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Driving forces for increased conversion and sales in Order-to-cash

2021: Faster order-to-cash process

It’s no news that B2B companies need to digitalise in order to stay competitive and keep up with increasing customer expectations.

The last 12 months in the pandemic has pushed the need for digitalisation for both buyers and sellers even further. And thus, increased the pressure on B2B companies to adapt and align. Expectations on the digital purchase experience are booming. 

We’ve seen companies’ initial steps of the order-to-cash process to backflip, for example face-to-face meetings becoming prohibited in many markets. And we’ve seen companies introduce extensive cost saving programs in the final steps of the order-to-cash-process.

This will drive a lot of exciting initiatives and even wake up the late blooming organisations from their beauty sleep. 

And for many reasons we are truly, madly and deeply looking forward to what 2021 will give.

I’ll however, focus my predictions to B2B commerce and B2B payments. A faster order-to-cash process.

Increased conversion in a faster order-to-cash-process

First parts of the order-to-cash process are often dependent on manual processes and legacy systems. As of today, it is still many sellers that do not offer new buyers to become customers instantly to complete their order and pay later. This will have to change sooner or later, because the demand from their customers is increasing rapidly. So is the risk of breaking the camel’s back, with customers turning to a competitor that serves what they expect, as a result.

More companies will improve their user experience, onboard their customers in real-time and offer them to pay later. Without having to wait for days (or a couple of minutes, change is coming!) until they can make their purchase. More companies will convert customers instead of seeing them leave the digital channel when they want to buy their product or service.

We will see more pioneers in this order part of the OTC process popping up in 2021. I’m ready to bet on this, because I’m fortunate to work with some of these innovative companies.

Driving forces for increased conversions and sales in OTC

  • Increased customer expectations (pandemic pushing it even further)
  • New business models (streaming, performance based billing) increase demand for new solutions
  • Increased needs to buy now (real-time) and pay later.

Increased cost savings in a faster order-to-cash process

Besides the increasing customer expectations there are also an increasing amount of cost savings initiatives.

Legacy systems are today blocking companies to rapidly introduce the automated processes that are possible with new infrastructure and technical change. Some introduce rigorous programs to develop functionality in their legacy systems, but are risking the result to be outdated once delivered many years after.

The winners however, will be the ones cooperating for change. Cooperating with specialists in their field that have platforms ready for the specific problem. That can be added without letting go of the customer.

That’s why I bet we will see more companies proactively searching for innovative ways of improving their profits. To push down costs in the points of payment where old and manual processes in legacy systems keep them up (at night).

In fact, in the OCT process research shows that invoice handling cost is still high on average 12-15$ per invoice. Some research shows an even higher number. At the same time, the share of late payments is 50% in some companies.

What an opportunity, right? Imagine you could lower the cost in one of the last parts of the process with 50 %. I bet we will read about some of these heroes next year.

Driving forces for increased cost savings in OTC:

  • Increased introductions of cost saving programs
  • New business models (streaming, performance based billing) increase demand for new solutions
  • Technological adoption rate (Growing infrastructure adoption in e.g. open-banking,
  • SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (Sct Inst), Real-time-payments (RTP) and Request-to- pay (RTP)) opens up for further possibilities.


I hope you enjoyed this piece and I would love to hear back from you. You can connect with me on LinkedIn here or get in touch with our team here.

– Markus