If you’re a farmer, silos are a wonderful thing. They store food for future use and store that food close to where it will be consumed. Simple, yet perfect.
Sadly, in business, silos don’t come anywhere near providing the value that they do for the farmer. A silo can be found in a department, a business unit, a division, or a newly acquired company, all of which have the same characteristics—they operate independently from each other. And in many cases they have built significant barriers to those in other silos from gaining access to theirs. Not so simple, and far from perfect.
Perceived job security, insecurity, incompetence, and lack of understanding could all be contributors to the mayhem that a silo can create in an organization.
Silos for salespeople
Now picture the poor salesperson who has to prepare a quote for products that cross multiple silos. Not only are they potentially held back because there’s no integration or commonality of product knowledge, but also everything that they try to configure requires someone else to touch it before they can get a quote to the customer (and everyone in sales knows that the customers are desperately awaiting with check in hand). Okay, maybe that last line is a stretch, but time to prepare a quote for a customer has a direct effect on the probability of close.
It’s hard to claim that you are nimble and responsive if it takes two weeks to prepare a quote. Especially when you then discover that because the quote has been touched by so many people, there are multiple errors to be corrected and more approvals to be granted, before it can actually become a firm quote. And even longer before it’s a closed sale.
A couple of examples from our experience: more than 20 tabs on a spreadsheet to be filled out with at least half of them requiring sign off by another department; more than 20% of all quotes contained serious errors that had to be corrected before an order was placed; or, millions lost in cross-sell opportunities simply because the sales team had no visibility of related products.
Related: McAfee chose Simplus to implement CPQ process. Here’s why.
Crush Silos with CPQ
The solution: empower the sales team with a tool that guides their configuring and pricing efforts to create accurate, complete, professionally produced, and margin optimizing quotes via a CPQ (Configure Price Quote) application. A CPQ system will drive through the silo barriers, ensuring that every quote is accurate, inclusive of all products and services, compatible with key add-on options, unburdened from time-draining and unnecessary approval processes, and in the hands of the prospect days before your competition.
Increased top-line revenue, higher margins, compressed sales cycles, more selling time for your reps, 100% pipeline visibility, and greater partner engagement are only a few of the results that you can expect once you have adopted CPQ.