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Elsevier selects Conga to transform its global quote-to-cash processes

Global research publisher and information analytics provider optimises contract lifecycle and reduces contract generation time from days to hours

Conga, the global leader in commercial operations transformation, today announced that Elsevier, part of the RELX Group, and a global research publishing and information analytics provider, has implemented the Conga Contracts for Salesforce solution to optimise its global quote-to-cash processes and workflows.

Founded in 1880, Elsevier is headquartered in Amsterdam, with offices worldwide in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe, Middle East and Africa. With 8,000 employees, 470,000 articles published and 1 billion downloads annually, Elsevier has grown significantly in recent years, expanding from its roots in research publishing – which includes 2,600 journals published across a wide range of research disciplines – to delivering analytical solutions and digital tools that allow researchers to manage and share papers, discover new data and collaborate online.

With huge growth and multiple acquisitions in recent years, Elsevier’s global quote-to-cash processes and workflows – comprising the multiple interlinked steps taken from when sales teams configure a quote and draft proposals for clients, through to when payments are received for services rendered – were becoming increasingly complicated. With contracts being created, negotiated and executed in different regional locations, Elsevier’s sales team was finding that complex and manual processes were leading to a number of roadblocks across the contract lifecycle.

“The fragmented quote-to-cash process was resulting in version control issues, contract mistakes, long processing times and a lack of insight into contract status,” said Matt Cumberlidge, Head of Quote to Cash programme at Elsevier. “Our sales team would have to step outside the Salesforce CPQ system to complete their work, which was adding turnaround time to the contract lifecycle. This was ultimately impacting customer satisfaction and was being flagged as an issue in our surveys.”

With the tender process beginning in 2019, including a field of five companies and two rounds of selection, Elsevier chose Conga Contracts for Salesforce, due to its functionality, seamless user experience and compatibility with Salesforce.

Conga set out to connect the interdependent, customer-centric tasks that Elsevier’s sales team had been conducting manually, into a smooth revenue operations, or quote-to-cash, process that is facilitated by technology. Since implementing Conga, Elsevier has reduced its contract creation time from days to hours. Elsevier now has complete control of its quote-to-cash processes, enabling it to create, negotiate and execute contracts through automation. Its sales team can stay in Salesforce, so all contracting information is accurate and all actions get recorded. It maintains an automated audit trail of changes and versions in Salesforce, even down to the individual clause level. Conga removes the headache for the legal department, by ensuring Elsevier is protected through pre-approved supply language and clauses, so the sales team can concentrate on negotiating and executing contracts, while still remaining compliant with policies and procedures.

“Our customers were at the forefront of our mind when selecting a technology solution,” concluded Cumberlidge. “Our aim was to get contracts into the hands of our customers within 24 hours – Conga has enabled us to achieve that goal. In recent months, we’ve also faced the added pressure of the current pandemic forcing our sales team to work remotely. However, the online, seamless workflow of the Conga Contracts for Salesforce solution has enabled our business to continue operating as normal, while maintaining compliance.”

“Businesses will often find after a significant period of growth that it will add complexity to their contract lifecycle,” said Lee Mills, Director of Customer Success EMEA at Conga. “With the right technology solutions that help to streamline businesses processes, that complexity can be drastically reduced. We are delighted that we have been able to support Elsevier in its project to transform its contract lifecycle, leveraging both Conga and Salesforce – the results speak for themselves.”

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