14 Mar How to know if you need a CPQ solution
by Jacob Draper
“Coffee’s for closers only.” This famous quote from Glengarry Glen Ross hasn’t aged very well when we talk about today’s salesperson. Always Be Closing is important, sure, but it’s more vital to be a consultant in the sales process, aligning your customer’s goals and needs with your product offerings. Finding the perfect product mix at the right price can be difficult, especially when you have a diverse set of offerings, variable pricing, subscriptions, and additional opportunities to sell to existing clients. Add that to the prospecting, engaging, and actual selling that a salesperson has to do, and you start to realize that it’s best to simplify the sales process wherever possible.
A CPQ solution (which stands for Configure, Price, Quote), like Salesforce CPQ, does just that. It simplifies quote creation for your salesperson. How do you know if your company could benefit from implementing CPQ software? It can often depend on a few factors, like the number and complexity of your product offering, product pricing, and managing renewals and subscriptions. The presence of any one of the following factors means you should probably be considering a CPQ solution.
Multiple SKUs or configurations
How complex are your product offerings? Do you have different SKUs or configurations based on industry, solution, or customer need? If your product offering is complex, or you have many different product configurations, a CPQ solution can make building your quote much simpler than it might be currently. You don’t want your salespeople building these complex quotes by hand and hoping that they are done correctly. The last thing you want to have happen is to need to call your customer to amend the quote they have in hand, especially if they’re shopping around. If your competition gets it right first, the potential customer may end up trusting that they’ll be better at delivering on their promises than you are. Salesforce CPQ will tailor available products based on the customer, showing only what you can offer based on preset business rules. Incompatible products or offerings can’t end up on the quote. That way you can be 100% confident that your customer is seeing the correct products on every quote.
Changing and variable pricing
Along with the complexity of your products, pricing can very easily be incorrectly input into a quote, especially if you’re referencing a spreadsheet or email and transferring it over to a quote. And you better hope that the math is correct, because if it isn’t, then you have a recipe for disaster. To avoid that disaster, Salesforce CPQ becomes the pricing source of truth. It still allows for salespeople to apply discounts to win deals, but the base pricing and floors will ensure that everyone is playing by the rules.
Manage subscriptions, upsells, and renewals
Subscriptions for products and services have never been more prevalent, but they are difficult to manage from a quote/contract/renewal perspective. For subscriptions, specifically, Salesforce CPQ enables you to automate the entire subscription billing process, manage free trials/freemium trials/set up charges in one place, set up flexible billing terms, and manage all of those rules on the fly. Adding products is also very simple, so you can continue to monetize your customer base.
If you deal with any product configuration complexity, pricing changes, or subscriptions/upsells/renewals, Salesforce CPQ can make your life much simpler and your salespeople more effective. Not only that, but you can use Salesforce CPQ to make attractive, deal-sealing proposals, reduce the friction in making money, and to achieve new ASC 606 revenue recognition compliance.