2 min read
OPEN PATH BLOG
How to Audit Your Lead-to-Cash Process
Nancy Kirchoff | March 6, 2023
A major component of digital due diligence is completing a management Interview. The focus is to uncover how the pre-acquisition lead-to-cash process is performing. Surprises may significantly impact future spin-up costs and the time required to reach growth goals.
|Step 1||Step 2||Step 3||Step 4||Step 5|
|Complete a Competitive Positioning Matrix||Analyze Go-to-Market Strategy||Identify Valuable Existing Digital Assets||Audit the Lead-to-Cash Process||Create a Strategic Plan and Budget|
What is the Lead-to-Cash Process?
The Lead-to-Cash process defines the way leads get converted into paying customers. This process supports the buyer’s journey through integrated marketing, sales, quoting, and accounting functions. Ultimately, it's about attracting leads, understanding the buyer's emotional and practical needs, and matching them with the right product or service.
Digital Due Diligence: Auditing the Lead-to-Cash Process
In-depth interviews will reveal current lead generation sources and the sales team's approach to generating new business and customer upsell opportunities. Understanding how sales prospects and customer data flow through the digital lead-to-cash process should include details about the software systems used and areas where automation can reduce sales effort.
These interviews should cover the entire lead-to-cash process and uncover each department’s role and procedure:
- Marketing: Lead acquisition and marketing CRM (e.g., HubSpot) usage and performance
- Sales: SQL engagement and sales CRM (e.g., Salesforce) usage and performance
- Accounting: Order-to-Cash (O2C) processing and efficiency
What are Good Due Diligence Questions?
Is there a balanced approach between referrals, relationships, traditional sales outreach, and digital methods for generating new logo sales?
The balance between direct sales involvement and digital marketing should be appropriate for the type of business you are evaluating. For example, if the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is low, time-intensive traditional sales outreach may not be cost-effective. It will need to be determined whether a shift toward digital marketing will be needed.
Digital approaches may work well both in low and high CLV opportunities. Probe for workflow steps in the existing lead generation process, such as attracting or educating leads that should be adapted to operate on digital marketing platforms.
How are leads tracked through the lead generation to cash process?
Leads and prospects scattered across multiple database platforms, spreadsheets, and personal computers are significant risks during the spin-up phase. Key employees may maintain independent databases that disappear when the employee moves on.
Understanding how the business unit’s lead generation and tracking process works is essential.
- Are deal processes available that show the progression from a lead to a qualified lead, to a prospect that will identify critical near-term revenue opportunities?
- Does the tracking system provide a probability percentage of a win?
- And, importantly, are stale prospects easy to visualize and remove from sales forecasts?
How is the digital lead generation platform performing?
Identifying the assets attracting and capturing leads at the various stages of the customer’s journey is critical. Knowing what percentage of leads are captured in the awareness stage helps to provide future insight into how to continue to nurture leads through the consideration stage and into customers.
This information can offer insight into whether the process operates at industry benchmarks and if value creation potential could be increased to higher performance levels.
A high-level summary of where lead, prospect, customer, service, and training databases are located, along with the software used and the level of integration, will provide insight into the magnitude of spin-up costs and time-to-value.
As part of Open Path’s pre-acquisition digital due diligence, our analysis of your target’s digital maturity, brand awareness, competitive positioning, opportunity for growth, and spin-up cost will support your offer strategy.
Audit Your Lead-to-Cash Process with Open Path
Schedule a 30-minute call to see if a Digital Positioning Plan is a good fit for you.
Need help auditing your business or upcoming acquisition’s lead-to-cash process?
Working with private equity and M&A teams has taught us to maximize efficiency during stressful negotiations. We also provide the full-service implementation of lead-to-cash software platforms, website re-messaging, and long-term value creation. Through practical experience, we strive to convert your vision into reality.