Want to stay ahead of your competition? Then your approach to pricing needs to be ahead of the curve.
Today’s B2B buyers are more educated and impatient than ever before. For this reason, the ability to offer fast and correct pricing, presented in the right way, has become a strategic advantage for businesses.
At the same time, pricing – and getting pricing approved – is typically a bottleneck in a company’s quoting process. The sales team may often use some form of discount to reduce prices, which frequently means approval is required before the quote can be generated. This can add considerable amounts of time to the turnaround of the quote.
In a marketplace where the first quote the customer receives generally has the best chance of closing the deal, long response times are a problem. When sales teams are regularly waiting for approvals, customers could be losing patience or even looking elsewhere.
So what should you do to load the odds in your company’s favor when pricing? In essence, you need to make the information available as soon as possible when the buyer needs it. That is, ease the process such that it no longer requires an “expert to price it”, and it can be done rapidly online.
Read on to learn how dynamic, intelligent pricing can help you tip the scale in your favor when a buyer considers several possible product or service suppliers.
Solutions that Make Pricing Information More Readily Available
In many circumstances, pricing and quoting are conducted by a stakeholder higher up the supply chain than the one who requires the information. For example:
Salespeople rely upon product experts
Channel partners rely upon suppliers
End-users rely upon suppliers
In all of the above scenarios, the information and knowledge are too far away from those that need it. This issue becomes even more pronounced for companies selling through multiple channels, e.g., via direct sales, channel partners, distributors, overseas agents/subsidiaries. In such companies, there is a requirement for expert technical support and accurate information at the presale stage – especially where complex products and services are offered.
Increasingly, companies are therefore enabling their salespeople to close more deals by providing them with access to appropriate and accurate information 24/7 – through tools purpose-built to automate, simplify and streamline complex pricing.
Load the Odds in Your Favor With CPQ Software
Companies that leverage an intelligent, customer-specific pricing strategy as a competitive advantage are deploying Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) solutions that empower their sales channels and partners – making them self-sufficient yet close-coupled to the supplier. CPQ solutions also allow companies to gain improved access to valuable external sales data.
How does CPQ software allow your sales team to have everything they need at their fingertips to price and quote faster, with better accuracy, control, and customer satisfaction?
With the right CPQ solution, business rules are used to price items. These can be simple price book-related rules with quantity breaks and permitted discount structures, through margin-based rules that ensure acceptable profit levels.
Moreover, a sophisticated CPQ system enables your organization to introduce new and emerging pricing models, such as value-based or outcome-based pricing. Furthermore, modern CPQ systems will also streamline the approval process where business rules are exceeded.
Professional CPQ software makes updated specialist information available to sales teams and buyers alike, through any device at all times. Your salespeople can confidently build and price tailored solutions without the necessity for anyone to check these. Not only does this significantly reduce the time it takes to create an accurate quality quote, it also reduces the cost of correcting errors later in the process.
Intelligent and instant pricing, enabled by CPQ software, is the most immediate way you can impact revenue and capture maximum value. Making the correct information available through CPQ software will increase the speed of delivery and increase the conversion rate, improve customer satisfaction, enhance the brand experience, and even increase customer retention.
However, if you do provide instant pricing, remember to ensure that the benefits are clear, and that the perception of the user experience is at least comparable with the price point.
An efficient pricing strategy provides…
Transparency, so the buyer can adjust price by adding/removing/changing features and/or outcomes.
Clarity of offer (no ambiguity!)
Great user experience and user interface
Implementing an enterprise-grade CPQ solution that captures all of the complex pricing rules in one central place allows you to employ such a strategy automatically – ultimately stacking the odds against your competitors.
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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