If you’re still using a spreadsheet to manage your catalog of products and services, STOP RIGHT NOW and contact us.
Of the many benefits in automating your sales proposal process—and in this blog we do our best to highlight them all—product catalog software is right at the top.
Why? Because using @@a dynamic catalog for products and services means more consistency, more control, and more revenue@@.
Consistency in proposals
If your business is like most these days, not every sales rep is under one roof. And even if they are, not every sales rep is using the same computer to create proposals. If you’re sharing a spreadsheet or other manual process with reps to list your products and services, typically reps will store a version on their own machines, to “make it easy.”
But guess what? @@Making it easy makes it sloppy.@@ Without a centralized repository for all your offers—a software solution that can be centrally managed and maintained—reps will sooner or later be working off different scripts. This will mean products (and pricing!) you may no longer sell or support make it into proposals.
And when this first step of a business relationship turns out to be wrong, a customer often walks away.
Centralized control over products
The fix is basically a gatekeeper, and when you’re using a CPQ solution, that gatekeeper is product catalog software, maintained and managed at HQ. Centralized control is critical not only in ensuring that every rep has a catalog that’s up-to-date, but also in targeting offers to territories.
The latter helps in cases where pricing fluctuates across various markets (e.g., the price of a gallon of milk in Hawaii is considerably different than the price in Kansas). If you’re dynamically serving products and pricing, however, you can ensure the products and prices in every proposal are the right fit for the customer’s market: geographically, demographically, economically, and more.
Plus, product catalog software allows you to set up specific lists for specific reps—your inside reps can only see product suites A, B, and C. But your regional reps can access the entire alphabet of offers.
Proven paths to more revenue
Finally, the most important benefit from product catalog software—more revenue. A spreadsheet doesn’t “learn,” per se. But a dynamic catalog can in a way.
Your most experienced reps probably have a very good idea of what kinds of upgrades, upsells, and cross-sells to attach to any given proposal to maximize revenue from any given prospect—while your newbies have no idea.
But if you’re using a “living” online catalog, upsells and more can be put in place dynamically. A rep enters product X, and the catalog automatically suggests adding service Y, which has been proven to be an effective upsell.
Sometimes, ROI can be hard to calculate, but when you add product catalog software to your sales proposal and quoting process, the ROI is easy to see in each quote you send.
If you'd like to learn more about this topic or see IQX for yourself with a free demo, contact us.