30 Jul This is life without Oracle CPQ
We’re great advocates of the benefits of Oracle CPQ. We’ve discussed how Oracle CPQ can deliver value through insights, get rid of decision fatigue, simplify your business, and many other great benefits of the platform. Oracle CPQ really is a powerful tool and a must-have for your sales team. On the flip side, what happens when you don’t have Oracle CPQ to be a single source of truth for product configuration, pricing, and quoting? Without it, you may be dealing with manual calculation of pricing and quotes, quote inaccuracies, slow proposal generation, and incorrect orders.
Manual calculation of pricing and quotes
Without Oracle CPQ, you’re probably dealing with pricing a few different ways. You might have product configuration spreadsheets with pricing that gets passed around via email. Maybe you have a company wiki or intranet where you post updates. Either way, you put the onus on calculating pricing and quotes on your salespeople. That has a few consequences, one of which is that you’re adding complexity to the salesperson’s workflow. Their job, boiled down and distilled to its essence, is to drive revenue to your company. The actions that do that most effectively are client-focused, like prospecting, presenting, and dealing with objectives. But calculating costs or building quote sheets are administrative tasks, not client-focused, selling tasks. Additionally, administrative tasks are costly. However, when you have Oracle CPQ, calculating pricing and building quotes is done by the tool; the amount of time that salespeople spend in pricing and quoting is greatly reduced, and the heavy lifting is done by Oracle CPQ. That means more time for your sales team to spend on revenue-impacting activities.
When quotes are being built by your sales team, you’re depending on everyone to keep themselves up to date and to not accidentally use old, incorrect pricing. As mentioned above, pricing might be managed via spreadsheets or emails rather than a single, unchanging repository. Unfortunately, mistakes are very easy to make when dealing with pricing that has to be downloaded locally or managed by each individual salesperson. It’s always possible to use last quarter’s pricing because you didn’t notice the filename or you missed the email update with the correct data. If that happens, you send an incorrect price out to a customer. That means either approval from management or a quote adjustment conversation with the customer, neither of which are a good outcome. Life with Oracle CPQ means that you don’t have to worry about either of those things. Pricing comes from a single source of truth and is always correct and up-to-date. You can have 100% confidence in every quote that goes out the door.
Slow proposal generation
When proposals are being built by your sales team, there are a couple options. Maybe you have a nicely designed template in a word processor, or maybe quotes run through marketing to be nicely designed to include customer branding. In either instance, all the customer and quote information has to be filled out manually. Again, that’s an administrative task that is taking time away from selling. Oracle CPQ generates these proposals automatically, and integration with your CRM can pass on all of the relevant customer information you need for your proposal. In addition, these quotes can have an attractively designed template that shows the consideration and professionalism your company will bring when you work with your customer.
A common theme you’ll sense is that without Oracle CPQ your sales process is much more manual than it should be. That goes for orders as well. You’ve manually created and sent quotes to your customers. Once they’ve been accepted and approved, you have to hope that whoever begins fulfillment doesn’t make any mistakes. When the process is done by a person, your risk for errors increases. A separate but related issue is in inventory management. Because quotes are all manual, you don’t know at any given time when your quotes will turn into orders, and with multiple salespeople all working concurrently, you can very easily run into fulfillment issues. Oracle CPQ solves both of these problems, especially when integrated with an ERP platform or other resource management software. Quotes turn right into orders, with no chance that SKU or quantity are messed up. And, because you’re tapped directly into your inventory management, you know that you’ll be able to fulfill on that order when you’ve promised to do so.
Life with Oracle CPQ is much easier than without it. It helps you limit the potential for mistakes and offload administrative tasks from your salespeople, which makes them much more effective at driving revenue for your business.
To get Oracle CPQ into your life, contact Simplus today.