Article

Business Process, Managed Accounting

Zoho

How Do I Automate My Quote-to-Cash Process?

Posted on May 9, 2023

By Jim Hutchings

April 18, 2024

An efficient quote-to-cash process is critical for businesses to remain competitive and profitable in today’s fast-paced business environment. By having a streamlined process, businesses can provide accurate quotes, receive purchase orders, create sales or work orders, and receive payment promptly, helping them better manage their cash flow and control their finances.

However, for many businesses, their quote-to-cash process doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. Understandably, the complexity of this process seems daunting. It requires sales, finance, and operations to communicate and coordinate effortlessly. Other businesses may struggle with the manual nature of the process. Even more businesses may face challenges in managing the payment process, such as collecting payments on time, managing disputes, and dealing with payment fraud.

If your business has trouble getting from quote to cash, an automated process will help you reduce errors, eliminate manual tasks, save time, and improve customer satisfaction. Here’s how you can automate your quote-to-cash process.

Map Out Your Process

You can’t automate your process if you don’t understand the steps involved. When are quotes created? What data needs to be collected to generate the quote? Is there special pricing, or ‘territories’ involved? Once a quote is generated, how is it sent to customers? Who must approve it? Then what? Does that quote need to be converted into a sales order, or a work order? Does a purchase order need to be sent to a vendor? How is payment collected?

Once your process is mapped out, identify the bottlenecks and pain points. Does the quote get held up in sales? Does finance take too long to send the invoice? How does project management know when to expect a new project in the pipeline? Make sure all of the departments involved in your quote-to-cash process have a say. The goal is to make this process simple and consistent for everyone.

Zoho One: From Lead to Cash

To streamline your quote-to-cash process, you need to ensure your sales, marketing, inventory, and finance tools are in sync. This is where Zoho One comes in.

1. Zoho CRM: Collect Your Leads

Zoho CRM allows you to collect and manage your leads in one location. Whether your leads come to you through events, emails, or your website, CRM helps you qualify your leads quickly.

2. Zoho CRM: Close the Deal

Your sales team goes to work, nurturing these leads, qualifying them, and pitching your products and services. The sales process can be mapped out and automated so deals can be closed even faster.

3. Zoho Books & CRM: Generate the Quote

CRM features its own Quotes module. Once the prospect is “hot,” your sales team can generate an automated quote using the information collected during the sales process. If CRM is integrated with Zoho Books, the quote can be sent directly through the app’s Customer Portal for immediate review and approval.

4. Zoho Books & Zoho Sign: Put Pen to Paper

If your prospect approves the quote, Zoho Books will let Zoho Sign know it’s time to send the contract and create a sales order! Sign will send a pre-filled contract straight to your point of contact for signature. No back-and-forth emails or fax machines or snail mail. From quote to contract, the process takes mere minutes.

5. Zoho Books: Send the Invoice

Because Zoho CRM and Zoho Books are integrated, your finance team can see when an estimate is approved and turn that estimate into a sales order or invoice (depending on your process) with the click of a button.

5. Zoho Books: Collect the Cash

Getting paid is easier than ever thanks to Zoho Books and its customer portal. Customers can pay with a credit card or ACH. And Books handles automated reminders so your finance team can focus on more than just following up on outstanding bills.

The best part of Zoho One is that data syncs seamlessly between these various tools, so every member of your team is on the same page. With your process mapped out, you can customize these tools, and many more, to meet the goals of your quote-to-cash flow. Other tools like Zoho Inventory and Zoho Projects can also be incorporated based on your unique needs.

Want to learn more? Book a meeting with us today!

Adapting to Change: Training Your Team

The benefits Zoho One will have on your quote-to-cash process are clear; however, employees may be hesitant to adopt new technologies, fearing that they may disrupt their workflow. Additionally, the process may require changes in the roles and responsibilities of different departments, which can lead to confusion or resistance.

It will be important for your team to help foster acceptance of this change in the workplace. There are a few ways you can make this easier for everyone involved. First and foremost, address any concerns or resistance that employees may have. This can include addressing concerns about job security, providing reassurance, and creating a supportive environment. Also consider getting the appropriate teams involved in the mapping process so that their concerns and pain points have been documented. Once you have assuaged any fears and gained the trust of your team, then you must:

  • Communicate the benefits: The first step is to communicate the benefits of the new process to employees. This includes how it will save time, reduce errors, and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Provide training: The next step is to provide training on how to use the new tools and systems. This can include hands-on training, online tutorials, and user manuals.
  • Provide ongoing support: Provide ongoing support and resources to help employees adapt to the new process. This includes providing access to customer support, troubleshooting guides, and training materials.
  • Monitor progress: Monitor progress and provide feedback to employees to help them improve their performance. This can include tracking performance metrics and providing coaching and feedback.

Your Quote-to-Cash Process Partner: KDG

Updating your quote-to-cash process may seem like a daunting task. But it’s a task you don’t have to accomplish on your own. A third-party partner or consultant can help you pinpoint the bottlenecks in your process. After all, sometimes an outside perspective can provide a welcome insight otherwise invisible to others.

Here at KDG, we’re in a unique position. We’re not only a business process consultant who can help you analyze your quote-to-cash process, but we’re also an award-winning development team who can help you automate your processes so that they’re consistent, predictable, and reliable. And as a Premium Zoho Partner, we offer unmatched support and guidance when it comes to this cloud-based system. To learn more, use the link below to contact our team and schedule a quick call.

Steve Solt headshot

Jim has been a veteran in the software development and project management sphere before even joining KDG as our VP of Software Development. He has over a decade of experience in technology supporting the financial services industry, specifically investment banking and life insurance.

Want to learn more? Book a meeting with us today!

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