Gartner, an IT research and advisory firm, predicts that by the end of the year, CPQ solutions will help companies grow their sales by 10 percent more than current rates. Despite this, more than two-thirds of organizations still stick with old school spreadsheets on a regular basis.
Is your sales team continuing to use outdated technology when it comes to creating configuring and creating quotes? Learn how CPQ software can be used in order to increase efficiency, decrease order errors and help grow your business.
Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) is the process sales teams use to configure a product or service, price it correctly, and then fulfill the quote and order for customers. CPQ software can streamline your workflow throughout the sales cycle, increasing sales.
CPQ 101: The Basics
Today we’re going to go over the basics—a crash course, CPQ 101. We’ll discuss who needs CPQ software, its benefits and when the timing is right for implementation.
Who Needs It
Companies that have complex, detailed sales processes with a number of various possible combinations need CPQ software. Whether a company offers different product lines or updates its products and prices frequently, the sales team needs a solution that automatically incorporates changes, stays current and is easy to use, allowing them to seamlessly create updated forecasts.
Benefits of CPQ
CPQ solutions, such as product configurators, enable your sales team to accurately give pricing information, no matter how complex the configuration requested by their customers. CPQ incorporates all of the details of the potential order with respective pricing, plus factors such as discounting and bundling when applicable.
- Configure: It can be tedious to configure accurate quotes using spreadsheets when you’re working with customized products that have a large number of variables. The hassle of paperwork and the time-consuming steps needed to manually configure a product is labor intensive and slow. A CPQ solution that configures automatically results in more time for your sales team to sell and lets you experience a faster sales cycle with fewer errors and improved data accuracy.
- Price: The pricing element of CPQ software allows your sales team to implement pricing changes quickly, no matter where they’re located. It gives management more visibility and alerts them to errors and unqualified discounting.
- Quote: The quoting component of CPQ software benefits include enabling your sales team to respond more easily to customers, develop contracts at a faster rate, input orders more quickly and improve collaboration and responsiveness. It streamlines the entire sales process, improving efficiency and productivity.
When Timing is Right
Are spreadsheets slowing down your team? Do they struggle to stay current as the available products and options increase in number? If you hear grumbling from your team and the spreadsheets they use are simply insufficient to handle the complexity of your sales process, you know it’s time to look at utilizing a product configurator. You need to move away from manual processes that impede the sales team and bog down the sales cycle and look for CPQ solutions.
Mark Smith of Ventana Research wrote about a recent study his company conducted that asked organizations about sales forecasting. The research found that although almost all of the respondents (89 percent) said that sales forecasting is important or very important, more than half (53 percent) reported being unhappy with their current process. Of those who were unhappy, a majority (57 percent) said their dissatisfaction was due to inaccurate data. CPQ software lets you share key data items, preventing duplicates and giving you confidence that key information is current and accurate.
Our crash course on CPQ 101 is coming to an end. The main lesson we’ve learned is that there comes a time when you need to ditch spreadsheets and the errors that they inevitably allow. You need a CPQ solution that streamlines the sales process from start to finish and gives your sales team the data and tools they need to quickly, efficiently create forecasts for their customers. That way they can focus on responding to their customers and closing their next big sale. Class dismissed!
Learn more about the history of CPQ and Axonom’s CPQ software by requesting a free demo.