Quote-to-Cash: Get Paid Faster with Flexible Distribution Workflows in 2022
All businesses have their unique quote-to-cash processes. For the inventory-centric distributor, demand forecast is crucial to fulfilling orders from inventory. Other distributors prefer to invest heavily into marketing and sales while using third-party inventory management and outsourced fulfillment via drop-shipping. In this guide, we discuss how to get paid faster with flexible distribution workflows in 2022.
Cloud ERP provides flexibility to support many different quote-to-cash workflows with powerful applications to manage leads, inventory, purchasing, picking, packing, shipments, and accounting. Omnichannel sales are supported for in-house sales, online commerce storefront orders, or retail point of sale transactions. Extended applications support the quote-to-cash process with field service appointments for installation and repair and project accounting for professional services that include distributed goods.
Prepare & Sell
Most sales start well before the quote is created. Set up stock items for products and non-inventoried items for services. Leverage embedded marketing automation to generate business leads. Manage the sales cycle with lead assignment and opportunity activities. Create and manage product families with matrix items and send quotes to customers for electronic approval. Convert quotes to sales orders and manage order details for a clean hand-off to the warehouse, drop-shipments by vendors, or third-party order fulfillment agencies.
- Item Definition – Wholesale distributors and retail-commerce companies manage stock and non-inventoried items used in sales, projects, and services. Deferral codes ensure accurate revenue recognition for sales of service, support, and other non-inventoried items. Generate unique items with Matrix Items using attributes such as length, width, style, color, and more. Contract items are set up as non-inventoried items to define services with price and provision policies for the original non-inventoried item sold and different non-inventoried items for renewals.
- Lead Generation – Next, the marketing department develops marketing lists and executes campaigns to generate leads. Opportunities are assigned to sales reps based on the product line, sales territory, or other user-defined criteria. Schedule activities and store completed tasks with notes for each opportunity. Disqualified leads can be routed back to marketing for additional activities. Integrated marketing supports crucial inbound marketing activities for commerce-driven companies with social media marketing, blogging, and search engine optimization activities.
- Pre-quote Activities – Wholesale distributors often quote standard products stocked in inventory. In contrast, others may provide quotes for customized kits, new items from vendor catalogs that they have never sold before, or non-inventoried items such as services. Business-to-business (B2B) commerce companies utilize online storefronts to capture information to prepare customer quotes for complex items, projects, or services. Commerce companies who sell primarily to consumers have simple quote-to-cash processes as most products are stocked or readily available for drop-ship from suppliers. Sales are commonly paid at the time of purchase, eliminating the need to invoice and collect the cash. Below are just a couple of activities that distributors and retail-commerce companies may require before developing the customer quote.
- Quote Creation – Acumatica has defined workflows for everyday business and operational processes. These processes can be tailored to meet specific company or industry requirements. For example, some distributors quote product sales, while others provide quotes for larger projects, field services, or support contracts. Sales quotes are converted to sales orders, while service quotes are converted to service appointments. Approved project quotes define the project and related tasks. Contract quotes are easily converted to new contracts or contract renewals.
5. Sales Order Creation – Convert prospects to customer accounts when sales orders are generated from opportunities. Workflow notifies accounting to complete the account setup with credit checking, defined credit terms, credit limits, shipping locations, accounts payable contacts, and more. Additional details, such as sales tax and commission schedules, may be added or adjusted to complete the sales order. Reserve required stock to ensure availability for customer order fulfillment. Distributors and retail-commerce establishments with smaller warehouse facilities and simple processes can bypass the pick and pack process to generate shipments directly from sales order entry if they have adequate stock on-hand to fulfill the order. Project quotes may be converted to projects, and service quotes converted to service orders directly from sales order entry. Generate sales orders from point of sale transactions, commerce storefront orders, file imports, or electronic data interchange (EDI) transactions through connected applications.