30 Mar Aim higher: How CPQ helps your reps exceed sales goals
Selling is hard—and for the average sales rep, not getting any easier. Yet despite how hard sales teams work, they are more often than not falling short of customer expectations. Gartner research found that 77 percent of B2B buyers report that their most recent purchase was “very complex or difficult.” A sales teams’ window of opportunity to positively influence buying outcomes, however, is limited: Gartner also found that customers spend just 5% of their overall buyer journey interacting with sales representatives.
Against these odds, sales teams need all the help they can get. One of the most impactful ways to give sales teams the leg up that they need is with a fully integrated, cloud-based CPQ (configure price quote) platform that streamlines key aspects of the sales lifecycle. Without a modern CPQ solution, the average sales team is struggling under the weight of cumbersome, manual processes for generating accurate quotes—from outdated product catalogs and pricing information to time-consuming internal processes for getting approvals to send customers their quotes. Fortunately, modern CPQ frees sales teams of all of these issues through automation and intelligence. Let’s explore four key ways that modern CPQ empowers sales teams to aim higher and crush their sales goals:
CPQ speeds up creating and approving quotes
Most sales teams spend more time and effort generating sales quotes and getting them approved than they should. Too often, sales representatives must wade through outdated product catalogs, inaccurate pricing information, and confusing templates to put together a single quote. Even after the quote is prepared, sales teams then typically manually route it through internal approvals; moreover, sales reps are responsible for following up with approvers who drop the ball or reject a quote without offering sufficient guidance on how to fix it. A modern CPQ platform can dramatically reduce the attention and resources that must be devoted to creating and approving quotes. Using automation and intelligence, sales teams gain access to centralized product and pricing information that is always up to date, including the ability to let the CPQ system automatically apply discounts, promotions, and deals with just a few clicks of the mouse. Then, CPQ also takes care of automatically routing the quote through necessary internal approvals steps; CPQ even automatically reminds approvers if there are contracts waiting to be approved. The end result is that sales reps can get quotes to customers faster, maximizing the chances that the customer will perceive the company as responsive, attentive, and wholly worthy of earning the customer’s business.
CPQ ensures quotes are generated to appropriate specifications
In most organizations, quotes go through multiple layers of approvals to ensure that the quote and/or draft contract language does not expose the company to unnecessary risk or financial loss. The responsibility for putting together these quotes, however, typically falls on sales teams. Indeed, sales teams are responsible for pricing products and services appropriately, deciding if and how to apply discounts and special offers, and crafting service level agreements that strike the right balance of serving the customer’s needs and not exposing the company to unnecessary financial losses. Sales teams also are responsible for inserting necessary legal language into quotes and contracts to protect the company from legal exposure. While many of these aspects of preparing quotes and contracts require considerable skill and judgment to put together manually, a modern CPQ solution automates and streamlines all of these steps—essentially, putting guide rails on what is otherwise a cumbersome process for the average sales rep to navigate. CPQ works behind the scenes to verify and validate that every quote falls within the company’s pricing guidelines and rules, as well as that every quote contains necessary provisions and legal language. Ultimately, CPQ enables sales reps to send the best possible quotes to customers—ones that are accurate, polished, complete, and competitive.
CPQ reduces sales teams’ administrative obligations
In the average organization, the sales team’s time is sucked up on tasks that have nothing to do with interacting and building relationships with customers. Indeed, after a sale is initiated, sales reps become responsible for working with multiple other teams—order fulfillment, operations, finance, legal—to ensure the company delivers every customer’s products and services in the timeframe prescribed and exactly as specified in the contract. This internal facilitation obligation, which often includes manually transferring and providing specific information about a sale to other teams, takes sales teams’ time away from selling. Modern CPQ automates much of this process, relying on integrations that connect CPQ to back-end ERP (enterprise resource planning) and accounting systems. Consequently, sales teams have far less work to do to support routine activities like order fulfillment, revenue collection, revenue forecasting, and audits. CPQ takes care of these tasks for sales reps, enabling them to spend more time strengthening relationships with customers.
CPQ helps sales reps increase the size of deals
Every sales rep wants to identify additional products and services that will resonate so much with customers that they agree to increase the size of the deal. For the average sales rep, the ability to upsell and cross-sell is largely dictated by a combination of gut instinct and expert command of the company’s full suite of offerings. A modern CPQ solution takes much of the guesswork out of this process by proactively guiding sales reps—in real-time—through how to optimize the size of deals. The CPQ system can be configured to automatically recommend certain add-ons and specific changes to the deal based on the customer’s existing quote. CPQ also can recommend optimal pricing strategies—including how to bundle and discount various items in the quote—to maximize the quote’s appeal to the customer, but without compromising the deal’s profitability for the company. This win-win situation is possible thanks to the CPQ platform’s powerful automation and AI capabilities.
Now more than ever, your sales team needs a competitive edge to meet and exceed their sales goals. With a modern CPQ system, sales reps can count on quotes getting generated and approved faster, as well as to exacting specifications. CPQ also reduces your sales team’s administrative obligations and helps sales reps increase the size of their deals.
Simplus specializes in helping organizations implement the industry-leading Salesforce CPQ platform to supercharge sales reps’ selling abilities. To learn more about how Simplus can help your organization blow the roof off of your sales goals, reach out today. We’d be glad to show you how we can help you increase both customer satisfaction and profitability.