According to our friends at HubSpot, “Sales enablement is the technology, processes, and content that empower sales teams to sell efficiently at a higher velocity.”
Put into the language of your average sales rep, HubSpot is saying sales enablement is (or should be) a way to close more business more quickly with less hands-on effort.
As the most critical step in “selling efficiently” is getting a signed quote, CPQ systems (configure price quote, or sales proposal automation solutions) take center stage in the sales enablement technology department.
But CPQ comprises more than just the “technology” in that short list from HubSpot: it can also make major contributions to both the “processes and content that empower” sales enablement.
Technology to sell at velocity
Like most software solutions, CPQ was created to improve (or eliminate) manual processes. In this case, it was the manual creation, delivery, and tracking of sales quotes.
We can’t speak to every CPQ system on the market, but iQuoteXpress (IQX) was developed to be both a standalone technology as well as a sales proposal solution integrated with CRM and other business systems.
Integrating CPQ and CRM should be a no-brainer for the B2B sales department as reps regularly access their CRM for lead and customer info, to update opportunities, and to track sales quotes.
But while most CRM platforms offer only limited tracking functionality of quotes (typically, “sent” and “signed”), any CPQ software worth its salt takes a deep dive into every step of the process. Which brings us to the process part of empowering sales teams to sell efficiently.
Part of the process
And a process unto itself
Building, sending, and tracking a quote with a CPQ system should be part of your overall sales process. (In fact, the organization that uses IQX as its CPQ sees this part of the sales process improved by about 50%!). But CPQ has within it a series of “micro-processes” that give an organization more granular data on each proposal in the pipeline.
Instead of tracking sent and signed only, CPQ lets you track each response, each addition/edit, and each interaction DURING the quote signing process.
Think about it: no signed quote = no sale. Why settle for limited visibility here? Why do we track, in detail, every step that leads to a quote being sent and then pffffft! Just wait for it to be signed?
Extend your sales-tracking processes into every twist and turn of the quote-signing process with CPQ. Don’t be content with high-level tracking only. Speaking of content...
Content that only gets better over time
While it’s true that timing of an RFP response is half the battle, it’s equally true that the content in said response is the other half of the battle.
One challenge most sales organizations face is that the content (what’s in the RFP response) used by Joe doesn’t match what’s being used by Barry, and this content can be ancillary, such as an infographic, or primary, such as your product and pricing configurations.
With CPQ, all your reps are using the same sales proposal templates, accessing product and pricing from the same centralized repository, and generally enjoying a level playing field.
Additionally, with each quote sent, you can optimize the template and/or products and pricing therein, ensuring the next quote is your best quote yet!
Sales enablement should be systemic. (There’s no such thing as a one-man sales enablement initiative.) CPQ systems can help ensure that the technology, processes, and content you use to further sales enablement extend across every person in your enterprise, and into every sales proposal they send.