Early on in my career, I was working at a startup tech company. The company’s goals were very dependent on partnerships with some of the most successful companies in the world. As a startup, we were obviously worried about being able to properly present our vision while also appearing as competent professionals to a company a hundred times our size. That fear drove us to spend a massive amount of time making sure that our presentation and corresponding leave-behinds were in tip-top shape. Our marketing department, in conjunction with our executive team, worked for hours and hours going over every slide and every word. Our creative team created beautiful graphics and icons and ended up learning Powerpoint better than probably almost anyone on earth. Thankfully, those many hours of stress paid off, and we received feedback that our presentation looked better than presentations these organizations had seen from other Fortune 100 companies. We ended up sealing the deal and signing multiple partnerships, affirming our success.
I know that the professionalism, branding, and care that we took with our pitch was a massive reason why we were able to make those partnerships. If we had gone in with a half-baked presentation with subpar graphics, we would’ve been politely shown the door. Similarly, even though most of your salespeople might not be interacting with the world’s biggest companies on a daily basis, you can bet that the care put into your pitches and quotes are a reflection of your business’ ability to deliver. The impact that each individual sale has on your bottom line is easily quantifiable, and you don’t want to give your potential client any reason to doubt your ability. That’s why we recommend Salesforce CPQ to establish a high baseline for the quality of your pricing quotes. Doing so will make sure your quotes are consistently compelling visually, while also enabling your salespeople to spend their time selling.
The importance of design in closing deals
90% of the information that your brain processes is visual. We lead with our eyes when we interact with the world. Your pricing quote is a visual medium, and whether or not your clients are design-inclined, they will consciously or subconsciously be critiquing your quote and comparing it to others that they’ve seen. The closer that your quote looks to one written on a napkin, the higher the chance that your potential client won’t trust you to get the job done. On the other hand, if your pricing quote’s branding is consistent with your company’s branding and looks professional, you’ll be able to establish a trust that you care enough about the little things—like a quote—to take care of the big things for your clients. This directly affects the bottom line. In fact, design-driven companies outperform the S&P Index by 219%.
Salesforce CPQ helps sales reps quickly create proposals and contracts with consistent and beautiful branding. You don’t have to worry about rogue page numbers, goofy alignment in your Word doc, copying and pasting pricing from a spreadsheet, formatting your logo, or any of the many pitfalls that unleashing your salespeople to create their own quotes would have.
Related: 5 ways to become exponentially more effective with CPQ tools
Spend time doing what’s most important
With such importance around attractive and well-designed proposals, you need to enable your salespeople to be selling, and your designers to be working on marketing initiatives. Salespeople shouldn’t be relied on to manage the full customization of proposals without assistance; they’re already strapped for time as it is. On average, salespeople spend 34% of their time selling. That leaves far too much time dealing with administrative tasks. Similarly, you can’t expect your designers to be involved in every single proposal or contract. That’s impossible to scale and could lead to creative divergences with different designers working on multiple proposals.
That’s one of the great benefits of the Salesforce CPQ solution. Designers can be utilized in the creation of proposals, but CPQ doesn’t require that they are involved in every single one. And those templates can be trusted to consistently create beautiful proposals. For the salespeople, they can trust that the pricing, terms, and details they input will be up to date and presented properly in the template.
Every single deal you make is extremely important, both to the individual salesperson’s paycheck as well as to the health of your business. You need to reduce any potential friction and get rid of any potential roadblock to your success. Design for proposals is a reflection of your company, so you should trust Salesforce CPQ to represent you well while also enabling your salespeople and designers to be as efficient as possible.
For more on Salesforce CPQ, see this case study of how we helped McAfee with a Salesforce CPQ solution and contact us for help with your CPQ solution, too.