Although CPQ and CRM may seem like opposite ends of the sales process – the very start and the very end – these two resources actually combine to make a powerful team when it comes to acquiring and gaining clients. If you’re using one without the other, then it may be time to reconsider the sales process.
Understanding the Purpose of CPQ and CRM
Before looking at some of the reasons why you need both CPQ and CRM – as well as how to successfully integrate them together – let’s start with a little refresher. In fact, let’s take a step back and review the role each system places in the overall sales process.
CRM systems are sort of the lifeblood of the sales team. These tools allow companies to track interactions with prospects and customers for increased sales efficacy and smoother relationships.
CRM systems are complex. They offer a variety of features and can accomplish dozens of different tasks. Depending on the quality of the system, CRMs do things like store prospect and customer contact information, log calls and emails with customers, locate social media profiles, help schedule meetings, visually display the sales funnel, and even provide sales forecasts.
“Regardless of the features in place, the goal of implementing a CRM is to create a system that your company (most often the sales and marketing teams) can use to more efficiently and effectively interact with prospects or customers,” marketer Leslie Ye explains. And because the majority of CRM systems now operate in the cloud, they can be seamlessly integrated with other tools – including CPQ software.
If CRMs are used to track and facilitate relationships further down the funnel, CPQ systems are used to get the proverbial ball rolling. CPQs do things like configure appropriate price points, streamline quotes based on dozens of different variables, promote up-sells, identify cross-sell opportunities, and push leads through the process.
Benefits of Integrating CPQ and CRM
As you can see, both CPQ and CRM systems afford businesses lots of value. However, if you want to maximize this value, then you must consider letting them work together. When fully integrated, CPQ and CRM become exponentially more powerful.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest benefits:
1. Enhanced Prospect Interactions
The overarching benefit of integrating CPQ and CRM systems is that you get to enjoy better quality interactions with prospects and customers from start to finish. According to research by the Aberdeen Group, integrating a CPQ solution into a sales process that’s already utilizing CRM has the following impact:
RFP responses. Nobody likes to receive complicated requests for proposals (RFPs). That’s why 71 percent of CPQ users report rapid, effective responses to RFPs, while only 49 percent of other companies can say the same thing.
Quote generation. Just 42 percent of non-CPQ users are able to generate “complex quotes” in a timely manner. However, when a powerful CPQ solution enters the picture, more than half (51 percent) report efficiency.
“No decision” sales losses. Only 19 percent of non-CPQ users are able to avoid no decision sales losses, whereas 36 percent of CPQ users successfully avoid them.
With quantifiable improvements like these, it’s actually quite surprising that any business would invest in CRM without also adopting CPQ. The value is pretty clear.
2. Effortless Communication
One of the biggest advantages of integration is that it facilitates effortless communication throughout the entire sales process.
“As revenue moves through the system, it’s important for various internal stakeholders to have access to information as deals progress,” says marketer Joe Alphonse. “By integrating systems, individuals can track, report, and analyze contract performance and view progress as it’s made. With strong communication and increased visibility, organizations can proactively manage processes and ensure optimum system performance.”
3. Better Contracts
As your business matures, you should be developing better contracts with clients. With an integrated solution in place, you can utilize information about past performances and predict ways to develop more creative and profitable agreements in the future.
Your ability to avoid past mistakes and replicate successes will prove to be a huge asset down the road. While CPQ and CRM work well on their own, they become so much more powerful when they’re combined.
4. Start-to-Finish Efficiency
“Customers increasingly want products that meet their exact needs, so companies must create custom configurations to match their standard offerings to customer requirements,” industry expert Ron Mouw explains. “Without configuration capabilities, the process is time-consuming, expensive and error prone. Each order requires review by a knowledgeable engineer — causing delays in processing orders.”
In other words, CPQ – used in conjunction with a CRM infrastructure – ensures the process of meeting and exceeding customer expectations on a proposal-by-proposal basis is efficient and successful. That’s something you can’t put a price tag on.
5. Better Compliance and Less Risk
Depending on which industry you operate in and the types of contracts you draw up, there can be a lot of risk associated with compliance. Unfortunately, compliance is often compromised when there are dozens or hundreds of different agreements in place. And no matter how reliable your compliance and account managers are, you need an automated solution in place to improve accuracy.
With a CPQ solution working in conjunction with CRM, you can mitigate risk and avoid steep fines, damaged reputations, and the frustrations that come with these mistakes.
Try iQuoteXpress Today
Have you been approaching the sales process without the right tools? If you’ve been trying to use CRM without also including CPQ, then you’re missing out on an opportunity to maximize sales efficacy.
At iQuoteXpress, we want you to know that integrating a CPQ system into your sales process is simple and high returning. Our robust, cloud-based solution is simple to roll out and even easier to use. Within a matter of weeks, you’ll find that your sales team is able to cut proposal writing time in half, while simultaneously enjoying more educated leads and higher close rates.
If you’d like to try a free demo to see how it addresses your individual business needs, then please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’d be happy to help you get started.