How CPQ solutions could have made 2018 even better

By most people’s standards, 2018 has been a booming year for business success. And while some predicted trends may not have come fully to fruition (everyone using AI for everything yet?), the opportunities for new revenue were many.

But for every opportunity your sales reps may have converted into a sale, there were likely two, three, four, TEN times as many that did not convert. Here’s how CPQ solutions could have made a big difference in your bottom line in 2018:

  • Improving speed in your sales proposal process: sales is a numbers game — the more quickly you get your proposals into a prospect’s hands and the more proposals, the more you increase your odds of driving new revenue.

  • Improving the accuracy and appeal of every quote you send: CPQ solutions are template driven. A templated approach to sales proposals means more accurate data (as product and pricing configurations are centrally stored), and — assuming you’re using professionally designed sales proposal templates — a more visually engaging quote, too.

  • Improving performance of every sales rep: by automating your sales quoting systems, you both empower your reps with the aforementioned speed and accuracy, and also empower sales managers with more tools to track quotes in the pipeline and measure and improve the performance of the reps sending them.

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“I feel the need… the need for speed

…in my sales quotes!”

Move over, Maverick! The speed of doing business is what we’re talking about. The problem with speed is that the faster you do something, the more likely you are to make mistakes — and a mistake in a sales proposal almost always impacts your bottom line.

CPQ solutions enable speedy creation and delivery of quotes by making the entire sales proposal process a repeatable process. Yes, this means speed, but with less manual labor (a.k.a., fewer mistakes).

There’s an ancillary benefit to repeatable processes — the opportunity to optimize. CPQ delivers a quantitative benefit: more proposals in circulation means more chances to land new business. But it’s also a qualitative benefit as you can learn from every proposal you send. Ah, if only we could go back in time and tell our first sales proposal what we’ve learned from the 100+ we’ve sent since then…

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Looking good,

reading well

2018 was supposed to be the year of the personal interaction, too. And is there a better way to connect with a customer than with a personalized, professionally designed, targeted, accurate, and visually appealing sales proposal? Excepting one of those holiday popcorn gift canister things with the three kinds of flavored popcorn, we would say absolutely not.

Not to get overly sentimental, but when your prospect is ready for a sales quote, that relationship has just moved from a handshake to a hug, and you need to ensure it’s all A-game. Using a CPQ solution to build your proposal means your offer will be configured with your latest EVERYTHING (products, pricing, upsells, service offerings, etc.) with pricing that’s a true win-win.

And the framework (quote template) for the compelling content (your products and pricing) you send to your customer provides the ideal platform for demonstrating the appeal of your brand, and how you can best serve and support your prospect’s line of business.

A killer proposal template can open doors and close deals. Not sure where to begin? No in-house design skills? Luckily, a timeless business trend is outsourcing design to the experts (i.e., the agencies).

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People power

Speaking of timeless trends in business… no matter what new tech or technique comes along, it will always be about the relationship between your rep and your customer. And while a CPQ solution can’t improve a rep’s “bedside manner,” it can empower them to spend less time typing up quotes and more time talking up prospects.

Additionally, in every sales proposal automation solution worth its salt, you’ll find embedded analytics and quote tracking tools that help you see which reps’ quotes are humming along and which are woefully out of tune.

So keep your eye on the trends — always a good idea, even if some of them are over before they even start — but keep a closer eye on your customer relationships, because that’s the only thing in the business world that’s truly timeless.