The world of B2B sales is a tricky one. Huge orders, complex needs, and large amounts of customization mean that sales teams have a great amount of work on their shoulders. Fortunately, there’s a solution that can help with that – CPQ software.
If you’re going to pick a CPQ software package to use, you need to be able to distinguish between different capabilities and see how they might fit your needs. Hopefully, after reading this post you’ll be able to tell the difference between a neat, niche feature and one that you actually might use, as well as determine what features are absolutely necessary for your organization.
What Is CPQ software?
CPQ stands for “Configure, Price, Quote”. It’s a type of software that lets you quickly and easily create quotes for orders that are accurate and feasible. They’ll often be used with CRM platforms and other pieces of business technology to make the best use of your data that you can.
Any quotes made with CRQ software come from the set of rules you program into it. These can include quantities, discounts, optional features, and customizations.
What Are The Criteria For Picking The Right CPQ Software?
Not all CPQ platforms are made equal. When you look to purchase one, you should think about:
Interfacing with a CRM
Using all your software is good, but if you can’t get them to work together then you’ll be stuck at square one when it comes to cross-referencing. By using a CPQ that’s able to interface with your CRM, you save time and effort.
The architecture type – native/hybrid
Of course, you might have different CRM platforms in different departments. If your CPQ is a native type it can only interface with one CRM and is useless with the other systems. Hybrid types can work with any CRM/ERP system, eliminating this weakness.
Integrating your CPQ with an e-commerce channel is a great idea, but what happens when you have multiple channels? Make sure your platform can integrate with every channel you use, else it’s back to pen and paper for you.
Sometimes your software can only handle so much. There’s plenty of CPQs that can only handle quotes of up to 2,500 line items, or slow down when they go over a certain catalog size. Keep this in mind – are you a business with a wide variety of products that’d need the extra robustness, or could you make do with a slower-paced one.
AI/machine learning capabilities
If you invest in an AI-powered CPQ, you’ll get a platform that has the ability to adapt and change quotes when market conditions shift. With this, you can keep your quotes up to date and competitive without constantly altering the software parameters.
What are the Benefits of Implementing CPQ?
CPQ software solutions are capable of many things, not the least of which is time saving. In today’s day and age, many people consider time to be just as if not more valuable than money.
- Contract managing with automatic renewal processes.
- The ability to set discount schedules automatically, saves time and stopping you from having to do the math.
- Allowing you to set limits for your orders that align with manufacturing capabilities.
- Streamlining advanced approvals requirements, saving time and effort.
- Allowing you to guide selling, and suggesting additional products or services throughout the quote generation process.
- Letting you define your pricing methods for block, per-unit, and hybrid order types.
- Allowing you to manage your customization options automatically and save the sales team time and effort when working out what the price of a highly customized item would be.
What does Configure, Price, Quote mean?
Configuration refers to the process of creating custom packages or bundles for your customer, Price to intelligent pricing of said bundles, and Quote to the process of generating quotes that are itemized, clear, and easy to read. The CPQ does all of this for you, no human input is required.
How does CPQ help manufacturers?
You’ll be safe knowing that your products are priced 100% accurately, with fewer mistakes and faster workflows making your customers satisfied.
What is CPQ analytics?
CPQ generates a lot of data, and with CPQ analytics you can understand what the data is telling you and better adapt to the evolving market.
When should I use a CPQ?
If you have a lot of complex, customizable products and your sales team finds itself having headaches over pricing and the complexity of orders, now’s the time to invest in a CPQ.
How do you set up a CPQ
A CPQ needs to be configured to your business, with the parameters being input according to your decisions. The approvals process, discount options, product lists etc. must all be input before the CPQ will function.
How does a CPQ actually work
The idea of a CPQ is to be the bridge between the customer-facing sales teams and the finance department, making sure that the sales team can give customers the best possible deals and prices while still maintaining profit margins. It seeks to speed up communication between the two departments by automating many common queries.
How useful is AI in CPQ platforms?
Over 66% of businesses consider AI to be crucial to their sales process, especially in more volatile markets that would need the CPQ parameters altered often. AI is extremely useful for CPQs to not only save time but boost customer satisfaction.