Usually, an ellipses (dot dot dot) is used to signal an open ending to a sentence, or flexibility in an idea.
In today’s post, we’re using it more like one would use a blank space, because when it comes to solving the problems most people face when creating a sales proposal, CPQ solutions solve just about every one of them
Here are some of the biggest problems people often face in creating proposals that actually help close more business, and how a configure, price, quote (CPQ) solution addresses them completely.
Wrong pricing in proposals
Don’t let anyone tell you differently: CPQ started primarily as a way to centralize and control product and pricing configurations.
As salespeople ourselves, we can tell you that your sale will pretty much go off the rails if the rep offers one price and the sales manager says something else.
But when salespeople us CPQ solutions to create every proposal, their options are intentionally limited.
It’s not that they can’t sell what you, the manager, wants them to sell. It’s that they can ONLY sell what you, the manager, wants them to sell.
Setting discount structures
You’d think that any rep bringing his A-game knows exactly how much he can offer off any given product or service. And you’d think wrong.
Far too often, in the thrill of the hunt, a rep will promise what a manager can’t deliver. Again, with a CPQ solution as a rep’s only path to products, pricing, and proposals, you can centralize control over discount structures the same way you centralize control over pricing and product configurations.
Additionally, you can use the pricing and discount structures to help move certain inventory, creating bundles with unbeatable pricing that are undeniably appealing to reps trying to drive new business.
MIA reps and MIA quotes
It’s the end of the quarter. According to the CRM, Tom has four quotes that should be closing soon and driving about 30% of the quarter’s revenue.
Problem is, Tom is M.I.A. Maybe he’d gone fishing, gone golfing, gone drinkin’ — who knows? The problem is the same: his quotes gotta close.
With a CPQ solution in place, a manager or other rep can slip into Tom’s funnel with ease and pick up where he left off.
As importantly, a manager can SEE where Tom left off: what quotes were sent and when; what kind of replies they got and when; what next steps need to be taken and how.
In most CRM systems, the quote tracking process doesn’t extend much beyond “Quote sent” and “Closed won” or “Closed lost.” CPQ solutions give you a granular view and empower you to make granular moves, on your own quotes and, when needed, on the quotes of a work shirker like ol’ Tom.
Look as good as you are
Imagine: it’s been a four month sales cycle. There’s been meeting and greeting, wining and dining, pitching and __________. And now, finally, it’s time to send that customer a quote. And the quote is sent. And it has all the appeal of an ASCII table.
Your CPQ solution comes fully loaded (or should, anyway) with professionally designed, vertically targeted proposal templates that help sell you even when you’re not around. (And this matters, because in most cases, more people in any given prospect’s organization will see more of your quote than of your face.)
Don’t leave the pricing, discount structures, or look and feel that comprises every sales quote up to chance. Use CPQ solutions to build, track, and send each quote, and ensure every rep brings an A-game by default.