Staying competitive and gaining higher revenues from sales operations is a universal goal of businesses. With these goals in mind, high-performing companies are turning to CPQ (configure-price-quote) software to streamline their sales operations, produce quotes faster, and accelerate their deals.
If your organization is still on the fence about adding a CPQ to your Salesforce instance, I hope that by the end of this article you’ll give CPQ another look to learn how it can improve the productivity of your sales team and increase your close rates.
CPQ Accelerates Deals
When buyers are ready to talk pricing and quotes, they are nearly ready to make a decision. They don’t want to wait while you take the time to pull the numbers together. Responding slowly to a request for a quote leaves the deal on the table where it can stall and leaves the door open for the competition to make their move. A streamlined sales process keeps customers happy and reps productive.
Automating the quote process by integrating CPQ software with Salesforce relieves sales reps of error-prone manual tasks, which frees up time to focus on working with potential buyers and moving deals forward. Let’s take a look at the ways CPQ software helps sales teams close deals faster.
1. Streamline the Sales Process
82% of B2B decision-makers think sales reps are unprepared. (Biznology) Perhaps it’s because administrative tasks such as pulling quotes together from spreadsheets, composing emails and with multiple attachments, and manually tracking response to quotes, are a burden to your salesforce. These time-consuming administrative tasks slow down the sales process and your sales reps’ response to buyers.
A CPQ optimizes sales efficiency by automating and streamlining administrative tasks. Scheduling client communications, generating quotes and orders, and requesting approvals can all be controlled with the CPQ, so your sales team achieves top efficiency.
2. Faster Sales Cycles
CPQ makes the complicated B2B sales process easier not only for the seller but the buyer as well. Information buyers need to make a decision is available earlier in the sales cycle. Volume discounts, bundles, add-ons, and upsells based on customer-specific product configurations are delivered in the initial quote, saving time and enabling the deal to move through the pipeline faster.
Research by the Aberdeen Group shows that CPQ users shorten their sales cycle by 13%; reducing the average sales cycle from 4.68 months (non-CPQ users) to 3.42 months (CPQ users). In the same study, non-CPQ users had 7.1 conversations per deal, whereas CPQ users had 6.6 conversations per deal. Moreover, CPQ enables nimble sales quoting which contributes to a lean sales cycle. When customers change their requirements, new quotes can be generated in minutes, not days.
3. Guided Selling Keeps Deals on Target
A key feature of CPQ software, guided selling uses an automated Sales Playbook and a series of question sequences and recommendations to guide sales reps through the process of creating a customized quote and communicating with prospects at each stage of the sales cycle. The software triggers upsell and cross-sell opportunities and volume discounts, resulting in quotes that align with each customer’s specific needs. Pre-defined pricing and configuration rules free sales managers from the time-consuming burden of double-checking every quote for errors while giving them the confidence to move quotes through the approval process quickly.
4. Seamlessly Generate Proposals, Quotes & Contracts
CPQ software generates proposals, quotes, and contracts quickly while customizing each proposal to fit the prospect’s needs. When 77% of customers want personalized sales content, a CPQ makes it easy to deliver. Customizable templates reduce the chances of proposal errors and ensure prospects receive accurate quotes that are on-brand and professional.
5. Fewer Errors & Delays
With CPQ, new products, configurations, and prices are all updated in one system, in real-time, ensuring all quotes reflect accurate pricing. With accurate product configuration rules in place, CPQ can generate error-free quotes based on various product combinations and cost variables. By delivering accurate quotes and eliminating the need for revisions, you can compress the sales cycle into fewer customer interactions and close deals faster.
6. Customize Product Offerings Using the Correct Configuration
According to HubSpot, nearly 60% of customers want to talk pricing on the first call. When sales reps rely on multiple sources such as Excel spreadsheets, to gather pricing information, there’s a risk of using outdated pricing structures.
With CPQ, current pricing information is available in one place, and sales reps are better informed of pricing adjustments and promotions, lowering the chance of errors and rogue discounting. CPQ can use customer account data to generate customized quotes based on factors such as past purchases, location, and legal requirements.
7. Ensure Compliance
It’s frustrating for sales reps, and their managers, to spend time creating a proposal only to find out that it doesn’t pass internal policies or regulatory compliance. For heavily-regulated industries, it’s crucial to ensure that products meet regulations and are properly built to fulfill customers’ contractual obligations. A CPQ ensures legal compliance and will also maintain documentation needed in the event of a claim or litigation.
8. Enrich Your CRM with Insight into Stakeholder Interest
Customers can share quotes with internal stakeholders via email, a personalized mini-site, or other means, ensuring all stakeholders have access to the information needed to make decisions. Then, the CPQ gathers intelligence on stakeholder engagement and enriches Salesforce by adding insights to Opportunity records to give a complete picture of the customer.
CPQ Adds Value to Salesforce
You’ve made a great investment with Salesforce CRM. To achieve a stronger ROI, add a CPQ to your mission-critical sales tools. There is agile CPQ software on the market today for Salesforce users that solves some of the issues of legacy systems, is easy to implement and doesn’t require hard coding. This results in a shorter installation period, increased ease of use, and faster time to value.
“Legacy CPQ systems aren’t scaling to support the more complex product configurations of smart, connected products and the services revenues they generate.”
– Louis Columbus (Forbes)
A dynamic CPQ, such as DealHub, integrated with Salesforce, enables sales teams to configure complex products and pricing easily and respond to buyer requests for quotes quickly, two factors which heavily impact the customer experience and accelerate your deals. At DealHub, our customers enjoy many uplifts in their sales KPIs, including a 13% increase in active selling time and 27% higher win rates.
I encourage you to take a look at how CPQ can help improve the efficiency of your sales operations and help your sales teams sell more, faster. Download the DealHub Guide to CPQ to learn more.