Integrated quote-to-cash

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Petteri heinonen

Petteri Heinonen

Salesforce Business Operations Lead

The quote-to-cash process encompasses all the steps from generating a sales quote for a customer to receiving payment and recognizing revenue. It involves sales quoting, order management, invoicing, payment collection, and financial reporting, ensuring a seamless transition from initial customer interest to final revenue.

Well-planned and thoroughly integrated quote-to-cash process significantly streamlines sales teams’ day-to-day chores, while at the same time helping finance and delivery organizations by providing well-structured, ready-to-automate sales order data. Leveraging Salesforce’s technologies for optimizing and automating quote-to-cash provides excellent opportunities for improved cross-organizational efficiency and better controls, while also greatly improving user experience.

To truly optimize business processes across the organization and make the best use of all the chosen business platforms, architecture needs to be designed from this super-integrated perspective from ground-up. In short, the network of business applications and interconnecting integrations needs to be seen as a whole, instead of focusing on one corner of it with one specific business requirement or process at a time. Optimally, it all constitutes into a well-oiled business engine, where different business functions are allowed to use the state-of-the-art tools addressing their specific needs, while keeping the overall architecture manageable and scalable. A great example of this scenario is the typical quote-to-cash process.

First of all, it is important to be able to offer sales team with easy and intuitive tools to manage their sales pipeline and file sales orders for all the won deals without a hassle. This ensures reps are allowed to spend their time with what they do the best: sell. Implementing sales pipeline management and CPQ (configure-price-quote) tool in Salesforce makes a lot of sense in this scenario. If implemented well, it is also a big time-saver elsewhere in the organization; automatically validated sales orders, checked for sales policies compliancy already in the quotation phase, are a great starting point to further automate billing and fulfillment processes downstream. A well-implemented CPQ can make the difference in not having to hire a big team of order management specialists to manually sort out and validate each routine, standard order. Instead, their expertise can be better used to manage complex enterprise deals and corner cases.

At the same time, sales order eventually leads to invoicing, collections, payment reconciliation, and revenue recognition, among other things. Often, it makes sense to handle these processes outside of Salesforce, especially if there are other sales motions in place in addition to direct sales. For instance, there might be a self-service purchases capability available to customers, or a reseller network working in markets where there is no direct sales presence. It is preferable to have all these sales to be billed and accounted for in a centralized ERP, or accounting system, such as NetSuite. This ensures the finances organization can fulfill all their obligations towards both internal and external stakeholders, as well as legal obligations and requirements coming from e.g. IFRS standard.

What is the outcome, then? The above means that both Salesforce and NetSuite are needed, to cater both sales’ front-office needs and finance team’s back-office requirements, and with the best solutions available. Then, these platforms need to be perfectly integrated, so make sure needed data is accurately and timely available to read and edit in both systems.

And this is where Greenstep’s technology services team really excels at: having thorough understanding and decades’ worth of experience of these cross-functional, systems-spanning business processes, and excellent capabilities to implement them with leading technologies such as Salesforce, NetSuite, and all the related integration possibilities. If you are interested in discovering further how decrease sales’ time spent with manual, administrative tasks and at the same time boosting the productivity of your order-processing back-office functions, please reach out!