What CPQ means in plain English, and in your business

No matter how you define configure, price, quote solutions (CPQ) — and in spite of the many a.k.a.’s attached to CPQ, such as “cash-to-quote software”, “sales proposal automation applications”, “quote management solutions”, or “RFP software” — it’s simply a better way of getting the right sales quote to the right customer at the right time.

We could have defined CPQ by its features (proposal templates, product and pricing configuration, quote tracking, etc.), but we think it makes far more sense to define a business technology by its benefits. Because no matter what features you focus on, it’s the benefits that matter.

And here are the benefits a solution like iQuoteXpress (IQX) could deliver to your business (based on what it DID deliver to some of our actual customers):

CPQ: it’s not just another acronym

Now, if you’re like us and most B2B salespeople, you hear about a new software or a new acronym and you think: “Ugh… another new software I have to use and another acronym to remember, just when I learned CRM and ERP.”

But let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater. No matter what you call it, adding CPQ to CRM or ERP — or just to your everyday sales process — means you will get better looking quotes out more quickly, track each quote from the moment it’s initiated (e.g., when a prospect becomes an opportunity), and free up sales reps to spend more time with clients.

Don’t take our word for it. Sales Manager James Moore with Abax Kingfisher said that adding IQX’s CPQ power to his sales processes “reduced the amount of pricing errors, resulting in higher profits… [and] it has directly assisted with the reduction in time sales staff are sitting at their desks, meaning they are out on the road generating more business.”

CPQ: proposals on repeat

First, let’s be clear: we do not mean you are repeatedly sending the same sales proposal over and over again. What CPQ enables is a repeatable PROCESS, one that can be optimized each time you send a quote.

(Think of a killer play in football: the first time you try it, it works and you gain 20 yards; the next time you try it, you optimize it a little bit it and you score a touchdown.)

Once more, though, don’t take our word for it. With IQX, “all our quotes are in the same place, sales people are able to share info, quotes can be edited by others, we get a quick review of quote status for reports, and have an easy, repeatable quote process,” says Julianna Farresta, a project lead at a leading laser optics company.

ROI: everyone’s favorite business acronym

We could talk about features and benefits all day, but in the end all that matters with an investment in business tech of any kind is the pay-off: did you get a return on your investment or not?

With some solutions, such as ERP, it can take years to realize ROI. But with CPQ, ROI comes with practically the first quote you send.

For example, according to Director of Sales & Marketing, Tricia Kane, prior to using IQX, her business was feeling the pain and costs of a disconnected sales proposal process, and needed to increase visibility into reps activity.

She made an investment in IQX. Immediately upon using it, she saw what CPQ means to her business: not only more insight but actionable insight into reps’ activity, with the ability to look at real-time data, a “a true improvement… that pays big dividends.”

Want to see how adding CPQ to your business could deliver ROI and change how you define sales success? We’re ready when you are.