CPQ (Configure Price Quote) software might seem pretty straightforward to you as a single-use tool. There are many different CPQ software products out there, but all of them provide a similar function—to make it easier to produce quotes. At first glance, this function may seem hardly more sophisticated than that of a calculator, but if you’ve never implemented CPQ software in a live work environment, you’re probably missing some key insights about the product.
Efficiency as a Bottom Line
Good CPQ software is all about efficiency: getting more things done, doing more things correctly, and at the cost of less time. But this efficiency isn’t limited to one specific task or department. Your sales team will probably save some time by generating quotes automatically, but this is only one efficiency-building function that CPQ software serves. It actually serves multiple roles for multiple departments in small businesses, helping the entire organization improve its internal processes.
Take a look at these five pivotal roles CPQ software plays:
The first role is a bit obvious, as it’s one we briefly explored in the introduction and usually the first one to come to people’s minds. CPQ software serves as a way to simplify the process of creating a quote, which ordinarily falls on salespeople or entrepreneurs. Depending on your current resources and the nature of the bid, it could take hours of time to research the client, determine pricing for each individual item, assemble the materials into one file, and polish the final document for accuracy and presentation.
You’ll still have to do some client research and some of the upfront work when it comes to the sales process itself, but the bulk of the creation process is made automatic and instantaneous. If you write an average of three proposals a week, CPQ software could free up several hours of your time on a weekly basis.
Forget the quoting process for a minute. In most cases, before you ever get to the quoting process, you need to open the door to a sale by making a client interested in a package. To do that, your sales team needs to have in-depth, intimate knowledge of all your products and services. Imagine being in a sales meeting and not being able to answer basic questions about your product, like how much it costs in bulk, or what service plan options are available.
Most organizations, even small businesses, have some kind of training program for their salespeople, but those programs only take you so far. Acquired knowledge can be easily forgotten, even the most comprehensive programs don’t explore everything, and they’re practically useless when in a pinch. CPQ software offers this thorough company and product information, anywhere at any time, for salespeople to rely on. Think of it as your perpetual sales team educator, helping you land more sales and win more client confidence.
Imagine quoting something for a client the manual way—creating a document from scratch. They go for the deal, and six months later, they want a quote for a different set of products or services. However, you’ve lost the original document (or a different salesperson is handling it), and as a result, your new quote ends up looking nothing like your old one in terms of formatting. Your client will notice the difference, and you might lose professional credibility in the process. CPQ software serves as a formatting agent to prevent this type of incident from ever occurring. All your salespeople will be using the same tool, with the same setup, so you’ll never have to worry about someone breaching your standard format. It’s also handy for comparing your previous quotes against one another and learning from past mistakes.
Can you remember what you quoted for a client three years ago, or how your proposal looked? Probably not. You might keep all your proposals on a local hard drive, or you might even be able to find it with a quick search through your email, but can all your other salespeople gain access to it? Ideally, you’d have some sort of collective archive, storing all your old proposals for future reference and providing them for anyone who wants to see them. CPQ software does just this—for as long as you keep using it as your dedicated resource, you’ll have consistent access to any quote you’ve ever produced.
For a business to succeed, all its employees need to operate in unison. Your customer service team needs to tell customers the same information their salespeople told them. Your account managers need to have the same pricing that your marketers have. Your accountants demand rigid adherence to certain protocols across all departments. Any deviations from these points of consistency could undermine your authority as a business or cause a disruptive hiccup in your ongoing procedures.
That’s where CPQ software comes in. Think of it as a communal resource for quotes, pricing, product information, and general knowledge consistency that can keep your entire team on the same page for the foreseeable future. Whenever something changes, you can update it here, and your entire team will be able to keep operating smoothly.
The right CPQ software can aid your business in multiple distinct applications, saving you time, and therefore, money, while streamlining your entire operation. With more consistent, detailed quotes and properly indexed information, you’ll win more bids, and your team will have more time to dedicate to other, higher-priority items. The bottom line is that CPQ software saves your business time and money—far outweighing its costs (especially over the long term).
If you’re interested in learning more about how CPQ software can aid your business, schedule a free demo of iQuoteXpress. With easy integration, e-catalog indexing, and a contact management system, it’s one of the most robust products on the market, maximizing your return on investment.