5 Slow Zones in the Quote-to-Cash Chain

By Sami Khalil

  April 21, 2016        Contract Management, CPQ

I hear a lot of buzz about what configure, price, quote (CPQ) can do to help shorten the sales cycle. In fact, Aberdeen Group says businesses can attain a 28% shorter sales cycle with CPQ tools.

But how long is the CPQ process, really? According to Aberdeen Group, the average time to produce a quote is just under five hours. So what’s really holding up the sales cycle?

According to a recent SpringCM survey, almost 50 percent said their contract process lasts over 4 weeks. That’s because the contract process involves multiple stages that involve generating documents, negotiations, and seeking approvals and signatures. All of these stages can include sharing and collaboration with internal departments.

It’s clear that the contract process is the longest part of the sales cycle, and must be addressed to not only accelerate revenue, but also avoid risks. Combined with a CPQ solution, Contract Management can streamline the entire quote to cash chain.

Here are five slow-zones in the contract process, that can be streamlined with Contract Management:

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3 Takeaways from The 2016 State of Contract Management Report

By Team SpringCM

  April 15, 2016        Contract Management

SpringCM just unveiled the findings from its second annual State of Contract Management report. The results spotlight the stakeholders and tools involved in the contract process, as well as where delays and human error can occur.

We surveyed 822 business professionals from various industries about their contract process and the challenges they face throughout the contract lifecycle.

We’re highlighting three key stats that speak loudly at what is causing contracts to stall, and what businesses are doing to accelerate their contract process.

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3 Ways to Improve Compliance in the Contract Process

By Zachary Darmon

  April 1, 2016     

Whether it’s getting employees behind new rules, new tools or just having them follow the current rule, compliance is an ongoing issue for most companies.

“Compliance fatigue,” happens more often than you think, in any industry.

You’ve probably noticed in the last couple of years that your newest credit and debit cards now have a “chip” that you insert into the payment machine, rather than swiping your card. But even today, how often do you still try to swipe your card?

The credit card industry suffered from it’s own compliance fatigue in this case. The industry had set a self imposed deadline for Oct. 1, 2015, but by that time, only 40% of businesses were ready for the switch.

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SFWT: Grow Faster with Connected Sales and Service

By John Dickow

  March 24, 2016        Sales effectiveness, Salesforce

McCormick Place in Chicago is bustling this afternoon with Salesforce customers and partners, all with a similar goal; sell more in less time.

A major theme at today’s Salesforce World Tour in Chicago is customer service. In fact, according to Todd Enders, Sr. Director of the Service Cloud, customer service trumps both price and product in today’s selling world. It’s now seen as the number one way to acquire and retain revenue.

In Enders’ breakout session, “Grow Your Business By Connecting Sales and Service,” he spotlights the changing customer service landscape and provides actionable steps for businesses to keep up, and continue growing.

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Sales Pro Tip: 4 Ways To Prepare For Contract Renewals

By Ruth Gallagher

  March 18, 2016        Sales effectiveness, Contract Management

“I’m bleeding money without visibility into these renewals!”  That was my first conversation with the new corporate attorney at an enterprise company.

You wouldn’t think that after going through all the work selling to the customer that you would miss a renewal and lose the opportunity to renegotiate terms or prices. In the SaaS world, if a contract is not renewed, the customer goes away. You’re not just missing out on revenue, but also the opportunity to expand the use of your product.

For the last two weeks, SpringCM has shared Sales Pro Tips to help salespeople shorten their sales cycles and pave a faster path to revenue. As our final tip, I will explain four ways to prepare for a contract renewal to ensure no customers (or revenue) is left behind.

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Sales Pro Tip: Centralize Contracts to Accelerate Approvals and Signatures

By Monica Peterson

  March 17, 2016        Electronic Signature, Tracking Contracts

During the sales cycle, there is an assumption that getting a contract approved or signed should be the fastest step because it simply involves someone looking at the document and performing one action. In my experience, that assumption is false.

I can remember a deal that my team and I had been negotiating for months. I had offered the prospective customer incentive to get the contract signed that week, so that I could reach my quarterly quota. The prospect confirmed they were on board, everything looked good, and we sent the contract over to be signed. Then, we didn’t hear anything back.

As the clock ticked, I began to feel panicked that I would miss my sales goal. I had been working so hard on this deal, and put in the extra work to ensure it would get signed. My boss and his boss were counting on this deal as well. The pressure was on! After waiting a long time and finally reaching out to the one of my main contacts, we were told the CFO, who would be signing, was on vacation at his lake house and had limited access to the internet. After explaining the situation, we were finally able to get the contract signed through another individual.

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Sales Pro Tip: 5 Ways Small Businesses Can Accelerate Contract reviews

By Nick Oboikovitz

  March 15, 2016        Sales effectiveness, Small Business

Small businesses are challenged with competing against larger companies with larger budgets.  

As a salesperson who is selling contract management software to small businesses, I see a lot of clever ways other salespeople do more with less.

But when it’s time to review a contract, it gets more complicated and cutting corners becomes more risky.

Small businesses don’t have the same spend as larger companies, so it does not always make sense to hire a lawyer review a contract, depending on the size of the deal. But on the other hand, how you can you ensure you’ve vetted a contract for risks without the help of a lawyer?

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Sales Pro Tip: Keep Contracts Secure and Searchable

By Mike Newlin

  March 10, 2016        Sales effectiveness, Security

It can be shocking to see how manual contract management processes can lead to larger problems like lost revenue and low morale amongst sales teams.

So many of my clients have been storing contracts in shared drives for years, where they easily get lost in the void. In fact SpringCM conducted a survey that showed 63% saying they store contracts in shared drives.

Even after some clients have acquired our contract management software and begun organizing contracts in the cloud, sometimes they can’t even find all the contracts they own that need to be moved to the cloud.

Contracts are literally getting lost. What happens to those deals once they’re lost? What if the customer calls and asks for the contract? Lost contracts can snowball into larger problems: lost revenue or even lawsuits from missed terms, and damaged reputations for the salesperson and the company.

As the second post in our Sales Pro Tip Series, I'll explain how to keep contracts safe and searchable, even if you don't have contract management software.

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Sales Pro Tip: How to Deliver Reliable Quotes with Contract Management

By John Garvin

  March 9, 2016        CPQ, CLM

In today’s selling world, the customer is setting the bar for the salesperson. As a salesman myself, it’s my job to deliver the customer the solution they need, when they need it and at a price that’s acceptable. I have a responsibility to take stock of the customer’s expectations, then try to deliver on those expectations the best I can - but it’s never easy.

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What is Contract Management?

By Devon Morgan

  March 4, 2016        sales contract, CLM

The sales landscape is constantly changing and it’s up to companies to keep up with evolving technology that can streamline the selling process.

This article is the first in our March blog series showcasing technology that can shorten sales cycles by automating time-consuming steps while minimizing risks and paving a clear, predictable path to revenue.

Throughout the month, you’ll learn how these tools can fit together to create a fully automated quote to cash chain.

We’ll start with what is typically the longest stage in the quote-to-cash chain: the contract lifecycle.

BusinessTechnology.com defines contract management as:

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