In today’s consulting world there is a relentless focus on the Quote 2 Cash (Q2C) Ecosystem. This focus has brought to the forefront the need for all companies to look across the spectrum of their business and align their processes and technologies to achieve maximum agility and velocity for ever greater customer experience and revenue growth. Company owners and executive teams have finally realized that the silo mentality and approach does not work allowing the company to function as a cohesive and efficient unit.
The Q2C Ecosystem is approached, described, and deciphered slightly differently based on which consulting firm you speak to. However, globally speaking the Q2C Ecosystem consists of the technology landscape covering:
- Product and Service Configuration
- Contract Lifecycle and Order Management
- Invoice Creation and Billing
- Revenue Recognition
These are the pillars of the Q2C landscape and there are many vendors that provide various point solutions across the spectrum. A few vendors are attempting to handle all pillars of the Q2C Ecosystem on a single platform. This is great news for anybody who owns a business as the Q2C Ecosystem is relevant to almost every business in every industry.
You can imagine that with the number of software solutions available in the marketplace and the number of consulting firms implementing Q2C solutions you will see wide disparities in approach and methodology to achieving an efficient and robust Q2C environment for any given customer.
The focus of the majority of consulting firms in the Q2C arena is in the implementation and integration of the various technologies that make up the ecosystem. Consulting firms that were once strong in the advisory area have traded this expertise for armies of configurators. Let’s be clear, having a deep bench of expertise in the various Q2C technologies and how to implement them is critical. However, without the overall strategy (based on the specific client) the implementations get bogged down in delays and rework creating a patchwork of solutions that are not as efficient as promised. Large amounts of capital are expended with ever decreasing returns on dollars spent.
What most consulting firms miss, and fail to focus on, is how the front door (brand, sales, marketing) and the back door (delivery, service, the voice of the customer) can and usually do have a huge impact on the success of any Q2C development effort. If the customer’s sales operation and process is chaos this will have a dramatic effect on the success of any CRM, CPQ, Contracts, or Billing implementation. The same is true for the back end, if the customer’s service and delivery are anemic, this will have a major impact on customer retention and satisfaction essentially neutralizing any gains achieved in the Q2C Ecosystem.
Automating and streamlining a bad process and operational model is an efficient way to disappoint more customers at a faster rate.
Technology is a tool, period. Consulting firms and any internal organization embarking on a Q2C modernization effort need to first focus on defining robust and efficient business processes that meet and exceed the expectations of their clients and industry. Then and only then should the determination of the appropriate technology solutions be made, solutions that support and enhance a rock solid process.
It does not take a cannon to kill a mosquito, focus on technology solutions that have the features to support your current business and its growth. Buying technology solutions with all the bells and whistles may be fun but not always necessary.
Defining a current and future state without asking the important “Why” questions is a recipe for failure. Why does the client do things the way they do? why do they have the current processes they have? is there a better way to do it?. Is the brand message, sales model, and operational model efficient? Is the customer delivery robust and bulletproof? What are the current customer satisfaction levels? Be willing and bold enough to challenge your clients on their methodology, processes, and approach.
The answers and solutions to these scenarios will be a mix of process, product, people, and technology changes that will achieve the ultimate goal.
Modernizing a client’s Q2C ecosystem is a journey and not simply a destination. In order for any consulting firm to properly take their clients on a successful journey, it requires experienced business strategists, process architects, and of course solution experts to be successful.
Don’t commoditize your firm into legions of configurators and miss the mark on how to help your clients be successful in business. This is what they hired a consulting firm for in the first place.
If you’re considering modernizing your Q2C Ecosystem, let us help. Just Contact Us and we’ll get it Done.Better.TOGETHER.