CPQ Software for Professional Services
Professional services encompass a complex line of sectors, from software services to consulting to training and more. With the growing demand for professional services, many business challenges come from customer acquisition and retention, team collaboration, and resource allocation, not to mention billing and cash flow issues. However, there is a solution to help minimize many of the challenges and obstacles professional services companies face in their sales processes: CPQ software.
How CPQ Helps Professional Services Sales Teams Create Customized Quotes
CPQ (configure, price, quote) is a sales tool used by many companies in various industries because it is a reliable, robust, simple, and fast way to help them manage the complex process of pricing their products and services. CPQ seamlessly connects with CRM, PSA, and ERP systems for frictionless sales and delivery of services. It improves interdepartmental communication and collaboration between Resource Management, Sales, and Delivery by synchronizing data between systems.
Professional services firms rely on accurate estimates and quotations to stay competitive and profitable. Accurate estimates help services firms to plan the scope of the project, determine the necessary resources, budget appropriately, and meet customer expectations. Without an accurate estimate, it can be difficult for a service firm to ensure they deliver a quality service within the required timeline and budget.
CPQ software enables sales teams in services firms to generate accurate estimates linked to an opportunity, based on a services product list, and to automatically populate price, discounts, and expenses. Additionally, they can create service bundles or bundles of services and products together. The connection between the opportunity in the CRM and the sales estimate ensures data synchronization and valid sales quotes.
In addition to helping services firms generate accurate quotes, here are some of the many business issues that CPQ helps solve:
- inconsistent pricing
- sales team inefficiency
- team collaboration on quotes and proposals
- disconnected resource planning, sales, and delivery
- revenue leaks due to incorrect quotes and billing
- customer retention
CPQ Solutions for Professional Services
CPQ Drive Sales Efficiency for Professional Services Companies
Professional services companies that add CPQ to their sales stack experience reduced costs, improved efficiency and sales team productivity, consistent pricing and discounting, and increased revenue. It’s also worth mentioning that CPQ Software helps improve the customer experience and increases customer retention.
Now, let’s dive into the primary advantages professional services businesses experience by implementing CPQ software.
Faster Sales Cycle: CPQ software is designed to help sales reps in professional services companies be prepared for new business opportunities. Responding slowly to requests from potential clients can mean lost deals. With CPQ, sales reps can quickly configure service packages and generate accurate quotes and estimates in minutes rather than hours or days. Streamlining the quoting process leads to shorter sales cycles and more opportunities to focus on winning new business.
One Source of Truth: Sifting through emails, spreadsheets, and pdfs to create quotes and estimates means wasted time and costly errors. CPQ software integrates with CRM and ERP software. Customer records, product catalog, pricing information, and sales activities are unified and stored centrally for accurate real-time data and error-free quotes and contracts.
Improves Sales Performance: CPQ helps sales reps quote the right service at the right price, improving customer satisfaction and closing more deals. CPQ incorporates guided selling, making it easier for sales reps to configure service packages and upsell and cross-sell related services so customers get the best offer. In addition, CPQ software helps reduce the time required to complete a sale by streamlining the process of creating custom quotes and orders. This can be especially helpful when selling complex product and service bundles.
Better Data: CPQ software can also help sales managers track and analyze sales data to identify best practices and optimize sales strategies. In addition, tracking customer preferences and buying trends can help service businesses better understand their target markets and develop new services.
Simplifies Service Quotes: Quotes for professional services can range from blocks of service hours to multi-variable projects with combinations of fixed-price line items, hours of skilled professional time, and outcome-based project deliverables. It’s this complexity that makes CPQ the perfect tool for solving the issue of generating accurate professional services quotes quickly.
Minimizes Errors: Quote errors are costly and cause delays in closing deals. CPQ software helps to minimize these errors by streamlining the quoting process. This software enables you to automate quotes based on fee schedules and standardized rate cards. Pre-approved discounts can be defined to enable quick approval of customized quotes. This reduces mistakes in sales proposals and contracts and helps sales reps close deals more quickly.
Improves Customer Retention: By automating the quoting process, CPQ software makes it easier for customers to buy products and services. This increases customer satisfaction and encourages customers to return to your business in the future. Additionally, CPQ software can help you track customer interactions and preferences, which can help you personalize your offers and keep customers coming back.
Accelerates Revenue: CPQ software is a vital tool for accelerating revenue. It helps businesses to configure, price, and order service packages quickly and accurately. It also delivers insights about margins, skills needed, project timelines, forecasts, and in-demand services. This translates to increased sales and higher revenue.
CPQ Software Features for Professional Services Automation
Many features of today’s CPQ software are built to enable companies selling professional services to provide accurate quotes quickly. CPQ helps sales teams automate quote generation, manage subscriptions and renewals, and streamline contract management.
Guided Selling: CPQ software is designed to help configure service packages using a rules-based engine. When implementing the CPQ application, pricing, deliverables, contract terms, and other service details are loaded into the software. Then, sales reps guide customers through a series of questions and answers to dynamically build quotes or estimates. An easy-to-use interface makes it simple to configure even the most complex products or service bundles.
Subscription Management: CPQ software is essential for managing recurring revenue from retainer fees and subscriptions. It helps with creating and managing orders and processing renewals and cancellations. This ensures that customers always have the most up-to-date information about their subscriptions and that they can make changes or updates as needed. Additionally, CPQ software can help with billing and invoicing, which makes it easier to track payments and subscription status.
Pricing: Pricing and discounting can be complex and time-consuming, especially when selling professional and managed services. With CPQ, the days of using spreadsheets and price lists are gone. Instead, CPQ provides real-time pricing, which is always accurate and up-to-date. In addition, automated quote approvals ensure proposals move forward without costly delays, improving customer satisfaction and increasing close rates.
Integration: CPQ software integrates natively with many CRM and ERP systems without middleware tools, eliminating manual processes such as updating client records and pricing in disconnected systems. It also integrates with contract management software, professional services automation (PSA) platforms, and sales proposal software so sales teams leverage real-time data across systems.
Service Team Collaboration with Sales: CPQ enables sales teams to work from one centralized platform to configure service packages, quote prices, close deals, and handoff projects to service teams. Proposal documents are accessible by stakeholders online, and changes, notations, and approval stages are all tracked in the CPQ so sales teams can keep deals moving forward.
Reports and Analytics: CPQ software allows real-time visibility into deals that helps revenue leaders forecast demand and revenue. Data on in-demand skills and services, margins, project dates, and the sales pipeline provide accurate information to grow service businesses.
Rhonda Bavaro excels in boosting SaaS companies’ growth through innovative content marketing, thriving in the dynamic sales tech industry amidst evolving technologies that drive revenue acceleration.