Commerce-To-Cash: Why Quote-To-Cash Isn’t Enough
In the business world today, the term “digital transformation” has been applied to any and all sorts of digital-driven initiatives. It goes without saying that current and future revenue goals simply cannot be met without some level of digital assistance. But while you can add a little here, and a little there, a true digital transformation, one that leverages the benefits of efficiency of scale, automation, and enterprise-wide connectivity, can only be achieved when you apply a given digital commerce strategy to every component of your revenue engine.
This is where a commerce-to-cash, digital transformation solution truly shines. Commerce-to-cash goes beyond quote-to-cash solutions, and it addresses each and every stop along your buyer’s journey. It does so with the goal of bringing everything together under one system – from your customer’s first encounter on your commerce channels, to sales, fulfillment, service, and all the way through revenue recognition. Think Governing Dynamics. Think of it as redefining the underlying physics of your most effective customer buyer’s journey, and beyond.
Naturally, the complexity of this process, and the systems involved in its successful implementation, mean that this is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Nor should it be. Part of what makes commerce-to-cash so effective is the fact that it is optimized for your specific industry, market, and revenue goals. This is more than just a software solution, this is a new way of thinking that may change how you view the relationships between your various departments, and how they can all work together to achieve the goal they are all ultimately responsible for: increased sales.
A United Front
But how unified is your organization? Of course, if you ask, everyone will nod and smile and tell you all is well. But ask yourself, maybe even your salespeople (or your customers if you’re feeling adventurous): how long does it take a new, potential customer to become a paying one in your current marketing funnel? Weeks? Months? Years?
While some purchases are inherently lengthy in their buying cycles, what percentage of that open buying window is attributable to inefficiencies in your operations? How can you slam that window shut sooner? In some instances, an organization’s time-to-quote was reduced from 4 weeks to as little as 72 hours. That’s 25 days of opportunity you just took from your competitor. What is that worth?
Commerce-to-cash is a textbook example of unified commerce in the digital age. What is unified commerce? Research company Gartner defines it as,
“Unified Commerce is the practice of providing flexibility, continuity, and consistency across digital and physical channels to deliver a superior customer experience. This consistency includes multiple phases of the customer’s buying journey, including when a customer is searching, browsing for, transacting, acquiring, and consuming a product or service – as well as after-sales care and support.”
One of our partners, Oracle has put together an enlightening infographic that outlines 5 compelling cases for unified commerce.
While we’re on the subject of Unified Commerce, another of our partners, Salesforce has a wonderful guide entitled “Transform the Customer Experience” that outlines how to create a seamless customer experience (through unified commerce).
100% Coverage of Your Customer’s Journey
Many initiatives wax poetic about “360”, “end to end solutions” and “from intent to conversion” strategies. The problem, historically, has been that even if you create all the components to achieve this, at least to the point of fulfilling the basic definition of 100% coverage, you still face the very real problem of bringing siloed thinking and deliverables together in a disjointed, sort of “Frankenstein’s monster” way.
This broken, piecemeal approach leads to blind spots, potential drop-off points where you can lose customers, or worse, broken sales processes that leave potential customers untouched, even unseen. You need a solution that will give you coverage across all stops on the customer journey, and the best way to do that is by employing a strategy that promotes unified commerce, by being itself a unified product: a commerce-to-cash solution.
Why Commerce-To-Cash Works
Basically, a sound commerce-to-cash strategy works due to the compound benefits of unifying your enterprise’s operations via connectivity and automation while also drastically improving how each of the aforementioned areas of your revenue engine support (or in some cases adversely affect) your customer’s buying journey. Here are five areas that typically stand the most to gain from a commerce-to-cash strategy:
- Business Strategy/Process Improvement: By aligning with a trusted partner who designs business solutions that align to your mission, you can create accurate, actionable roadmaps that streamline and modernize your existing processes, and ultimately blueprint your entire digital transformation journey.
- Customer Experience: Using efficient front-end commerce systems, a tailored commerce-to-cash strategy will yield personalized journeys with easy-to-use functionality that deliver exceptional selling experiences and keeps your customers coming back.
- Leveraging the Cloud: Are you making the most of your connected technologies and platforms? Utilizing integrated multi-cloud solutions reduces the amount of infrastructure needed, provides a competitive edge, and enables the agility to deploy new systems efficiently.
- Supercharged ERP: Drive enterprise value through digital transformation. Find a partner with a long track record of implementing, integrating, and modernizing Enterprise Resource Planning solutions that successfully transform finance from a cost center into a revenue generator.
- Data Management & Analytics: Through the implementation of proven data governance principles, you can greatly improve data quality, provide that “single source of truth” and improve forecasting and reporting reliability, exponentially. One cannot overstate the importance of clean, actionable data.
Here at Keste, we live and breathe digital transformation. Our commerce-to-cash solutions have been proven in real-world applications, providing real, tangible value to our partners. If you’d like to see how Keste can help your organization achieve its digital transformation goals, streamline your sales processes, or otherwise enhance your buyer’s journey, let us know the best way to contact you and we will be happy to schedule a time for a conversation, contact Keste today.