Pencils, PCs, and CPQ tools: how business writing evolved

Business technology is a wonderful thing: faster processes, more accurate information, lower overhead costs. And this is the same whether it’s CPQ tools, CRM platforms, ERP systems… heck, even email.

Sometimes, looking at all the great tech out there, we find ourselves thinking, “Is there anything it can’t do?” And then, ping!, a business proposal arrives that makes about as much sense as ketchup on chocolate ice cream — typos in every sentence, different pricing for the same product, a bunch of nonsense about how awesome the sender thinks his company or product is with zero attention to our actual business needs.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can @@“do business writing” better — your configure, price, quote solution can help.@@

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The “write way” to use CPQ

If you are currently using CPQ tools to create, deliver, and track quotes, you know that its applications are many and its possibilities are endless. But one thing it will never be able to do is write a proposal from scratch. We hate to break it to you, but that will always require manual labor.

This doesn’t necessarily mean YOUR manual labor, though. We recommend hiring a professional sales writer to work his or her magic in creating a series of templates for the major markets you serve. You simply store them in your CPQ system, and use them over and over and over.

Think about it: every quote you send can read like it was composed by The Bard himself, but all your reps are doing is copy/pasting a company or contact name from your CPQ or CRM contact database, inserting pricing and product info from your cloud catalog, and pressing “Send.”

Even if you think you write pretty good (wink, wink), get a second set of eyes from someone who writes for a living on your templates. It’s amazing how a little love from a writing pro can make your proposal templates hit all the right notes.

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Pencil-in people, not proposals

The only “penciling in” most business people should be doing these days is for meetings and appointments  — no one writes proposal by hand anymore. A pencil’s great for taking meeting notes, but on a sales quote? That number 2 looks like number 2.

We’re confident that most of our community aren’t doing anything handwritten in their business proposals, but we learned long ago not to overestimate your average salesperson. (Yes, we have seen proposals within the past year with pricing and product info written in pen. The first words that came to mind were not “old school” or “authentic” but “sloppy” and “unprofessional.”)

Every CPQ tool on the market should be able to help you avoid ever having to put pen to paper again. The only time that ever needs to to happen is when your prospect  — having received a compelling, professionally written proposal from you with only consistent, accurate information inside — signs the dotted line.

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