Embarking on A Quote-to-Cash Journey – Who’s Involved & How to Prepare
This article is part of a multi-part series on Quote-to-Cash by Spaulding Ridge.
Embarking on a journey to implement a new Quote-to-Cash (QTC) solution brings with it impactful change to any organization. You are introducing a new method to execute quickly, in a format that empowers your team to collaborate in ways they may not have done before. This transition is a powerful change that, while transformational, can also be daunting for many organizations. Many organizations don’t know where to start or how to get started. In this article, we will demonstrate how QTC can touch multiple personas within the entire company, walk through how you can prepare your organization to navigate this road of change, and how Spaulding Ridge will be your partner to guide you along on the journey.
Think back to your last large transformative implementation like introducing a new governance model or a billing system. How many business units were impacted by that change? More and more, most technology projects affect multiple business units, are enterprise in nature and impact multiple processes, tools, and people. A QTC solution, because of its complexity and multiple stakeholders, inherently requires a cross-section of multiple business units to come together to design success. We will walk through an example of how 9 business functions can be involved in one QTC transformation! This shows the extensive reach of a typical QTC solution and why you must take the time to plan and strategize the approach to the early phases of the project.
Let’s use a common sales journey with the fictitious “Dynamic Enterprises” as our sample organization. The Dynamic Enterprises Marketing group is planning Campaigns to capture Leads and Contacts. Sales will follow up with those Contacts to establish Accounts and identify Opportunities. Sales will then generate a Proposal with Salesforce Configure Price Quote (CPQ). CPQ will ensure all required data is on platform and accurate. The products, prices, and terms will now be sent as a Proposal and Contract to Legal. As negotiations and redlines take place, Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solutions will interact with CPQ to capture any updates that would impact Billing, Fulfillment, and Forecasting. Through stellar negotiations, the customer agrees to purchase and our QTC journey is done, right? Not quite!
When a contract is finally executed and the deal is won, CPQ will stage an Order for downstream systems to capture. All product detail, shipping information, billing contacts, and fulfillment tasks will integrate to the Order, to kick off these downstream processes.
Here’s where the complete process extends even further into other business layers at Dynamic Enterprises. While IT is supporting the entire technical platform, Sales Ops needs to be able to report on the business happening. Finance must manage billing while Manufacturing and Fulfillment prepare the closed sale for shipment. Finally, the Leadership team must have full visibility into this extended cycle to grow the business even further. This is just one example of how an integrated QTC solution brings many business functions’ processes within your organization into one platform.
While the QTC end state will differ across organizations, having a solid and detailed understanding of how a QTC solution will transform your organization will help prepare your people and ensure you get the most out of your investment in a QTC solution. To help you get started, Spaulding Ridge has outlined some key steps to spring-board your planning in the early stages of the project.
- Stakeholder Alignment & Change Impact
A good QTC solution will require coordination across many different business units at various levels from senior leaders to the Sales Rep. In the early phases of planning your project, it will be critical to identify your key stakeholders, quantify their change impact, and design a strategy plan to keep them active and visible throughout the project in order to maintain buy-in and accountability to the future state.
- Product & Pricing Synthesis
The next step sets up the core of your system—Products and Pricing. To quote your portfolio correctly, your Product structures and rules have to be clearly defined and centralized in a consistent method. Pricing considerations like discount rules, contracted pricing, and conditional pricing must also be defined. Since this process takes time and is crucial to designing the tool for your business, you will want to make sure your teams are preparing for this work as early as possible. Waiting to consolidate your Product and Pricing strategies during your implementation is a huge pitfall you will want to avoid.
- Change Management
QTC is a holistic approach that impacts many layers of your organization. In a lot of ways, it can be disruptive to your status quo. Be prepared to diagnose, understand, and manage the undertaking of this sizeable change journey.
Change Management is often an afterthought. All the details and planning that go into managing change on a regular and consistent basis can get lost in the shuffle of the technical build and implementation of the tool. Ensure that you have dedicated change management resources on your project to actively manage change, ensure that strategies are being implemented and the communication channels are flowing.
Early on, identify and document the changes that the organization will encounter by introducing QTC. What new processes will need to be taught and adopted? Where will you most likely experience resistance and what will you do about it? How will expectations be set? What new behaviors must people adopt for the project to be successful? How will you measure your growth along the change curve?
All these questions, and more, are what make the overall Change Management Plan so crucial. In coming posts, we will dig deeper into the best Change Management strategies particularly for QTC solutions.
A QTC transformation journey can be complex and time consuming. An extensive amount of planning and an up-front strategy is paramount to ensure the project runs smoothly. However, if done right, the benefits of implementing QTC successfully are immense.
- Deal Velocity
- Organizational Coordination
A team of experts at Spaulding Ridge are here to help guide you through your QTC transformation. For more information about Spaulding Ridge and to learn more about the value of Quote-to-Cash for your organization contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.