Modern CPQ software delivers a host of benefits for B2B organizations, from enhanced proposal quality and increased conversion rates to higher customer retention and shorter sales cycles.
CPQ captures all of the complex product, pricing, and business rules in one central place for automating and streamlining actions in real time. This allows your sales team to have everything they need at their fingertips to close deals faster, with better collaboration, control and transparency.
This blog will look at three ways a CPQ solution can ease the sales process and improve the quality of every quote and contract.
1. Makes Information More Readily Available
In many circumstances, pricing and quoting is conducted by a stakeholder higher up the supply chain than the one who requires the information. For example:
Salespeople rely on product experts
Channel partners reply on suppliers
End users rely on suppliers
In all of the above scenarios, the information and knowledge is too far away from those that need it. Making this available through intelligent, easy-to-use online tools will not only increase the speed of delivery, it will also increase the conversion rate and enhance the brand experience.
For companies selling through multiple channels, e.g. via direct sales, channel partners, distributors, overseas agents/subsidiaries, this issue becomes even more pronounced. In such companies there is often a requirement for expert technical support and accurate information at the presale stage – especially where complex products and services are offered.
Providing access to appropriate and accurate information to the right people 24/7 through tools that help them do their jobs, will also increase the organization’s knowledge bank by capturing many more quotes and with greater detail.
Business decisions and forecasting risk is reduced with greater volume of granular data that is accurate and up to date.
Increasingly, companies are therefore enhancing their forecasting models by analyzing data at the quotation stage. Such an approach can provide detailed intelligence derived from drill-downs into data, giving close insight at product option and service component level.
Leading companies also deploy CPQ solutions that empower their sales channels and partners – making them self-sufficient yet close-coupled to the supplier. And through CPQ solutions, companies are gaining improved access to valuable external sales data.
2. Enables Your Sales Teams to Be Operational 24/7
Arguably, one of the most significant advantages of cloud computing is how it allows mobile access to corporate data via smartphones and other devices. Total mobility and 24/7 team connectivity improves efficiency and boosts productivity and output.
Through cloud-based solutions, you can offer conveniently accessible information to sales staff who travel. Cloud CPQ enables sales reps to work from any location and on any device, whether on a plane or a train – or even when stuck in traffic (provided they are not the driver!). Less dead time equals more opportunities to sell and add value in previously unimagined ways.
When your sales team members can prepare quotes any time, in any place and on any device, they will close more deals. Besides, converting a quote to an order without delay also helps positively reinforce initial client relationships.
3. Allows You to Create Better-Looking Quotes
Some of the most costly mistakes that are made in customer-facing sales documents include typos, out-of-date or low-resolution graphics, inconsistent (or no!) use of brand guidelines, and less-than-elegant layouts. Poorly designed quotes detract from your message and fail to communicate with your client effectively.
Manually compiling and crafting a well-designed, appropriately branded document, whether it is a proposal, a quote or a contract is a time-consuming task. Salespeople are much more valuable (and happy!) when they spend their time on what really matters: relationship building and selling.
Modern CPQ software allows you to move from cumbersome PDFs to impressive web-based presentations. No ‘copy and paste’ means that transcription errors are never introduced. Tailored images, graphics and specifications will remove potential ambiguity. Precise technical information alongside clear Terms and Conditions ensures no misunderstandings.
In short, CPQ ensures that your quote design is consistent, compelling, professional and fast, grabbing the customer’s attention in the right way to secure your team more sales.
Kevin's passion is helping companies become easier to buy from. He is a pioneer and thought leader in CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote). Quick to spot how technology (in particular CRM and product configuration software) enhances sales team performance, he was instrumental in the development of cloud based CPQ applications. He co-founded BlueprintCPQ in 1999, and built this to become one of the most powerful and flexible CPQ platforms. BlueprintCPQ was acquired by Xait in December 2020 where Kevin is Head of CPQ practice and Managing Director of Xait Ltd where he continues to apply his innovative thinking and experience to drive sales efficiency.
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