Posted by Kristina Fine, SteelBrick Practice Manager
This is the first installment in a five-part series that looks at the Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) process and outlines the fundamentals of CPQ and how to get started with a CPQ solution. In this installment, we will define CPQ and how this software can streamline your sales processes, increase sales, and improve the overall customer experience.
Gartner Inc., the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, offers this definition of CPQ software:
“Configure, price, and quote (CPQ) application suites provide an integrated set of software applications supporting the configuration, pricing, and quote generation activities that accompany solution and negotiated selling. CPQ application suites are also deployed to support self-service sales environments, including business-to-consumer (B2C) and B2B sales environments. CPQ systems typically include pricing engines, proposal generators, quoting systems, and rules or constraint engines, and are complemented by approval and authorization workflows.”
CPQ can be further described by what each letter in the acronym stands for. Configure - the process of discovering, selecting, and combining options to create a product configuration. Configuration takes into consideration all constraints such as packaging, marketing, or limitations. Price - the amount required for payment for the product or service. Pricing takes into consideration such things as manufacturing costs and competitor pricing, as well as the economic benefit. Quote - the document that contains the pricing details for the requested products and services.
CPQ software optimizes sales growth with data driven price management making customer interaction consistent and more productive. Further CPQ may help to solve issues that are the result of slow quote processing, time spent on proposal generation, inaccuracies in quotes, price changes, and lost up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.
Businesses that deploy a CPQ software experience the perfect balance of functionality ease of use, and affordability. CPQ lets your sales reps create quotes that contain consistent pricing and are customer friendly. With features such as product search capabilities, pricing options, defined descriptions and subtotal features, and the ability to edit product items, CPQ software ensures that every quote contains the required components the first time, eliminating the need to resubmit quotes.
The software provides users with added benefits that include:
- Rapid software implementation that fits their specific needs
- User friendly interface
- Streamlined quote process
- Time savings through automated quote processes
- More accurate and faster quote delivery
- Error elimination
- Increased sales with up-selling and cross-selling opportunities
CPQ software allows businesses to simplify their sale processes. With CPQ, businesses can create multiple selling scenarios to minimize the product selection process and reduce the time to generate the quote. Sales reps are able to quickly configure pricing and create a professional product and service price quote. CPQ software assists businesses to restructure their pricing processes, understand market conditions to allow for appropriate price adjustments, and make sales or get contracts accomplished quickly. In addition to a simplified sales process, CPQ software provides strong product and service configuration, increases the productivity of sales reps, allow pricing based on volume and usage while taking into account price adjustments for discounts and markups. CPQ software creates consistent and professional quote documents to help increase sales and drive revenues. Other features of CPQ software include interfaces for prices sheets, cloud based hosting for handling and storage of data. The software helps to set current prices, project future product demand and pricing, as well as resource planning with detailed analytic capabilities.
Deploying a CPQ solution can help your sales team make informed decisions, streamline processes, sell smarter, increase sales, and deliver an extraordinary customer experience.
Next week, we will continue our CPQ series by taking a look at who needs a CPQ solution and questions to ask your sales team.