Any sales cycle consists of different stages from when a potential lead is identified and turned into a successful sale order. The whole sales and marketing cycle is made up of several departments that work together in tandem to generate leads and revenue. Companies make use of different apps and systems to run core processes for each department.
Need for an Integrated End-to-End Solution
Integration between these processes can be complicated and tedious, costing a lot of time and resources for the company. Inefficient integration can lead to data silos that can hinder revenue generation, customer experience, and the identification of potential sales opportunities. A lot of information trickles through the system whenever manual handover happens, resulting in an inaccurate representation of the product’s features, salespeople quoting wrong or outdated prices, lack of in-depth knowledge about a product, and a lot more.
These common mistakes lead to errors in order submission and dispatch, resulting in customers getting frustrated with the shopping experience, and the company’s inability to close potential sales. This lack of institutionalization makes it important for businesses to adopt an integrated technology solution that can make internal processes more efficient by automating aspects of the sales cycle.
What is Lead-to-Cash Solution?
The lead-to-cash process is an end-to-end integrated process flow that covers every step from customer identification to product sale. It addresses key performance indexes for each process which assists in making effective business decisions for improved sales and revenue. Data recorded through different steps can be later examined to create better marketing strategies and improve on gaps.
The complete lead-to-cash flow consists of the following sub-processes:
Contact to Lead: The very first step of selling any product, be it physical, digital, or a service, is to make contact with potential leads—either new or from the existing database of customers. Marketing experts use emails, referrals, personalized campaigns, and other channels to reach out to potential customers and turn them into effective leads.
Lead to Opportunity: Now is the time to retarget the leads to identify which of them could be turned to a future customer. The potential of every lead is assessed using analytical tools and software and a marketing strategy is created based on their preferences and interactions. Suitable leads are then pursued to convert them into an opportunity to sell.
Opportunity to Quote: Once an opportunity is deemed fit enough to follow through, sales representatives evaluate the readiness of the leads to offer a quote. Either the rep can create a quote and present it to the customer or the customer can submit their quote on the web store.
Quote to Order: Next step is for both parties to negotiate and agree to a common quote. The quote then gets turned into an order and is dispatched as per the customer’s requirements. Feedback of the customer is recorded and is often used to improve upon the order creation and fulfillment process. Data is also used to create quotes that have the best chances of being approved.
Order to Cash: The cycle is nearing its completion and next up is the most important step—billing the customer for the order, creating invoices, and collecting payment. Orders are segregated into their modes, be it physical, subscription, or service products and are sent for further processing.
Advantages of Lead-to-Cash
Solutions that can incorporate all these processes into one and build a centralized platform are of great advantage for businesses worldwide. An integrated solution helps in reducing human errors during the provisioning of orders so that products are registered and dispatched accurately as per a customer’s needs. With seamless integration across verticals, the time and resource it takes for lead generation, follow-through, and completion of sales reduces. This swift workflow enhances customer experience and satisfaction which in turn leads to an increase in revenue.
Integration between front-office and back-office processes and incorporation of lead-to-cash solutions is becoming increasingly essential for modern businesses. Not only does this reduce human error but also decreases the time for a sales cycle to complete. Customers do not spend a lot of time searching for a particular product and are quickly advanced through the channel to select, pay and receive their order. This accuracy and efficiency lead to increased customer satisfaction and overall revenue.
Increased Sales through Lead-to-Cash
Transformation to lead-to-cash keeps the salespeople up-to-date with their respective product information, its pricing, any promotional offers or discounts available as well as the competitors in the industry. In-depth knowledge of what is to be sold makes a better pitch to present to a potential customer and improves the chances of going further into the channel.
It also helps salespeople that are dependent on product specialists or support team to fulfill customer requests to communicate efficiently and shorten the sales cycle. Sales representatives armed with adequate product information and a smooth end-to-end integrated system can boost sales and revenue significantly.
With changing situations and an increase in customer demands from their products and service providers, companies have to constantly evolve and grow to meet their intensifying expectations. Stralynn, an IT consulting firm, helps companies in improving their business processes and making them more efficient by implementing best industry practices and incorporating digitization. Our team of experts design a robust lead-to-cash system that businesses can utilize to have greater control over their sales and can perform on the highest level.