What makes the best quoting software “best?”

For most people, that sounds like the exact list of benefits you would expect to find in the best sales quoting software on the market today. But it’s not. It’s simply a list of features you should expect from a configure, price, quote (CPQ) solution. 

It’s in how those features deliver lasting benefits to your business where things get really interesting, and some CPQ solutions start to pull away from the pack and earn the Championship Belt of “Best Quoting Software.”

Templates = brand building and better connecting to your customer

The sales proposal templates feature is fairly simple: most leading CPQs include dozens, if not hundreds, of professionally designed proposal templates. 

Our advice, though, is to go a little bigger. Customize those templates with your brand (imagery, boilerplate language, color scheme, etc.) and modify them for the vertical markets you serve (add infographics, industry stats, etc.).

The feature is templates, but the benefit is better expressing your brand to your customers, and better connecting with those customers by visually demonstrating you know their market.

Product & pricing configuration = optimizing revenue

The feature is the bedrock of any CPQ system: being able to quickly and easily add products and pricing to a proposal.

The benefit, however, goes deeper. By centrally controlling products, pricing, bundles, and discount structures for each rep, you maximize the revenue potential in every quote your company sends, no matter who is sending it.

Not only does this create consistencies across the enterprise (e.g., no longer will reps be working off different and/or outdated spreadsheets), but you ensure that ALL reps will ONLY be able to present your latest and greatest products and pricing.

Sales analytics and reporting = speeding throughput

The feature is, in most cases, a dashboard where you can view the progress of individual sales quotes, as well as individual sales reps.

The benefit is being able to ACT on that information in real time, and thereby 1) quickly remove bottlenecks (where a rep or a quote may be stuck), and 2) create a repeatable, shareable process that’s a model of efficiency.

To explain point #2 a little more: every rep is different, every quote is different. However, over time, the data will show where one rep’s approach, or one type of quote, is proving to be more effective than the others. You can essentially “cut and paste” what works well, replicating the rep’s process or the winning quote format across your entire organization.

CRM CPQ integration = increased efficiency and adoption

The feature is data feeding back and forth between systems, and neither system “getting in the way” (e.g., slowing down performance on either side through a shoddy integration).

The benefit here is a little more tricky as for CPQ and CRM integration to really be effective and help drive increases in throughput, data accuracy, and overall adoption by reps, a single sign-on solution is required. (Like the IQX single sign-on for Dynamics and Zoho CRM.)

Single sign-on for CPQ and CRM means that reps will, by default, use both systems as one. This can deliver cleaner data (as reps are always more careful about what goes into a sales proposal than what goes into, say, a lead record), and more granular information in the funnel (as CPQ tracks every stage in the quote signing process).

Seamless CPQ and CRM integration can also further adoption of CRM in general as reps tend to check on the progress of their quotes in circulation more often than anything else. Having that information in your CRM means having your reps using your CRM more often, too.

When you’re looking for the best quoting software on the market, make sure it has all the features listed above. But when you’re looking for the best quoting software for your business, make sure it can deliver every benefit listed, too.