We’ve said it before, but as it’s even more true today, we’ll say it again: you can’t spell B2B without CPQ.
Because @@CPQ tools help reps tackle what matters most for your business goals and each rep’s bottom line@@ — closing the sales that drive revenue and earn commissions.
“But wait,” you may say, “Isn’t CRM as important, if not more so, for every B2B sales process?” The answer (and no offense to our friends at Zoho, Salesforce, Dynamics, and Oracle) is “Yes… but let’s be realistic.”
The plain truth is that most sales reps don’t use their CRM systems to full- or even half-capacity. Customer contact and account data can often be entered haphazardly (or sometimes not entered at all), and the same goes for tracking activities such as calls, emails, and other customer touch points.
We know why this is: because B2B sales reps are often far more focused on selling than data entry and sales cycle tracking. Which is why configure, price, quote tools are often used far more effectively by your reps than any other sales enablement software or system.
Reducing complexity: a primary benefit
We’re not going to pretend CPQ tools are a fit for all segments. Some sales are simple enough where a quote isn’t needed at all. There are basic transactions that may call to mind that Mitch Hedberg bit where he wonders why he got a receipt with his doughnut: “I don’t need a receipt for the doughnut. I give you money and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction. We don't need to bring ink and paper into this.”
B2B sales, however, are rarely as simple as the selling, buying, and eating of a doughnut. Each “B” in B2B has its own information systems, its own processes, policies, etc. and these complexities not only require a detailed accounting of what’s being sold, to whom, when, and how, but also involve a lengthy sales cycle where a missed follow-up could sink the whole deal.
By automating this critical part of the sales cycle, you can both reduce the complexity and speed the process (by using preconfigured pricing models, for example, or templated email replies and reminders).
Improving CRM use: an ancillary benefit
If you’re in a smaller B2B organization, you may have been getting by without a CRM. But if you’re running an SMB with 10 or more reps, you likely have a CRM in place and — for reasons stated above — your reps are just as likely to not be using it to its fullest. (Believe it or not, some B2B reps still treat a CRM system like a glorified Rolodex, a place to store business contacts and not much else.)
However, with CPQ tools integrated in your CRM system, your reps will be using the latter every time they check the progress of their sales quotes. And, anecdotally but accurately speaking, there have been zero cases of where increased adoption of a CRM system has hurt a B2B sales team.
These are just two basic benefits B2B orgs can enjoy through automating sales proposals. There are legions more. If you'd like to learn about them or see IQX for yourself with a free demo, contact us.