Understanding the quote-to-cash process

| By:
Parker Trojanowski

As an organization, maintaining a robust prospective client pipeline is necessary for long-term business growth and success. Streamlining your quote-to-cash (QTC) process is one critical factor in getting your MSP to operate efficiently and profitably.

The quote-to-cash process is a comprehensive workflow that integrates the entire sales lifecycle—from generating a customer quote to receiving payment for the delivery of services. 

The quote-to-cash process is vital for companies seeking to streamline their overall sales operations and enhance customer satisfaction—and for MSPs, the process is particularly significant. Effectively managing your quote-to-cash flow chart allows businesses to accurately price their services, create detailed contracts, efficiently deliver services, and promptly invoice clients. 

Keep reading for a comprehensive overview of the quote-to-cash process and how it can enhance the customer experience while fueling business growth and profitability. 

The quote-to-cash process explained 

What’s the quote-to-cash process? This holistic strategy encompasses all of the steps involved in a traditional sales cycle. 

Quote-to-cash definition 

Just as its name suggests, quote-to-cash is a part of the sales process that involves the various stages of the sales lifecycle. From quote generation to revenue recognition, this strategic process spans across numerous departments including sales and marketing, procurement, and accounting. 

When streamlining your quote-to-cash process, the primary goal is to optimize the end-to-end sales operation. This leads to improved operational efficiency, enhanced customer satisfaction, and, ultimately, increased revenue generation. 

Quote-to-cash process steps 

The quote-to-cash process involves a series of interconnected steps. Together, these steps seamlessly guide a sale from the initial customer interaction to the final collection of payment. 

  • Lead generation and customer interaction: The first step in the quote to cash process works by identifying potential customers through marketing efforts, client referrals, or networking. These initial interactions help you better understand your prospective client’s needs and establish a strong rapport.
  • Needs assessment and proposal creation: Once a prospective client has entered the pipeline, support the new business team by developing a tailored proposal outlining how your products and services meet the needs of the client. 
  • Quote generation: Once the needs have been identified, convert the proposal into a formal quote with specific product details and pricing. CPQ software integration can help automate quote generation to deliver faster, more accurate quotes, helping your sales team close more deals. It’s important as well to make sure that your quote is in alignment with your overall pricing strategy.
  • Contract creation: Once a client has approved the quote, it’s time to collaborate with your legal and operational teams to create a comprehensive contract that defines key deliverables, timelines, terms of work, and any legal obligations. Once complete, share the contract with the prospective client and address any questions or concerns. 
  • Order processing and fulfillment: Once the contract has been signed, convert the approved quote or contract into a formal order. Coordinate with your internal teams to fulfill the order—whether it involves delivering physical goods or providing services. 
  • Invoicing: Based on the terms outlined in your client contract, generate and send an invoice to the client. Include specifics on the products or services provided, agreed-upon prices, and payment due dates
  • Delivery and service completion: In accordance with the agreed-upon contract and service level agreements (SLAs) in place, deliver the products and services to the customer. 
  • Revenue and accounting: Based on the payment, recognize recurring revenue following accounting standards and regulations. With the support of your team, ensure accurate and transparent financial reporting. 

While there are several steps in the quote-to-cash workflow process, each phase of the project plays a crucial role in ensuring a seamless sales journey for your customers. 

Common quote-to-cash pitfalls

Despite the benefits of the quote-to-cash process, some common challenges can arise for organizations when building a smooth and efficient sales cycle. 

Here are some of the most common challenges associated with the quote-to-cash process: 

  • Delayed payments: Payment delays impact your organizational cash flow and financial planning. While there are many reasons that clients might delay payments, ensure that your invoices set clear expectations and terms for payment. 
  • Inaccurate quotes or invoices: Inaccuracies or incorrect quotes with discrepancies or inconsistencies with product details, prices, or hourly rates can cause customer frustration and dissatisfaction. Set clear expectations in your initial scope of work so clients have an understanding of what to expect. 
  • Complex pricing structures: If your organization features complex pricing models, such as tiered pricing, volume discounts, or even dynamic pricing, it can result in errors and confusion. As much as possible, communicate clearly with clients to provide details on what they can expect in terms of pricing. 
  • Contract approval delays: If your client has multiple stakeholders that must review the contract before moving forward, it can cause delays in finalizing agreements and starting the working process. 
  • Integration and data silos: A lack of integration between your organization’s various systems—such as your PSA software, CRM, ERP, and billing systems—can lead to data discrepancies, operational gaps, and a lack of real-time visibility into the sales process. 
  • Lack of standardization: Inconsistent processes and a lack of standardized templates for quotes, contracts, and invoices lead to confusion and unprofessionalism—for both sales teams and customers. Create brand standards and leverage these across all collateral for a seamless branded experience. 

Addressing any common quote-to-cash pitfalls requires a forward-thinking approach. As your organization prepares to streamline your quote-to-cash process, consider making improvements to technology, training, and communication. 

For additional details on how to improve your business processes through streamlined operations, watch our webinar, Driving Revenue: Quote-to-Cash with ConnectWise Business Management.

Benefits of an optimized quote-to-cash process 

An optimized quote-to-cash process holds substantial benefits and advantages for MSPs. Leveraging technology to streamline your quote-to-cash process can help enhance your organization’s availability to effectively deliver services, build long-lasting client relationships, and grow profitably. 

Here are some of the key benefits of using CPQ software to optimize your quote-to-cash process: 

  • Efficient service delivery: Streamlining your quote-to-cash process via automation can ensure prompt service quotes, fulfillment, and delivery. CPQ tools provide real-time sales notifications and personalization capabilities to increase visibility while delivering better customer service.
  • Faster revenue generation: Manual quote and proposal creation is time-consuming, and administrative tasks can bog down even the best sales teams. CPQ software features standardized templates with the potential to save reps up to two hours per quote. And a faster sales cycle leads to quicker revenue realization. 
  • Procurement automation: Automating order management and fulfillment directly from the winning quote ensures orders don’t slip through the cracks. Plus, real-time product information simplifies the sourcing process and can even trigger notifications for renewals or equipment upgrades.
  • Data-driven insights: Flexible business intelligence and automated sales reporting dashboards can enable end-to-end pipeline visibility to help you make smarter business decisions. Integrating CPQ software with your tech stack can uncover actionable insights into sales trends, customer preferences, and future market opportunities. 
  • Competitive advantage: Speed, efficiency, and brand consistency during the sales process can give your business a competitive edge. This can help you close more prospects, renew more contracts, and differentiate your MSP in the market.  
  • Financial transparency: Accurate invoicing and revenue recognition support transparent and effective financial reporting, enhancing your credibility with stakeholders and industry leaders. 

Quote-to-cash solutions for MSPs 

Integrating CPQ software into your quote-to-cash process is one of the most effective solutions for streamlining your business operations. And yet, legacy manual processes are at the root of the long sales cycles and friction points experienced by many IT companies—and their clients.

ConnectWise CPQ was designed to expedite and automate the quote-to-cash process, allowing MSPs to increase sales velocity and drive long-term profitability. With unmatched integrations including invoicing automation and PSA software, you can truly connect your entire organization for a streamlined view of end-to-end business operations. In addition, by integrating with payment solutions, you can ensure a consistent and streamlined process to support your overall cash flow. ConnectWise CPQ’s quote and proposal automation capabilities are a key part of making your overall operations more efficient.

Take the next step toward elevating your quote-to-cash process by watching an on-demand demo of ConnectWise CPQ today. 


The quote-to-cash process is an end-to-end business process that encompasses every step involved in a sales cycle—starting from the first interaction with a prospective client and ending with receiving payment for the delivered services. 

Building a quote-to-cash process supports your organization’s seamless and efficient flow of information and activities—reducing errors and enhancing customer satisfaction.

The quote-to-cash process covers the entire sales lifecycle, beginning with the very first customer interaction and concluding with delivery and service completion. On the other hand, the order to cash process focuses specifically on the steps from receiving a customer order to collecting payment. It begins after a customer places an order and is typically more focused on operations.

Configure, Price, and Quote (CPQ) is a specific subset of the quote-to-cash process that focuses on the configuration of complex products or services, accurate pricing determination, and generating quotes. A CPQ solution supports an organization’s sales team to efficiently configure product options based on a customer’s needs.