MBO, BOGO, CPQ, CRM. Why do salespeople love acronyms? Probably because we know time is short—and time spent saying “managing by objective,” “buy one, get one,” “configure, price, quote,” or “customer relationship management” could instead be time spent selling. But when an organization truly needs to save time and speed throughput, it automates as much as possible. And nowhere is automation more critical or more impactful than in the sales proposal process.
A fully automated CPQ solution can often be the difference between someone remaining a prospect and becoming a client, as it allows your sales people to not only deliver compelling proposals quickly, but to ensure uniformity in the look and feel presented to clients. Additionally, CPQ systems let management more easily and completely track the progress of proposals at each step.
So why doesn’t every organization have a CPQ solution integrated in their business systems? Typically because salespeople—like many of us—can be reluctant to take on new technologies. But when a business grasps the fact that the sales proposal process is the lifeline to building new business, it soon finds that automation is not A choice but THE ONLY choice.
Here are five benefits of rolling CPQ into your CRM and overall business processes – benefits that speed throughput, drive new revenue, and deliver quantifiable ROI.
1: Leverage CRM know-how
By now, most every salesperson worth his or her salt knows how to navigate a CRM like Salesforce or Oracle or Microsoft Dynamics. When you integrate a CPQ solution into your CRM platform, you’re not asking staff to start from scratch, but simply putting a new tool in the tool box they use every day. Proposal automation is not a new system, but simply a next step in an existing system. So while many people sometimes struggle when asked to learn something new, just as many are happy to have something familiar but better. I.e., with CPQ, you’re not asking salespeople to learn how to drive—they know how; you’re simply giving them the tools they need to drive faster.
2: Every salesperson on the same page
Automating proposals means simplifying the proposal process, streamlining how your proposals read and look, and—most importantly—ensuring every salesperson in your organization is following the same marching orders and is on-message (and on-point) when they secure new business. CPQ means no more “winging it” with quotes and proposals. The tools each rep needs are in their tool box, and every rep is in lockstep, using the same tools and processes. An automated, integrated sales proposal tool—that delivers matching proposals, no matter who sends them—is critical. Not only does it allow you to more easily measure and track the effectiveness of your teams and processes, but it can be especially helpful in having new hires hit the ground running. As anyone who has ever worked in sales can tell you, high-turnover is expected. So while Monday’s rep may not necessarily be Friday’s rep, an automated, unified proposal platform can help ensure a seamless experience for customers every day of the week.
3: Reducing the “he said/she said” between marketing and sales leads
If your business is like most, you hear this conversation daily between sales and marketing: Marketing: “Why aren’t you closing the leads we’re giving you?” Sales: “The leads you give us stink.” And while it’s true that CPQ won’t entirely solve this challenge, the uniformity it delivers to your proposal process will be instrumental in tracking a prospect from proposal to customer. And connecting closed prospects back to the campaigns or calls that brought them through your front door can help make the daily conversation a little more like this: Sales: “The leads you gave us from that email campaign resulted in 20% more proposals and 10% more new business than the PPC campaign.” Marketing: “Great! We’ll increase the spend on email and reduce the spend on PPC.” Management: “So nice to see everyone playing nice for a change.”
4: Timing is everything
The second a sales proposal is sent, the clock is ticking. Maybe that price only holds for 30 days… maybe that decision maker who needs to sign is only available for the next week… maybe the end of the quarter is 10 days away and a bonus hangs in the balance. The reasons for timeliness in your proposal process are many, but the way to ensure deadlines are met is one: CPQ. With an automated sales proposal solution fully integrated in your CRM and in the day-to-day of each salesperson, missed opportunities can become a thing of the past. As systems built on triggers—both automated and user-initiated—CPQ and CRM ensure every step taken sets up the next step, and reminders and responsibilities for both your staff and your prospects are automated throughout the proposal lifecycle. You won’t skip a step or miss a deadline… because the system won’t let you.
5: Tracking (and improving) the proposal lifecycle
How many proposals does the average salesperson deliver in the average month? How long does it take to put a proposal in a prospect’s hands after they become a lead? How long does it take the typical prospect to respond to the typical proposal? How long does it take a rep to move a prospect from proposal to won/lost once a proposal has been sent? How long should it take? The reporting in a CPQ system can give you these answers and more. And knowing the answers to these questions will help you find areas for improvement, and not just in sales proposals, but in your organization. Because if everyone in your group is pushing through around 15 proposals a month, but _________ seems to only push through 5, maybe the issue isn’t the quality of the leads, but the quality of _________.
Want to learn more about how IQX’s CPQ solution can work with your existing CRM system? We’re happy to give you a free demonstration, and show you how soon you can start enjoying ROI when you add CPQ to CRM. Contact us ›