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What is Idea to Cash

Manufacturers understand the importance of well-maintained and modern machinery in their operations. As digital transformation spreads throughout the industry, the right software and technology are just as critical.

Enterprise software, such as CPQ (configure, price, quote), CRM (customer relationship management), and ERP (enterprise resource management), plays a pivotal role in modern manufacturing by facilitating seamless end-to-end sales processes, enhancing customer service, and boosting profit margins.

These software innovations also make up a strategic business process called idea-to-cash. This end-to-end sales workflow takes a raw idea through design into production and ends at revenue attainment. In other words: Idea-to-cash is one of the most valuable processes in your business.


Idea-to-cash refers to the entire end to end sales process, starting with design, then product configuration and pricing, quoting, customer acceptance, ordering, and managing revenue.

Think about all the steps that go into capturing new revenue for your business:

This is just the first part of the idea-to-cash and end-to-end sales process. Next is negotiating the quote, invoicing the client for their order, and receiving payment. It can also include re-orders and renegotiations with repeat customers who buy additional previously configured products.

Regardless of what software solutions you use, this process is integral to your company’s work; it’s also a business aspect that needs to be streamlined and modernized to run more efficiently.


There are six steps to the idea-to-cash process. They include:
You can see there’s a need to integrate and streamline the process as much as possible so your company can maximize efficiency.


One of the challenges in the end-to-end sales process is the number of moving parts. As with a machine, all these parts must work together seamlessly or risk undermining or shutting down the process.

If the configuration doesn’t go smoothly, if a quote faces delays, or if the follow-up analysis is not completed, the risk of losing potential sales increases, and your production line might incur financial losses as it operates below full capacity.

That’s why it’s so important to look at automating your end-to-end sales process. This way, you streamline the steps and don’t have to worry about losing time and money.

Automating the end to end sales process

How do you automate the idea-to-cash process? These are the tools that can help:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

A CRM system keeps track of your relationships with your customers. It helps you manage the most up-to-date contact information and past sales information. It also helps you with marketing, sales, and customer service.

CRM software fits into the process by ensuring you have all the relevant data when signing contracts, billing, and collecting, as well as the post-sales analysis and marketing side of the idea-to-cash process.

Configure Price Quote (CPQ)

Your CPQ solution creates a custom-designed product. With CPQ software, the customer either contacts a salesperson who enters the product’s specifications into the system or (if you have an online store) they can enter the information into the software from your website.

Then, the software determines if the product can be made according to those specifications and generates a Bill of Materials (BOM). At this point, the CPQ software determines how much the product will cost and can be programmed with pre-set profit margins to determine how much you should charge.

The next step in the process is to generate a quote that is sent to the client for approval. Upon receiving approval, the project can progress along the production line and even generate a professional contract for the client’s signature.

These processes are now executed with significantly improved efficiency compared to the past, eliminating extensive back-and-forth communication among sales, engineering, and production. As a result, all departments can work more efficiently in their jobs.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

An ERP system maintains your item inventory in real-time, so your various departments have the best data in making decisions. One way this fits into the idea-to-cash platform is its continuous accounting of internal inventory, contributing to a seamless and informed decision process.

When a customer orders a configured product, the CPQ system generates a BOM for that product. Your ERP tracks your on-hand item inventory, how many need to be manufactured, and how many need to be ordered from an outside vendor. This tracking helps to keep the process moving smoothly with little to no interruption.

What are the layers of Idea-To-Cash?

Another way to think of end-to-end sales is as three distinct layers. These include CPQ, contract management, and revenue management.

Revolutionizing the end-to-end sales process with Revalize

Revalize’s CPQ software solutions do much more than just speed up your idea-to-cash and end-to-end sales process. Revalize empowers sales to captivate customers with powerful visual tools, integrate with CAD software for engineering drawings, and even generate production routings for your shop floor.

Integrating Revalize CPQ with your CRM and ERP systems allows them to work together seamlessly and get the most out of each system. This setup provides you with the best collection of tools that can take your idea-to-cash process, and your entire company, to the next level.

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