Making CPQ solutions a best *process*

According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, @@CPQ solutions users are far more likely to achieve their sales quotas.@@ The study showed that they beat their non-CPQ-using peers by a whopping 14%. Imagine that: 14% more of your sales force hitting their quotas. And all because of a simple technology that’s easier to use than most CRM systems.

cycle-1.jpg

Integrating CPQ solutions in the sales cycle

To fully utilize the benefits delivered by configure, price, quote software, however, it must be integrated into your everyday sales processes.

Yes, using CPQ is absolutely a sales best practice. But “best practices” can sometimes be a little broad or a little theoretical, easily abstracted into something akin to a philosophy.

Which is why we believe it makes far more sense for today’s sales professionals to dig into CPQ as a process — a series of steps within every sales cycle — and keep every component actionable. Go ahead and talk about it as a best practice, but treat it like a process.

There are three commonalities across every successful CPQ process: customize, analyze, and optimize. If you’re not familiar with each, well, we’re happy to make the introductions.

customize.jpg

Customize

Your CPQ solution should enable multi-layered customizations, from a template’s color palette on up. Be sure to take full advantage of every possible customization. Too many salespeople skim only the surface, finding or building a template they like and then inserting products relevant to their prospects.

True that it’s perhaps one of the system’s most evident benefits, a price and product configuration engine that ensures winning upsells and optimal pricing.

But customizing the products in your proposals is the bare minimum. You must ensure the look and feel, the tone, even the font in your quote reflects the ecosystem of each prospect.

analyze.jpg

Analyze

Dig into the details of your sales leaders’ biggest wins: What products were pitched and at what price? What template was used? What was the frequency of communication during the quote-signing process? Isolate the wins at each level — replicate them across the enterprise whenever possible.

And do the same with your losses. Do a side-by-side deconstruction of a proposal that failed with one that didn’t. As any sales manager knows, you learn as much from the losses.

optimize 5.jpeg

Optimize

CPQ solutions include data-driven pricing guidance, based on 1) what will win customers, and 2) your bottom line. And this guidance on optimal pricing only improves over time. As an ancillary benefit, your reps know this. They know that for every quote they send, the price truly is right.

It’s not just price that your sales proposal automation system allows you to optimize, though: it’s the overall process. For far too long, this critical step in every sales cycle (the quote) has been a little neglected, reduced to a checkbox of won/lost.

But your CPQ system  — especially with a CRM integration — delivers data on most every touch point in the process, providing you with the insight you need to take the action required to ensure an optimal experience for you and your customers.

If you'd like to learn more about this topic or see IQX for yourself with a free demo, contact us.