Order-to-cash is commonly discussed in conjunction with a similar but distinct set of processes known as quote-to-cash (QTC or Q2C). While both terms are interconnected and share a common goal of streamlining revenue generation, they encompass specific stages and activities within the sales cycle.
Quote-to-cash (QTC) begins with a comprehensive quoting process that spans from the initial stages of configuring an offering to meet a customer's specific needs, to creating and presenting a quote, to negotiating final pricing and terms. This front-end process, often facilitated by configure-price-quote (CPQ) solutions, includes activities that occur before a customer submits their order. QTC then extends all the way through order processing and fulfillment, invoicing, payment, and reporting, covering the full lifecycle of the purchase.
In comparison, order-to-cash is focused specifically on the stages involved in processing customer orders and securing payment. It involves activities such as order management, order fulfillment, billing, payment processing, and reporting. OTC is primarily concerned with efficiently managing the orders themselves and ensuring a smooth flow from order placement to the receipt of payment. Unlike QTC, OTC does not include the CPQ processes or contract lifecycle management, which are part of the pre-order stages. It does, however, include order fulfillment and back-end ERP processes (such as invoicing and recording revenue).
In other words, QTC comprises the purchase lifecycle starting with the quote, while OTC details the processes that occur after the customer places an order.