The Quote-to-Cash (QTC) process should be collaborative, but it should be streamlined, too. It should leverage disparate teams’ varying skill sets and insights, but it should meet stakeholders where they are, and not fall victim to data silos and blockers. You can accomplish this with automation. An automated, accelerated QTC process will lead, in the end,to greater efficiency, happier employees, and more satisfied customers.
What is Quote-to-Cash (QTC)?
Quote-to-cash is a way of referencing the entire sales process end-to-end, beginning with when you give a customer a quote and ending with a collected payment. It therefore covers every function tied to revenue, including sales, account management, customer relations, order fulfillment, billing, and accounts receivable.
The QTC process presents an enormous opportunity to impact your organization’s revenue, positively or negatively. Often, each step in the process is siloed from the others, leading to critical data ending up in different systems, and teammates constantly waiting on someone else to move the process forward. And inevitably, absent clear processes and guidelines that people will actually follow, most parties find ad hoc ways of getting things done. In those cases, piecing it all together becomes inefficient—and prone to human error—leading to delays and miscommunications. Here’s how to change that.
1. Identify the component parts of your organization's QTC process
The first step in accelerating your QTC process is understanding the process’s various components. Once you have all the component parts mapped out, you can hunt for any inefficiencies, roadblocks, or bottlenecks—and begin to resolve them.
- Document steps and systems comprising your QTC process, with annotations for issues.
- Create a map of those steps and systems, including a list of all software your teams use within the QTC process.
- Determine who is responsible for which step(s).
- Streamline and automate parts that contribute to ineffective processes.
Once you understand your QTC process end-to-end, use a tool like Tonkean to begin automating it. Even before you begin automating, you can use Tonkean to capture insights, gain visibility, and centralize data. Tonkean is a process experience platform that wraps around your various systems so you have a clearer view into what’s happening and can take action. It’s fully customizable by internal teams, so you won’t be slowed down by the need to rely on IT or dev teams to get started and create and customize your workflows, and you can see everything with Tonkean’s dashboards.
2. Automate for consistency, quality, and far greater efficiency
Once you identify process inefficiencies, you can use automation platforms like Tonkean to begin systematically eliminating them.
- Start with where your employees start. Because you know where your employees spend their time—Slack, Outlook, etc.—you should ensure employees can kick off or engage with your QTC processes from within those tools, rather than forcing them to undergo change management in order to follow the process.
- Ensure employees are able to update systems of record easily. A tool like Tonkean is ideal for this purpose because it wraps around the systems and policies you already use. Want to know why Salesforce is never up to date? It’s because employees have to change their behavior and context-switch in order to keep data updated there. With Tonkean, they can update whatever data systems they need to update after calls or meetings from whatever tools they already spend time in.
- This allows you to get more out of the tools you already use. One of Tonkean’s great benefits is that you don’t have to rip out your existing tech stack. Instead, you simply augment it.
With the component parts and pieces of your QTC chain improved through automation, and process inefficiencies addressed, next, you can think about how to iterate and continually improve.
3. Continuously improve the QTC process
If you’ve found and eliminated errors and inefficiencies and accelerated the entirety of the process, this step is easy.
- Line up baseline performance data and related KPIs and schedule check-ins with each team involved in the QTC process
- Iterate on identified areas of improvement
- Continue automating the reporting process as much as possible
Because Tonkean tracks everything in your workflow, it’s ideal for surfacing areas of potential improvement. That makes it easier to iterate rapidly, and you’ll see revenue impact through increased efficiency, reduced costs, and happier customers.
Any time you can improve a process, you increase the likelihood that people will actually use it. That will in turn boost efficiency and reduce errors. If you can automate processes that require lots of manual effort to run, all the better.