In the last ten years, many configure, price, quote platforms have been bought by or merged with enterprise companies. So, what's driving up the value in automated sales solutions, making quote-to-cash products one of the most highly sought after and attractive pieces to one's portfolio?
Five years ago, a number of analysts pointed to the introduction of the SaaS model as the springboard to the growing demand for sales quoting automation. Cloud-based CPQ solutions became much more affordable and prevalent to SMBs looking for ways to stay competitive in the global market.
Today, manufacturers need a strategic digital solution to drive leads, showcase products, communicate benefits, customize to specific needs, and deliver a robust quoting and ordering experience. Visual CPQ solutions that include an interactive experience to collaborate with remote teams and experience designs virtually are being highly sought after.
How Do Acquisitions Affect The Customer?
Mergers and acquisitions tend to give software platforms a boost in resources, extend the reach to new markets or verticals, strengthen support, improve the UI or UX experience, and deliver innovation faster. While there are many positives to M&As, in some situations, it can be a cause for concern for the customer - especially when attached to a large CRM/ERP provider with a vested interest in growing their CRM/ERP business.
In the chart below, many of these CPQ platforms had integrated into multiple (ERP/CRM) business systems. That was prior to the acquisition. Now, many have narrowed their focus to the parent company's platform. This hurts the incumbent customer.
If history tells us anything, existing KBMax customers using ERP platforms sans Epicor will most likely be forced to change ERP providers or lose support to their existing platform. A similar experience took place years ago with BigMachines customers and other software platforms like CoreMotives when Silverpop acquired them in 2012. The list goes on and on.
AutoQuotes Acquisition of Axonom
Axonom was acquired by AutoQuotes (AQ) in 2020. AQ, owned by a private equity firm, Luminate Capital Partners, has given us resources and capabilities to innovate, deliver, and support much faster and at scale. Most importantly, our integration flexibility into ERP, CRM, and eCommerce platforms has not changed. In fact, there is a high probability that the list will expand in the future.
Our commitment is to the customer experience. We will continue to deliver visual CPQ solutions that enable buyers to discover, configure, experience, quote, and place an order. The goal is to create a frictionless, intuitive experience for both the sales channel and end-users across a number of manufacturing verticals.
Recent CPQ Company Acquisitions
We've compiled a list of the most notable CPQ acquisitions since 2010. The chart lists the product, buyer, date and price of acquisition, and press announcement. *Note - Information listed below was found on the respective company's website.
Building a Stronger, More Efficient Salesforce
Is there any coincidence that many of the companies (Salesforce, Infor, Oracle) buying CPQ products include customer relationship management (CRM) in their product line? Many analysts agree that marrying CPQ and CRM solutions provides sales professionals with a unified framework for different elements of the sales cycle.
The combination of these platforms supports sales professionals to efficiently manage their customer, distributor, reseller, and partner interactions and transactions. Moreover, sales professionals become self-sufficient in business processes like subscription billing, pricing, quick quote generation, and bundling of complex services with products in orders.
With small and large businesses competing against each other in the global market, investing in your sales team is critical. Businesses all over the world are adopting automation tools to increase the deal size, shorten sales cycles, reduce quoting errors and delays, and improve customer loyalty.
Predictions on the Future
In my opinion, three things will happen in the near future. First, expect more acquisitions. Second, as a result of these acquisitions, CPQ products will become specialized and connect to specific CRM and ERP platforms. Finally, watch for a shift in product configurator offerings to move away from still images and adopt fully interactive experiences.
Manufacturers interested in adding a visual configurator to their sales and marketing processes should fill out the request information form. An Axonom representative will follow up to listen to your vision, provide recommendations, present a demonstration, and share pricing. We will show how manufacturers are finding success using a visual configurator to configure products, build rooms, quote, and order.
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