Building a B2B selling machine with CPQ tools

“That’s guy’s a machine!” In most businesses, this is one of the highest compliments you can pay a sales rep.

When you have a rep who’s a machine, you have someone who blows past his quotas every quarter, who cranks out more sales proposals than two, three, or more reps put together, and who can be counted on to be driving revenue day in, day out.

What makes that guy different? Did he graduate HBS? Does he marathon? Does he start each day with oatmeal?

Chances are he’s living right and working hard. Chances are also very good that he’s living well because he’s working smart, using CPQ and other tools of the trade to @@automate everywhere and save the A-game for facetime with prospects.@@

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In automation nation

Advances in technology are typically not driven by poets and painters. More often, they’re driven by the needs of businesses, which always, always, ALWAYS have only two objectives: lower overhead costs, and increase revenue.

It most cases, lowering costs means reducing time spent on, well, everything. And reducing time means automating.

How long does (hopefully, “DID”)  it take you to manually build, send, track, reply to,  and close a quote? We’ve heard all kinds of rough numbers from our customers and colleagues, ranging from “a couple of hours” to “like a day.”

But when customers have started using CPQ tools like iQuoteXpress, we have heard a fairly consistent number: the time it took to create and process a sales quote dropped by about 70%.

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The great equalizer

In a machine, all components may not necessarily be equal — they don’t have equal costs, they don’t look/feel/work the same, etc. — but there is equality in their utility, in the value they bring to the overall function of a machine. I.e., take away a 40¢ screw and a $4m machine can fall apart.

So while every rep in your organization may not necessarily be equal in terms of experience, people skills, and just plain old closing skills (a.k.a., knowing when to move in for the kill), CPQ tools can, in effect, be an equalizer that makes rookie reps as valuable as your old-hands. Here are three ways:

  1. A CPQ solution can be loaded with templates designed and customized to suit both your brand and your target market: no rep needs design skills to use and send, therefore all reps’ proposals should be equally effective.

  2. Products live in a cloud catalog with upsells preconfigured, therefore every rep has equal access to proven-effective product and service configurations.

  3. Your CPQ system’s cloud catalog also allows you to preconfigure pricing and discounts for all product and service configurations, and thereby ensure all reps have equal footing on the most important part of the quote (the costs).

We know that there’s no substitute for experience, and that even with equal access and understanding of business tools like CPQ you will have some reps consistently outperforming others.

But the key to building a sales team that runs like a well-oiled machine is ensuring that every team member has the same basic resources. Equip every rep with the same training and tools, and every person on your team has the potential to be a machine themselves.

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