Key phrase there: “very little” instead of “nothing.” Which is why CPQ software vendors (Configure, Price, Quote) like iQuoteXpress can easily make the case of being CRM’s “5th Beatle,” a key part of the winning combination needed to drive more sales more quickly.
Before we explore the benefits of “Beatle #5,” let’s look at CRM’s “John, Paul, George, and Ringo,” the top four benefits of using a CRM system.
Improving information accuracy and flow
Depending on who your favorite Beatle is, the information entering and available to your business is John or Paul — and 100% critical to your success.
Your CRM doesn’t go out and “get info” for you, but it does provide a complete and consistent way to organize and share it across the enterprise. Every customer name, prospect email, vendor phone call, closed sale, and missed opportunity can be immediately viewable and acted upon by anyone (with permission, of course) in your business. And it’s those “actions” that comprise CRM software’s next biggest benefit: service.
Extraordinary — and integrated — customer service
If information organization is as important to your business as John was to The Beatles, then how you act on it is your Paul.
Your CRM solution won’t act on it for you, of course (outside of, say, automated email replies — which can also be done via your CPQ software, but we’ll get to that in a moment), but it will provide your sales and support teams with the means to understand a customer’s history and thereby better support their future.
A rep can see interactions with a customer that may have been executed by other reps and teammates along the way, which gives them the proper context to support that customer in the here and now, making for a happier, healthier relationship on all sides.
The melodies created by John and Paul weren’t lacking much, but the guitar lines and songwriting contributions of George made The Beatles a complete package.
In terms of customer communication, your CRM software provides complete package, too. Not only does it enable capturing every prospect, customer, partner, and vendor communication — chats, emails, texts, calls, and even sales quotes (via a CPQ/CRM integration) — it ensures visibility of those communications across the enterprise. This means that no customer ever has to “start over” just because they’re talking with a new rep: all communications are complete and available.
Reporting and forecasting
Like Ringo’s back beat, the reporting and forecasting functionality your CRM delivers is a foundation of business success. Because success means being ahead of the game, and you can’t forecast where to go next unless you’ve done reporting on where you’ve been.
A CRM solution delivers dashboards, funnels, and other business-metrics visualisation tools that make reporting a snap for everyone from rookies to C-level executives.
The 5th Beatle: CPQ
Most would agree that Sir George Martin, who recorded and helped arrange most every Beatles song, was the 5th Beatle. Without him, no strings on “Eleanor Rigby,” no orchestra on “Day in the Life,” no Ringo.
Adding sales proposal automation to CRM will “5th Beatle-ize” your CRM by enhancing CRM’s existing power, and adding new strengths as well.
Improved information, service, communication, and tracking during the sales quote process is the main thing. But the best CPQ software vendors will also be directing you toward custom templates, steps you can automate within the sales quote processes, and how to add CPQ as a single sign-on solution.
Remember: when it comes to warming up prospects and supporting customers, there’s very little your CRM can’t do. But for everything related to quoting and closing customers, lean on CPQ.