quote to cash

4 tips to go from quote to cash faster

Not every sales team is hypervigilant about speed, but every sales team needs to be. Whether businesses realize it or not, customers are very responsive to speed—and are much more likely to reward speed with sales. A 2021 study by InsideSales.com found that if a business follows up on a lead within the first five minutes, the company’s odds of successfully converting the lead into a contract are eight times greater than if the sales team sits on this lead for longer than five minutes. With time being of the essence, businesses must make every step of the sales lifecycle as short and seamless as possible, from sales quote generation to cash received. 

Decades ago, businesses struggled with cumbersome, manual processes that needlessly complicated and slowed down the quote-to-cash process. There were out-of-date product and pricing catalogs, inefficient review and approval steps needed before quotes could be sent, and multiple disconnected systems that couldn’t transfer and share critical data automatically. Fortunately, modern, cloud-based platforms—especially industry leader Salesforce Revenue Cloud —have eliminated all of these problems in one fell swoop. Today, it isn’t just possible to achieve speed during the quote-to-cash process; it’s within reach and an increasing necessity for organizations of all sizes and industries. Let’s explore four key tips for how to go from quote to cash at maximum speed with a well-designed CPQ (configure, price, quote) solution:

 

Use automation to get quotes and invoices to customers without delay

Businesses close deals and get paid when they are on top of every step of the sales process. That includes producing error-free sales quotes as soon as the customer has requested one and then invoicing the customer in exactly the manner and time frame that the customer agrees to. The average business struggles with promptly generating both quotes and invoices: Sales teams are forced to comb through multiple product databases and pricing spreadsheets to put together a single quote—and then must manually seek approval for that quote. At the same time, invoices cannot be generated until a finance team receives and confirms the sales data. A modern CPQ platform automates the process of generating both quotes and invoices. For quotes, sales teams have access to product and pricing information that is being updated in real-time and the ability to apply discounts, promotions, and deals automatically. Furthermore, quotes automatically get routed for approval, and then all of the essential contract details—bills of materials, service level agreements, and legal terms—automatically get pulled together into a polished, error-free quote. For invoices, finance gets all of the relevant sales information automatically and without having to manually retrieve any information, enabling error-free invoices to be promptly sent to the customer.

 

Don’t waste your sales team’s time on the minutiae

Businesses understandably want every quote to not only be well-received by the customer but also to protect the business’s financial interests. As a result, most companies impose tight oversight and control over how quotes get generated, which has the unintended effect of placing tremendous pressure on sales teams. Sales teams become responsible for understanding every nuance of the company’s pricing strategy, making tough decisions about how much they should or shouldn’t discount a quote to maximize the chances of getting a sale, and trying to cobble together a contract that contains all the correct legal language. In this commonplace scenario, sales teams’ attention is diverted from what really matters: Providing top-notch customer service at maximum speed. A modern CPQ platform enables sales teams to restore their focus on customer service by no longer obsessing over the minutiae of closing deals. The platform takes care of crossing all of the Ts and dotting all of the Is—everything from automatically suggesting appropriate prices and discounts to inserting accurate and relevant legal language and then ensuring all information gets transferred to a finance team for invoicing. With so much time freed up, sales teams can remain exceptionally responsive to customers and do more proactive, strategic outreach to strengthen relationships with customers.

 

Unify disconnected, siloed systems

Most businesses use CRM (customer relationship management) for managing leads and generating invoices, a separate system for order management, and multiple finance systems that control invoicing, revenue collection, and other accounting functions. With these numerous, siloed systems, data must be manually transferred from one system to another—leading to errors and slowing down the entire CPQ process. In particular, when sales data isn’t transferred to finance in a timely manner, finance cannot invoice the customer in a timely manner (which delays revenue collection) or generate accurate financial forecasts. Moreover, finance often needs to follow up with customers multiple times before payment is remitted—and all of these communications must be done manually as well. With a modern CPQ solution, all of these siloed systems are connected via integrations, enabling data to be transferred automatically from one system to another and streamlining activities like revenue collection and revenue forecasting.

 

Continuously mine sales data for actionable insights

When it comes to converting leads to sales, many businesses often find themselves taking a shot in the dark. The problem is that sales teams in these organizations disproportionately rely on intuition and experience to predict which leads are most likely to (rapidly) lead to a sale. A modern CPQ solution corrects for this overreliance on gut instinct by giving businesses the hard data they need to make intelligent decisions about how to drive more sales faster. For example, the CPQ system gives companies access to data on every sales representative’s activities, conversion rates, time to close deals, and so forth. By analyzing these real-time statistics, businesses can identify the factors that influence customers’ buying habits—everything from what kinds of pricing and discounting strategies are most effective in closing deals to how customers respond to specific individual reps and targeted marketing campaigns. 

 

A modern, cloud-based CPQ platform is one of the most essential investments businesses can make to accelerate their quote-to-cash process. With a CPQ system, quotes and invoices can be sent to customers at maximum speed, sales teams’ time and energy don’t get sucked up on the administrative minutiae associated with closing deals, multiple systems that need to be integrated begin sharing their data automatically, and businesses can continuously mine their sales data for insights about how to close more deals faster.

Simplus specializes in helping organizations use the industry-leading Salesforce Revenue Cloud platform to modernize, streamline, and automate their quote-to-cash process from end to end. To learn more about how Simplus can help your organization close more deals faster, please reach out to Simplus today. We’d be glad to introduce you to our proven, battle-tested approach for how to get from quote to cash at maximum speed.

 

 

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