The quote-to-cash (Q2C) process refers to the end-to-end business procedures associated with the sales lifecycle. The process begins when you make an offer to a prospect and ends when revenue is received, allocated, and documented. Companies utilize the data to better future sales cycles.
8 Quote-to-Cash (Q2C) steps
Streamlining and integrating the quote-to-cash (Q2C) process provides increased efficiency, which is beneficial to the bottom line of your firm. The following 8 Steps forms the basis for the quote-to-cash (Q2C) process:
The first phase in the quote-to-cash (Q2C) process is configuration. Using the previously recorded information (Customers, Products, Suppliers, Pricing) the salesperson creates a Lead for the prospect in this stage. It is critical that it be as quickly as possible yet be error-free in a user-friendly system.
Pricing is crucial to the client connection; thus, your sales team must be precise and fast. It must also be uncomplicated. However, your staff must be fast since research shows that whoever reacts the fastest wins the deal.
Your pricing strategy is configured in StreamBean360 to allow a profitability view when doing the quotes for customers. Discounts can be included in the quote phase and must be approved by the manager in charge before a quote can be sent to a customer. Pricing sometimes has numerous levels, such as promotions, discounts, and add-ons.
Once the requirement is understood, the sales team creates and presents a detailed quote to the prospect. The quote should contain all the information necessary to complete the sale including the terms and conditions of the contract.
After the customer is satisfied with the quote and accepts it, a customer order is generated and submitted. A well-thought-out and error-free contract could be the difference between signing a new prospect immediately or having to wait.
Order management and fulfilment
The customer order is logged in the system and stock is reserved. Backorders are raised for items, not in stock (if applicable). Delivery notes are issued for goods to be delivered to the customer. Upon delivery and signing of the delivery note, a POD is raised in the system to record the delivery details (who received, when and where delivered).
Billing and invoicing
Once the quote is done, the account receivables department (or responsible person) takes control. They quickly produce and deliver a precise invoice to avoid payment delays, which might lead to cash flow issues for the organization. They will not need to learn sales subtleties if the process is automated since they will receive the relevant information in real-time.
Revenue recognition accuracy is critical for a company’s financial reporting integrity. Those who deal with recurrent income must strictly adhere to this guideline to demonstrate accurate profit and loss. It also aids in financial planning and revenue estimates.
At this point, the consumer might choose to renew the contract and purchase the same items. However, it is also a chance for the corporation to cross-sell or upsell the consumer. Using the data currently in the system, the sales department can easily optimize the lifetime value of each customer.
Most common Q2C challenges
Many businesses struggle to streamline their Q2C process, which poses several challenges. Due to lost opportunities, payment delays, and poor customer service, this has a negative impact on the bottom line. The following are some of the most common issues.
Inability to create competitive quotes
Not all your sales quotations will be converted into purchase orders. As a result, if your salesmen are unable to provide a competitive, error-free estimate for whatever reason, you may wind up with few new prospects. Having the correct pricing strategy and automated procedure in place assists your teams in creating a well-thought-out competitive quotation.
When the accounting department workers must grasp every sale detail before beginning the billing process, it may result in payment delays, which negatively impact the organization’s cash flow. When invoices are incorrect, consumers return them, and the sales staff must investigate the issue causing unplanned delays.
If a company’s quote-to-cash (Q2C) process is not simplified and integrated, many human mistakes arise. For example, if bills are received late or with errors, consumers must return them for adjustments, which can take time. To discover the inaccuracy, the accounting staff must carefully review the invoice and compare it to the available data. Better to have all invoicing visible to all role players in the quote-to-cash (Q2C) process to eliminate errors before they happen.
In today’s competitive business environment, maintaining a solid customer connection is critical. If your company does not provide a positive client experience, you will have dissatisfied consumers. It is not appropriate for business since it may have a negative impact on other prospects’ perceptions of your organization.
Missed cross-sell and upsell opportunities
Inefficiencies caused by poor customer experience and protracted sales cycles result in missed cross-sell and upsell chances. As a result, your bottom line suffers greatly, and the cycle will continue eternally until you optimize your company operations and integrate for a more effective operation.
What are the benefits of a streamlined quote-to-cash (Q2C) process?
Streamlining the Q2C process is beneficial for any business. You’ll overcome most of the challenges listed above and ease employees’ work. Some of these benefits include:
Improve sales systems
Integrating quote-to-cash processes and technologies reduces the silos that exist in different departments. As a result, there is improved communication between them, resulting in a more efficient operation. The automation also reduces the sales cycle, which leads to more revenue gain through a better customer experience.
Identify sales opportunities
Sales reps make more detailed quotes thanks to data availability. They can easily identify opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.
Minimize quoting errors
When Q2C processes are automated, human errors significantly decrease. As a result, you have a better chance to convert more prospects into paying customers. In addition, you avoid a lot of embarrassments and revisions.
Reduce order and invoicing errors
As with the quoting errors, order and invoicing errors are also reduced as the personnel no longer must rely on manual data input. Departments share real-time data, and one department’s actions trigger another into action. For example, when an order is fulfilled, it triggers an invoice to be prepared and sent by the account receivable.
Increase customer retention
Do you want to improve your customer retention rate? The number one way of ensuring you retain the business from your current customers is by providing a good customer experience. To do this, you can start by reducing your sales cycle. Also, ensure accurate and on-time communications. Streamlining and automating your business processes improves your business customer experience.
Streamlining and integrating help you seize all available cross-sell and upsell opportunities early. If your sales team successfully signs the customers, your organization receives a significant revenue boost with minimal effort and cost.
Improve your quote-to-cash process with the right set of tools
As you can see, automation is critical for optimizing the quote-to-cash process. To maximize your performance and sales, you must use the correct software suite like StreamBean360 to assist your firm combine all of its activities. StreamBean360 replaces (or combines all the functionalities) the following software:
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is essential for tracking customer data and past sales. It’s useful when you’re charging and signing contracts. SB360 will assist you with a comprehensive view of customer sales with insights for you to analyse and compliment your marketing efforts.
Inventory management relies heavily on enterprise resource planning (ERP). Internal inventory is critical to ensuring the quote-to-cash (Q2C) process runs smoothly. When a BOM (bill of materials) is established, ERP helps monitor available materials and what must be obtained from outside or made. SB360 provides a fully integrated end-to-end service to manage stock levels as well as procuring from suppliers (P2P).
CPQ (Configure Price Quote) software
Traditionally, when a custom design product needed to be made, there was a lot of back and forth between various departments. But with the configure price quote (CPQ) software, the need for manual operations is eliminated. Everything is automated, from when a customer or salesperson enters the product specifications into the system, to pricing and quoting.
For a full list of SB360 features, visit the Features page.