provide real-time visibility into all critical financial performance metrics within the enterprise. This enables fact-based decision-making based on live assessment of data related to sales forecasts, historical forecast accuracy, pricing data, discount models, contract obligations, etc. A strong QTC process helps eliminate unforeseen negative financial impacts by providing financial stakeholders with constant visibility into their Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
Legal Doc/Contract Management
A QTC process will typically include an integrated Legal Document Management solution. The best Document Management solutions are supported by in-built process automation capabilities. These solutions provide full automation of legal document processing routines (document creation, review, redlining, approval, release, and storage). This significantly reduces the potential for costly errors while also helping reducing manual, labor-intensive, processing.
The QTC process will also include the capability to manage contracts from both a compliance and an execution perspective. This helps ensure enforcement of your contract requirements as well as your compliance with your contract responsibilities.
Delivery and Invoicing
It does little good to win hard-earned business if you fail to deliver and/or have invisible gaps in your invoicing process. Many enterprises lose revenue due to inefficiencies within these back-end routines. A holistic, and dynamic, Quote-to-Cash process will provide the visibility, controls, and checkpoints to help ensure that your enterprise is delivering at peak efficiency and that you are capitalizing on all the revenue you have earned.
Investments in QTC process improvement can pay substantial dividends to your enterprise. Investments in integration with QTC-enabling solutions can provide transformative competitive advantages to your business while also delivering excellent ROI.