Quote-to-Cash Automation for Media and Telecom Companies: 6 Steps to Get Started
Quote-to-cash is the process that begins when a potential buyer requests a quote to buy your product or service, and ends with you receiving payment from that now-customer. Automating the quote-to-cash process provides numerous benefits, especially for media and telecom companies, which makes it well worth the effort.
What is Quote-to-Cash Automation?
Quote-to-cash (QTC) involves all functions related to your company’s sales activity. It starts with the customer’s request for a quote and includes all your sales processes, order and contract management, billing, and collections, up until you’ve received the cash payment from the customer.
An efficient and effective QTC process helps you close more sales, minimize order and invoicing errors, speed up the purchasing process, and ensure a higher percentage of collections. This can be accomplished via QTC automation – such as that included with the Salesforce platform.
6 Steps to Automate QTC for Media and Telecom
The entire QTC process can be automated to provide more efficiency and accuracy for your business. QTC automation for media and telecom can also speed up the sales lifecycle, improve productivity, and reduce costs – as well as deliver a higher-quality customer experience.
Automating the quote-to-cash process involves several different tools for various parts of the process, including:
- Customer relationship management (CRM) to keep track of your customer relationships, contact information, sales information, and such
- Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) to automate the process of creating custom-designed products, pricing those products, and then generating quotes for customers
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP) for managing inventory in real-time
Many CRM platforms and tools include QTC automation. For example, the Salesforce Quote-to-Cash solution integrates Salesforce CPQ with Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Billing, effectively automating the entire QTC process.
Automating the QTC process consists of six essential steps, from selection and configuration to analysis and forecasting.
1. Select and Configure
The QTC process starts when a potential customer expresses interest in your product or service. The customer selects a product and configures it as necessary. This part of the process is prone to error, as options are often selected that are not viable or available. By automating the configuration part of the process with CPQ software, such as Salesforce CPQ, configuration is both standardized and made easier for the customer.
2. Price and Quote
You now price the product as configured by the customer and prepare a detailed quote. This part of the process can also be automated via CPQ software. Instead of taking days or weeks to price specific configurations and manually prepare custom quotes, the entire process is automated and shortened.
3. Propose and Contract
The customer is now presented with a formal proposal which, if accepted, leads to a contract being prepared. Traditionally, proposals and contracts have been written by hand, which takes time and leads to a multitude of errors. QTC software automatically generates both proposals and contracts, based on your preferred templates and content – therefore shortening the cycle and reducing errors.
4. Order and Renew
The signed contract leads to a customer order. QTC automation streamlines the conversion of quotes into orders – and guarantees those orders are in a format that your billing and financial systems can easily receive. QTC software also automates subscription billing and renewals, with an emphasis on automatic renewals – all of which increases retention and renewal rates.
5. Bill and Collect
You now want to get paid, so you generate an invoice for the order and send it to the customer. QTC software automates this part of the process, as well, reducing your manual labor costs. Automated billing handles all the complexity of invoicing with ease and connects this back-end process with your CRM and CPQ solutions. Automated invoicing also simplifies payment for your customers.
6. Analyze and Forecast
Finally, you can use the data generated during the QTC process to analyze the success of this interaction and generate cash and budget forecasts. Long-term, this may represent the biggest upside for your company, as the more you learn about your sales and customers, the better you can target your product offerings and improve your internal processes.
How Media and Telecom Companies Can Benefit from Quote-to-Cash Automation
Automating QTC can benefit media and telecom companies in a number of important ways. Here are five of them.
Provide More Efficient Billing
By simplifying available options and automating manual operations, QTC software from Salesforce makes your billing systems more efficient. Customer information is standardized, addresses are validated via geocoding and USPS tools, and invoices are generated and sent automatically.
Enable Customized Billing
Many large accounts demand billing and invoicing that conforms to their specific systems. Some customers may want usage-based pricing as opposed to flat monthly pricing, or require invoices configured differently than your normal format. QTC automation software makes it easier to conform to these types of changes.
QTC software automates the end-of-contract and end-of-subscription processes so that automatic renewals are strongly encouraged – which results in a higher renewal rate. (According to McKinsey, 84% of companies in the top quartile of growth offered automatic renewals, compared to just 14% in the bottom quartile.)
By automating much of the process, QTC software helps to reduce both ordering and billing errors. This improves customer satisfaction and eliminates the need to redo orders and invoices.
The bottom line about quote-to-cash automation for media and telecom is that it improves your bottom line. You get more sales, faster sales, and renewed sales – all with fewer errors and lower costs. It’s a surefire way to improve your return on investment.
Let Rainmaker Help Automate Your QTC Process
When you want to automate quote-to-cash in your business, turn to the certified Salesforce experts at Rainmaker. We provide a variety of essential Salesforce Managed Services that have streamlined and improved the QTC process for to businesses in the telecom, media, and other industries. We can help you get more out of the Salesforce platform and make your business more efficient and more profitable.