How CPQ systems can help a sales team embrace and profit from changes in the market.
Creating International Sales Proposals
The Catalog As Classroom: Teaching Team Members Product Specs
CPQ (Configure Price Quote) software might seem pretty straightforward to you as a single-use tool. There are many different CPQ software products out there, but all of them provide a similar function—to make it easier to produce quotes. At first glance, this function may seem hardly more sophisticated than that of a calculator, but if you’ve never implemented CPQ software in a live work environment, you’re probably missing some key insights about the product.
Efficiency as a Bottom Line
Good CPQ software is all about efficiency: getting more things done, doing more things correctly, and at the cost of less time. But this efficiency isn’t limited to one specific task or department. Your sales team will probably save some time by generating quotes automatically, but this is only one efficiency-building function that CPQ software serves. It actually serves multiple roles for multiple departments in small businesses, helping the entire organization improve its internal processes.
Take a look at these five pivotal roles CPQ software plays:
The first role is a bit obvious, as it’s one we briefly explored in the introduction and usually the first one to come to people’s minds. CPQ software serves as a way to simplify the process of creating a quote, which ordinarily falls on salespeople or entrepreneurs. Depending on your current resources and the nature of the bid, it could take hours of time to research the client, determine pricing for each individual item, assemble the materials into one file, and polish the final document for accuracy and presentation.
You’ll still have to do some client research and some of the upfront work when it comes to the sales process itself, but the bulk of the creation process is made automatic and instantaneous. If you write an average of three proposals a week, CPQ software could free up several hours of your time on a weekly basis.
Forget the quoting process for a minute. In most cases, before you ever get to the quoting process, you need to open the door to a sale by making a client interested in a package. To do that, your sales team needs to have in-depth, intimate knowledge of all your products and services. Imagine being in a sales meeting and not being able to answer basic questions about your product, like how much it costs in bulk, or what service plan options are available.
Most organizations, even small businesses, have some kind of training program for their salespeople, but those programs only take you so far. Acquired knowledge can be easily forgotten, even the most comprehensive programs don’t explore everything, and they’re practically useless when in a pinch. CPQ software offers this thorough company and product information, anywhere at any time, for salespeople to rely on. Think of it as your perpetual sales team educator, helping you land more sales and win more client confidence.
Imagine quoting something for a client the manual way—creating a document from scratch. They go for the deal, and six months later, they want a quote for a different set of products or services. However, you’ve lost the original document (or a different salesperson is handling it), and as a result, your new quote ends up looking nothing like your old one in terms of formatting. Your client will notice the difference, and you might lose professional credibility in the process. CPQ software serves as a formatting agent to prevent this type of incident from ever occurring. All your salespeople will be using the same tool, with the same setup, so you’ll never have to worry about someone breaching your standard format. It’s also handy for comparing your previous quotes against one another and learning from past mistakes.
Can you remember what you quoted for a client three years ago, or how your proposal looked? Probably not. You might keep all your proposals on a local hard drive, or you might even be able to find it with a quick search through your email, but can all your other salespeople gain access to it? Ideally, you’d have some sort of collective archive, storing all your old proposals for future reference and providing them for anyone who wants to see them. CPQ software does just this—for as long as you keep using it as your dedicated resource, you’ll have consistent access to any quote you’ve ever produced.
For a business to succeed, all its employees need to operate in unison. Your customer service team needs to tell customers the same information their salespeople told them. Your account managers need to have the same pricing that your marketers have. Your accountants demand rigid adherence to certain protocols across all departments. Any deviations from these points of consistency could undermine your authority as a business or cause a disruptive hiccup in your ongoing procedures.
That’s where CPQ software comes in. Think of it as a communal resource for quotes, pricing, product information, and general knowledge consistency that can keep your entire team on the same page for the foreseeable future. Whenever something changes, you can update it here, and your entire team will be able to keep operating smoothly.
The right CPQ software can aid your business in multiple distinct applications, saving you time, and therefore, money, while streamlining your entire operation. With more consistent, detailed quotes and properly indexed information, you’ll win more bids, and your team will have more time to dedicate to other, higher-priority items. The bottom line is that CPQ software saves your business time and money—far outweighing its costs (especially over the long term).
If you’re interested in learning more about how CPQ software can aid your business, schedule a free demo of iQuoteXpress. With easy integration, e-catalog indexing, and a contact management system, it’s one of the most robust products on the market, maximizing your return on investment.
Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software is currently one of the most popular applications for producing accurate price quotes. It offers real-time data that can be used to improve the sales process as a whole. One thing that’s so great about this product is that it constantly evolves to match the needs of the current business world.
Because CPQ is constantly evolving, it becomes the responsibility of the business to project where they will be next and how this will affect the company. You should definitely evaluate what’s coming this year, in five years, and even in 20 years. It’s important to know what the future of CPQ software looks like, so here are a few predictions for you to consider.
Pervasion of the Cloud
At one point, those in the CPQ business believed that the market for this software would be equally divided between on-site and cloud-based use. However, it’s quickly shifting in the direction of the cloud. Though the shift is happening much sooner than most predicted, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, since most software applications are turning toward the cloud for software integration.
“The cloud speeds up business processes,” says Paul Kriete of iQuoteXpress. “And the companies that are able to adjust more quickly to customer needs are usually the ones who will be leaders in their industry.” Blasser also points out how the business world is rapidly moving in the direction of the cloud. According to his research, 54 percent say they’re using the cloud because it increases business ability and scalability while 48 percent are doing so for financial purposes, both of which, apply in the situation of CPQ software.
The cloud sets itself apart as a more useful, convenient form of software management. For starters, accessibility greatly increases with cloud-based software. In addition, companies can automatically send updates through the cloud and keep software from becoming outdated. It’s also much more effective for data storage, since users would no longer need to store data on their computers.
The transition to cloud-based software has already begun. Companies are beginning to offer incentives to their existing on-premise customers to transition to the cloud-based software. They’ll offer discounts on the use of their cloud-based platform in order to get more people using it. Because of this method, it’s predicted that within a decade, all CPQ software will be entirely integrated into the cloud.
More Dynamic Selling
In sales, there’s one sales tactic that’s taking the world by force: dynamic selling. It involves the being interactive, involved, and flexible with sales in order to meet the needs of your sales environment - and it’s the style of selling that goes best with CPQ software in the future. Expert dynamic sales reps today are looking to use CPQ software to support their causes, which is setting the precedent for all those in the sales sector. Within the next decade, the use of CPQ software in the environment of sales is expected to be mainstream.
This all comes thanks to the release of more agile CPQ software that offers the same flexibility of dynamic sales. Sellers get the responses and data they’re looking for without compromising on productivity. It’s efficient, affordable, and totally effective.
The future is all about automated sales proposals and better deals. For those struggling to make it in the sales world, this is what they need to get their sales businesses off the ground running, and keep experienced sales representatives competitive.
Deeper Integration of Business Intelligence (BI) in Sales
Companies have been using Business Intelligence to better their business processes for centuries, but it has grown enormously since that time. Companies have moved away from collecting data through talking face-to-face and mail-in surveys and moved towards finding this information through internet applications like social media and app use. This business intelligence is now making a name for itself in sales, growing at an annual compounded rate of 8.7 percent through 2018, according to Gartner.
Companies are able to grow their intelligence and information gathered from existing customers and discover things the customers love, things they hate, problems that need to be solved, and more. Sales people can bring specific products and services to the attention of customers according to what they love, all thanks to CPQ software that can gather information and automate the processes of price configuration and more for consumer benefit.
The proliferation of CPQ software is becoming more widespread than ever. It’s become a magnet of sorts for investors, attracting them to the software because of its unprecedented potential and many uses in the sales world. Investors are recognizing the benefits of such software that can cut through complex selling challenges and provide live streaming, making sales more visual and easy to comprehend.
Investors look for efficient investments that can bring in easy revenue. Through the improvements in configuration, pricing, guided selling, order management, price quoting, and other software capabilities, CPQ software has generated a sizeable interest from mergers acquisitions managers, and investors.
Use iQuoteXpress Software Today!
The future of CPQ software is rife with possibilities. Companies and individual sales reps alike are beginning to recognize the potential, and as a result, they’re seeking to make CPQ software an integral part of their business processes.
Those looking to stay ahead of the software curve and remain competitive should invest in CPQ software today. There are multiple, distinct software applications that can save you time and money through streamlining your efficiencies and increasing your revenue. We can be consistent with our detailed quotes and pricing product information, winning you more bids and putting your team at a higher-priority than others.
The best part is that if you’re interested in using our iQuoteXpress CPQ software, you can call today to learn more. Also, make sure to set up your free, no-obligation demo of our patented software. Don’t hesitate - contact us today!