It’s no secret that a great automation tool can remarkably affect the way you conduct your sales operations and ultimately the business. CRMs have brought in much-needed relief from the days when salespersons answered phones attached to cords and customers did not mind waiting weeks to get their inquiries addressed.

It’s only logical to assume then that the B2B sales cycle should be shorter. But, Biznology has reported that, in the last 5 years, sales cycles have instead, increased by 22%! Despite more structure and processes in place, more leads are needed now to close a deal than a decade ago. There has been significant investment in improving the top of the funnel, but not as much downstream. Thankfully, the use of a Quote-to-Cash (QTC) suite can bridge this gap and bring efficiency to your deal closure process.

Why Quote to Cash?

Quote to Cash suite is a breed of intelligent sales software that’ll not only transform the way you conduct your sales operations, but it also has the capacity to accelerate you to number one in the race if used right.

 

quote to cash

Hungry, ambitious and best-in-class B2B companies are investing in QTC and leverage it every day. Here’s why you need one too.

A competitive advantage that’s not just your product

A business cannot thrive on product differentiation alone, mainly because today’s tech makes it easy to copy one another. Winning a deal is not just about how good your offering is but how fast can you get it to your customer. Sales processes need to be efficient and consistent at all levels, across geographies and channels, and yet provide some flexibility to the sales team when structuring deals. Within the QTC suite, the Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) toolset offers the ability to customize and quickly adapt; hence get you the speed you need.

Watch this video on the role of speed in business featuring Mark Hope, CEO of Pegasus Sustainability, where he says that ‘if we can quote a job within an hour we win ninety percent of the time, if it takes us a day maybe at seventy-five percent of the time, if it takes two days it’s fifty percent of time’

One-size does not fit all

High-growth, agile companies with multiple product portfolios and varied pricing models require configurable solutions that are a combination of product and services most relevant to buyers and at the best possible price (best, both for the customer and the company). Business relationships have become more collaborative and consultative than transactional, yet 82% of buyers in B2B say their seller’s reps are unprepared. Keeping track of and remembering all the products and services your company offers may not be humanly possible but a smart QTC suite guides reps in creating the right fit for your customer with ease. It provides a better experience for all stakeholders including your employees and customers in the various stages of closing the deal from quote to contract to revenue. Some QTCs provide an Amazon equivalent end-to-end B2C experience for B2B transactions!

Need for integration

A lead to order process starts with the front office and gets fulfilled with the back-office. A modification or addition in one department should reflect on all others. More often than not, each department or team ends up working in silos causing a knowledge or information gap of what’s going on in another. For instance, a new promotion, addition of a new product or a change in price and inventory will affect the sale. Salespersons should be able to access the right information at the right time. Several systems such as your ERP, billing and order management, CRM and accounting software need to be in synch. The QTC suite connects all of them, like a hub and maintains data integrity at every point in the workflow through the various systems. A majority of the B2B companies still rely on channel partners. Extending components of the QTC (usually the CPQ) to partners ensures that end customers get the same buying experience as direct sales. At the same time leads, quotes and contracts are consolidated and consistent.

Need for smart and intelligent systems of records

Organizations who continue to rely on spreadsheets are hitting a ceiling in Sales Ops performance. While spreadsheets can be used to create simple quotes and invoices they are not intelligent and cannot ‘learn’. They can neither automate the process nor be shared seamlessly with customers and stakeholders where there are multiple approval levels. Historical insights are critical for expanding business with existing (and new) customers. Spreadsheets aren’t geared to provide these insights while quote to cash comes handy here. Automated aggregation of data from various sales reps helps in forecasting and can now be done using data at the quotation stage itself. This is more efficient since forecasts from sales reps can be unreliable, overachieving or underachieving.

The Forrester wave aptly put it together when they said, “…the rationale to invest in CPQ (and by extension QTC) is simple: it improves the B2B buying experience by selling the right products, at the right price, to the right customer, at the right time, and in the buyers’ preferred channel … it shortens the time-to-market for new offerings, decreases seller ramp time, automates complex back-office sales processes in the front office, and reduces costly pricing errors.”

If you’re a growing B2B company and would like to talk to an expert about what you can do to optimize and automate your sales operations, write to us or click here.