3 min read

Six Steps to Accelerating Your Quote to cash Process

A slow and difficult quote to cash process can be one of the most prominent pains felt by distributors. It can lead to problems like inefficient sales cycles, longer collection time and poor perception by customers and prospects. By improving the quote to cash process, distributors will find amazing benefits. We’ve put together a few points to focus on when you’re thinking about streamlining your sales cycle.

 

  1. Get the agreements signed electronically – Waiting for the client to sign, scan and return a contract or agreement can eat days and even weeks of the sales process. Rather than relying on outdated paper and pen processes, use an electronic document signature solution. This will allow the client to sign and authorize documents from a mobile phone, tablet or any device with an internet connection. This means that, even when the signer is not in the office, that contract can be signed with a tap of the screen or the click of a mouse.

    It’s even easier to include an electronic document signature solution in your quote to cash process now that solutions like DocuSign integrate directly with your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Without ever leaving your ERP system, you can click a button to have a contract prepared and sent to your client for signature.

  2. Bundle commonly purchased items – If you know that customers frequently buy certain items together, try bundling those items into one product and marketing it as an optimized item. For example, if you’re a distributor of electronic goods, you could bundle a workstation and software package and market it as an optimized tool for digital designers. This technique will probably also increase your margins because prospective buyers are far more likely to purchase an item they feel is optimized to their specific needs rather than an item that can only perform some of their requirements or an item which does far more than they require.

    If you’re managing inventory for the individual components of one of these bundles, create an assembly item or an item kit so your ERP system can track which items are being sold and manage inventory accordingly.

  3. Get your quotes out on time – A prospective buyer’s interest is greatest during your conversation with them and immediately thereafter. Getting the quote into their hands as soon as possible can be the difference between closing and losing a deal. We recommend using an efficient quoting system, preferably one that can email the quote to the client directly from the ERP or CRM system you’re using. Staying in one system for the entire quote to cash process is another valuable technique for expediting the sales cycle.

    “Getting the quote to the prospect within one or two days is ideal. If the sales team has a system that allows them to quickly create, print, and send quotes and orders for approval then distributors will see a quick turnaround and more successful sales,” says David Smooha, CEO of Business Solution Partners.

  4. Let customers understand what they’re buying – You’ll get a lot of questions during the sales process, but you don’t want your prospect up at 2 AM reviewing your quote and trying to remember what it is they’re buying. Provide details, either on the quote directly or in a hyperlink contained in the email. Link them to product pages and give them as much information as you can to help them decide quickly and send that quote back to you signed and ready to go.
  5. Keep employees informed of order status – It’s not only important for the sales reps to know where their deals are in the pipeline. Billing, fulfillment and collections staff also have to know what orders need to be shipped and billed for quick turnaround and customer satisfaction. The quicker an order is approved by management, the quicker it can be sent to the warehouse for fulfillment and billed by finance and the quote to cash process is completed.
  6. Bill as soon as you provide the service – Don’t let fulfilled orders sit around in your ERP system for long periods of time without being billed. Get those invoices to your customers and paid electronically if that’s part of your process. It seems obvious but not paying attention to aging accounts receivable can result in disputed billing and not getting paid. Send electronic statements frequently to keep on top of open billing and finish the quote to cash process more efficiently.

Improving the quality of your sales process increases the potential of bringing in new business and improves relationships with existing customers. It’s worth reviewing the other benefits to your business too. As we’ve described above, these include, but are not limited to, improved insight into your sales cycle, better customer experience and a shorter time to close deals. A big part of making these improvements can include reviewing your ERP and CRM systems to see where they are helping and where they are potentially hindering your business.

Looking for more information about how to streamline your sales cycle? Contact Business Solution Partners to speak to an implementation expert today!

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