The QTC Opportunity: How Increasing QTC Complexity Can Make or Break Sales Effectiveness

By Chris Shutts, CEO,

A new survey sheds light on the selling challenges facing modern businesses

Today’s consumer has heightened expectations. We expect to be able to get what we want, when we want it and wherever we are. We demand personalized experiences and dread salespeople. With the demands of the consumerized buyer increasing, accelerated digital advancement, and ever-increasing product complexity, implementing a solid quote-to-cash (QTC) strategy has become a significant headache for businesses.

Now, more than ever, buyers expect elevated experiences when purchasing B2B products. Market demand for QTC-optimized tech stacks is only set to increase, as is pressure for sellers to increase sales efficiency, especially as we face a global recession. For companies – to steal an adage from sports – 2023 is a year to survive and advance and a big part of that is simplifying selling for salespeople and purchasing for buyers.

Systems integrators (SIs) have a unique view of the intricacies, advancements, and shortcomings of current quote-to-cash operations – and based on a recent survey, they aren’t satisfied with how the market is evolving.

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The Challenge of Managing QTC Processes

It’s clear that QTC complexity is accelerating, and businesses are trying to adapt while balancing the value of a consumerized customer experience. Seven out of 10 SIs interviewed for the survey said that the QTC experience was harder to manage in 2022 than it was in 2021 – and more than 85 percent believe it will increase in complexity in 2023.

As consumerized buyers lock into their expectations of dynamic, self-guided, speedy sales environments, SI partners as a whole agree on one thing – the importance of meeting those expectations through software solutions that offer self-service capabilities. In fact, three-quarters see self-service as very important to strategy for 2023 and beyond.

Most QTC Projects and Implementations are Too Complex

 Most industries have embraced that they need to level up to meet the expectations of consumerized buyers – any laggards learned a hard lesson during the pandemic when digital emerged as the only way consumers could buy; however, that doesn’t make the task any less daunting. Businesses that have not started on their journey to align with new non-negotiables are facing unexplored territory, which can come with some hesitation.

For system administrators faced with the conundrum of simplifying the QTC process, implementing the right software solutions and new tech stack support requires a certain amount of buy-in across the company. Taking the time now to align with the consumerized buyers’ expectations positions you to scale with the market and remain future-proofed against upstream changes that may emerge over the next decade.

Demand for CPQ Solutions Grows

To support the quote-to-cash process, many businesses are working backward and reassessing the state of their CPQ solutions. The past few years have helped redefine the role CPQ plays in commerce, resulting in more attention being paid to its architecture. Rapid advancement in the CPQ sphere is projected to continue, with more than three-quarters of SI partners expecting market demand for solutions to grow in 2023.

Why such heavy investment? More than 70 percent of SIs cite increased overall sales performance as the primary driver for CPQ. Half are also looking to increase general sales efficiency through enhanced CPQ.

Configuration is Stifling Integrators

While CPQ is often discussed as a singular solution, the actual configuration, pricing, and quoting mechanisms of modern setups are not all created equal.

More than half of respondents identified configuration as the most challenging component of CPQ software solutions. Part of the challenge is the attachment many businesses have to out-of-the-box solutions which, for the most part, don’t have the functionality to meet the demands of today’s buyers and the complexity of the products being offered. Even in digital environments, these buyers are looking for hints of personal engagement and visual representations of tangible products.

When asked what key operational gaps they’d like to see addressed by future CPQ offerings, SIs were almost equally split between four main pain points: rule complexity, costly maintenance, slow performance, and a lack of guided selling.

Read More: Digital Business Growth Exploding in 2023

Salesforce is Indisputably at the Epicenter of the QTC Operations

As so many partners agree on the inherent difficulty of configuration, they too agree on the way to make things easier – migrating to a Salesforce-based tech stack.

More than 95 percent of the surveyed partners’ clients are expressing interest in consolidating to a Salesforce-centric ecosystem. In a world of omni-channel commerce, all parties with a role in the sales funnel itself benefit from the Salesforce ecosystem.

Those who have already begun the migration process may have done so as a result of existing data and integration issues, often caused by legacy systems that have poor UI, are hard to configure and integrate, and ultimately lead to a poor experience.

The Emergence of Commerce Logic Engines  

Commerce Logic Engines enhance CPQ and commerce offerings, helping businesses sell more, sell faster, and maintain less. They leverage uniquely architected and highly customizable product rules, restrictions, requirements, and recommendations in tandem with buyer input gathered through guided selling paths.

Done right, Commerce Logic Engines supplement CPQ and address many of the challenges that the SIs identified in the research. They streamline sales by keeping track of what configurations are possible, how different options affect pricing and manufacturing timelines, and intelligently suggest bundles, add-ons, or promotions whenever the right qualifiers are hit. Buyers can rest assured that their preferences have been clearly addressed not just by the sales rep, but by the system itself.

For buyers, these systems offer the personalized experiences that consumerized buyers demand by steering their shopping experience and ensuring they are exposed to the right products at the right time. They help to deliver a guided buying experience.

With the expectations of the consumerized buyer on the rise and the complexities and challenges of QTC and CPQ reaching new levels, businesses need all the help they can get in enabling sales performance. Investing in a Logic Commerce Engine that supplements your CPQ solution and unmuddies the selling and buying experience is a big step to minimize those complexities.

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