Quote management software explained

What helps a business sell faster as it runs smarter? What business software is focused entirely on revenue instead of operations? What sales application should come standard in every CRM and ERP system? It’s quote management software, and here’s why it’s critical to every SMB and Fortune 100 under the sun:

  • Also known as configure, price, quote software (CPQ), a sales quote managing solution helps you standardize pricing across the enterprise — whether you’re a team of two or two-thousand.

  • A CPQ solution can help organize all your business contacts, and enable any rep to pick up where you left off in the most critical part of the sale — the proposal.

  • Sales quote templates can be created and optimized for every market you sell into. Starting from scratch? That’s so 1980s.

  • And quote management software can be (or should be) seamlessly integrated into your CRM, ideally via a single sign-on (like those IQX offers for Dynamics and Zoho).

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Automate everything you can

Contrary to what Hollywood might tell us from time to time, there is no war with the machines coming anytime soon (sorry, Ahhh-nold). We can and should automate all we can: from Alexa doing our shopping to Google doing our driving (ok, maybe that last one is TBD).

In sales, we automated prospecting long ago: why make house calls when you can send 100,000 emails in less time than it takes to make ONE in-person office visit?

And, not too long after that, we automated how we manage our customer relationships and even more of the selling process, using tools like Salesforce to create funnels of every stripe, log our calls, and so on.

But sales quotes? Look at any standard CRM install and you’ll usually see nothing more than a place to store “Opportunities” and/or attachments. The most critical part of the sales cycle was essentially the last to be automated. There’s only one way to describe that: ???????

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CPQ didn’t get here PDQ

but it has arrived in full

Only ten years ago, quote management software wasn’t really in widespread use. Today — even if it doesn’t come standard on many CRM systems — it has arrived in full.

Even if IQX weren’t in the business, we would still find the delayed widespread use of automated sales proposal software to be baffling. Why? Because like many of the people who read this blog, we are salespeople. And salespeople are always, always, ALWAYS looking for a short cut.

Maybe one of the reasons CPQ arrived in anything but a PDQ (pretty darn quick) way is because of the sensitive nature of the proposal process? After all, it’s when you go public with your pricing and feature sets.

Or maybe it’s because the integrations weren’t quite there 10 years ago, and if you wanted to automate the quoting process you had to go outside your other business tools: your CRM system, your Office software, etc.

While we can’t entirely explain what took CPQ so long to be in widespread use, we can reasonably predict what’s next: it will soon be as natural as sending a text. And the days of housecalls and manually creating proposals will seem as antiquated as the horse and buggy. @@Quote management software may have been “late to the party,” but there’s no future in sales without it.@@