Understanding and Implementing Quote-to-Cash is Business Critical
How well an organization understands and implements a quote-to-cash (QTC) solution can help drive its success—or drive it under. QTC technology brings together all aspects of the sales process; including pricing, contracting, invoicing and payment. However, most organizations still think about these as back office activities and they are unaware of how they influence the customer experience. They look at them as disconnected systems, when in reality, if properly implemented, they work together to enable the customer journey.
The five key areas that benefit most when a business properly leverages QTC technology are customer experience, sales operations, internal operations, legal and of course, revenue. With QTC, organizations realize better processes and insights, and ultimately can better see how these improvements impact the customer experience. They can detect what’s causing revenue leakage from the revenue perspective. They can tighten up the contract execution process from the legal perspective. They can also unlock more efficient processes for every aspect of acquiring, maintaining and supporting the customer – essentially unlocking the entire organization.
The impact of QTC is getting amplified by the “Amazon effect.” Amazon and others are going in this direction; they’re moving in the best possible way and scaring the competition. Driven by that fear, businesses are starting to take a closer look at their revenue, sales and operational challenges and that’s when most of these business problems start becoming clear – making it the real first step toward QTC.
The need to put QTC into place most often emerges as a solution to another business problem; whether it’s some aspect of sales, operations, legal, or something else. The reason could be a business is having a hard time closing new accounts, or maybe they’re getting beat out on price. Organizations realize there’s a problem, and they need to connect their systems to create something more holistic – which is where QTC comes in. QTC is really the first step in creating the customer journey to help solve those deep-seated business problems. We’re advocating for businesses to start looking at their operations to see which pieces provide value to the consumer and then bring only those pieces together. This is the sweet spot of QTC – bringing everything together from intent to final sale by connecting all the loose ends.
QTC is not a “nice to have” type of thing either. If your business does not connect all of these critical aspects, you won’t be around for long. It’s as simple as that. A recent example of that is Brookstone closing a majority of their stores. They simply didn’t understand QTC and that was a driving factor that put them under. Unlike other technologies, this isn’t something that’s, “Hey this is cool, let’s try it.” This is, “If I don’t implement this, I won’t be around three to four years from now.”
When you connect everything throughout your supply chain and sales process, you are moving at a speed competitors can’t touch. So instead of living in the shadows of Walmart or Target or Amazon, look at what they’re doing and realize you transform to a commerce ecosystem and use QTC to help power the experience. Even small retail shops can deliver a different experience for customers in a way that makes them more competitive than Amazon. You can beat them at their own game. Not becoming connected in an increasingly connected world is a recipe for failure, and QTC technology is most often the missing link.