Quote-to-Cash: Leveraging Intelligence to Drive Business Outcomes

Register now

Big data. Machine learning. Process automation. Data aggregation.

The hype surrounding the potential of mass data collection is ever growing. Companies around the world, in every industry vertical, are purchasing solutions and configuring internal mechanisms to collect all the data available from their numerous business processes.

From the first sales call to product delivery, companies are looking for these massive collection efforts to drive the efficiencies their businesses need to outpace their competitors. There is only one problem, how many of these solutions are driving the real value that companies desire? How much of the potential is obscured by eye catching buzzwords on websites?

When all is said and done, intelligent technology has massive transformative potential for numerous business processes, but how many companies are realistically capturing that potential.

The Revolution Is Now

The benefit of big data, and the use of machine learning to predict the patterns present in past metrics, is real. Such technology, while ever improving, is all around us: Tesla is using big data intelligence to operate self-driving cars, Google is personalizing their page rankings and search results, and Amazon is providing product recommendations based off of past purchasing decisions.

When it comes to sales process optimizations, 40% of companies are leveraging machine learning technology and Dig Data to drive performance improvements, while 76% are targeting higher sales growth with machine learning1. Numbers such as these demonstrate the exciting capability that such technology brings to the table.

The Focus Must Be on Outcomes

While companies, both big and small, are leveraging such advanced technology with tangible results, the next level of adopters are beginning to rush into the space. Many of these companies are incorrectly placing their focus on the technology as an end in and of itself.

Decision makers are placing excess emphasis on the specific capabilities of such technology, creating a needlessly complex and convoluted conversation that often obscures true value. This can be a dangerous path for companies to take, and it is becoming increasingly important for companies to simplify such conversations.

Instead of specific technological capabilities, we must shift the conversations to focus on the business outcomes that are required. Once these questions have been answered, then we can progress on to how the technology will meet such needs.

To move progress, we must step back. In order to enable simpler conversations that resonate with customers we must move away from speaking about what technology can do, and instead speak about the outcomes these technologies will create.

Driving the Necessary Business Outcomes

Quote-to-Cash solutions, or the processes that take over from the opportunity in the CRM and progress through revenue recognition (encompassing configuration, quoting, contracting, billing, and revenue recognition), are doing just that.

According to a new study by Nucleus Research, these “Edge CRM” solutions are producing 4.2x the ROI of core CRM applications by leveraging intelligence to “drive the desired business outcomes across any sales channel.” These solutions are taking conversations to the next evolutionary step, enabling advanced intelligent technology to enable the OUTCOMES that are required.

While in the past Quote-to-Cash solutions have served to automate and connect the numerous manual tasks involved throughout the previously disjointed processes, machine intelligence and behavioral incentives are taking the next step, allowing companies to leverage prescriptive recommendations to optimize sales rep behavior.

Such advances have massive potential to improve sales effectiveness, as even limited improvements in segments such as quoting speed or contract generation time can drastically improve a rep’s chances of closing a deal. While the solutions may be complicated and the capabilities complex, the outcomes they produce are anything but.

According to one Impact Study, companies implementing intelligent Quote-to-Cash solutions are seeing revenue growth of up to 7%. These machine-driven insights are maximizing these OUTCOMES that companies require, making it a necessity for companies going forward to leverage Quote-to-Cash solutions that incorporate such intelligent capabilities.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.