Many industry leaders use Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software to inject speed and accuracy into their sales engines. Now could be the time for you to make a strategic investment in quoting software to increase your operational efficiency and give your company profits a real boost.
The popularity of CPQ software clearly illustrates the very particular nature of price-setting, the need to accomplish sales or contracts quickly, with the added benefits of opportunities to cross-sell and upsell. It can be applicable in B2C sale interactions, but is more commonly adopted in B2B situations.
Why is Quoting Software So Vital To Your Business Growth?
- It eliminates the errors associated with manually configured proposals
- All pricing information is in "real time"
- It increases your deal sizes because it reveals opportunities to upsell or cross-sell.
- It streamlines the whole process and allows a quicker turnaround of complex quotes
- You can feel confident about your proposals, that they honour your margins and drive profits
- It identifies prices that could potentially lose your company money, allowing them to be corrected asap
- It frees up the time of your salesforce to get out there and sell!
- Your quote will be professionally produced and formatted
If you're hesitating as to whether your business needs quoting software, talk to your salespeople. Do they regularly run into problems with developing accurate quotes in the time frame expected by the customer? Do those problems prevent them from doing their jobs efficiently - or even lose your company significant amounts of money?
A 2010 Aberdeen study showed CPQ-empowered organizations optimized their bid-to-win effectiveness twice as much as non-CPQ users. On average, these CPQ users improved their year-over-year sales cycles by 40 percent.
Just in case you might still be a little in the dark about what CPQ software actually delivers, lets put a bit more flesh on the bone:
Quoting Software Explained
A CPQ application can be thought of as an automated or guided sales quote generator. It allows you to define the price of goods across a constantly changing spectrum of variables – with complete accuracy. CPQ software aggregates these variables, allowing you to configure products or services in the most optimal way (i.e. upsells, bundling etc.), price them according to costs, competition and local economic factors, and quote a customer the absolute best price possible in accordance with all of the above factors.
The words "configure, price, quote" illustrate that the software can help with all three of these core operations for setting and controlling prices – and CPQ software typically comes with a price engine that can assist businesses to keep prices more in line with current market conditions.
It is especially helpful for sales teams that sell customizable products and services and/or have a complex method to determine pricing. Related sales software categories include sales proposal automation, e-signature, and contract management. All such tools are designed to make the sales process faster, smoother, and easier to audit. The software can also power a self-service customer portal (as used in eCommerce operations) and will figure out when a certain discount or lower price may be appropriate.
Companies have constantly to walk a fine line between profit margin and market share. The popularity of CPQ software clearly illustrates the very particular nature of price-setting and vendors selling this type of software, such as BlackCurve, will advertise their products as helping businesses to set the right price at the right time – and to accomplish sales or contracts more quickly.
Build profitable relationships with your partner channels
Today's industry leaders are more than twice as likely to leverage channel partners in their sales strategies (32% versus 14%). These symbiotic relationships decrease selling costs and increase market share, margins, and corporate revenues.
To optimize these channel relationships, you need to make it easier and more profitable for your channel sellers to represent your solutions rather than your competitors'.
Quoting software makes collaborative selling much easier because it allows you to easily distribute and enforce your business rules, including pricing and discount information. Your partners enjoy the automated advantages of productivity, margin preservation and increased revenues whilst allowing you to capture and track critical data to achieve a clear view into your channel-sales pipeline.
CPQ automation tools make your quoting process simpler, faster, and cheaper. It reduces sales cycle bottlenecks, enabling your sales team to present exactly the right product mix at the right time and cost to the right customer. CPQ software ensures enhanced proposal quality, higher customer retention, and shorter sales cycles. The ROI will be recognised in a very short space of time because you will achieve:
- An increase in quotation volumes
- A lower cost per quotation
- A growth in order value as a result of upselling, cross-selling and bundling
- Valuable insight into customer/market behaviour
- Improved time to market for New Product Introductions
- Reduction in costly product returns
- Less reliance on technical pre-sales
- Quoting your customers faster than the competition!
When you have a single, consistent view of your quotations, every part of your business benefits.
Quoting software allows everyone in your organisation to work with the same information: sales staff can be granted real-time access to quotations in seconds. Tasks such as quotation approvals are easy and quick - and can be carried out from any connected computer.
Quotes can be created, revised and copied all with a few clicks. This makes your staff more efficient, and gives them more time to talk with your customers and close deals, rather than spending valuable time building quotations. An automated quoting process can make all the difference when it comes to increasing order conversions.
If you are really serious about profit growth, then you need to invest in quoting software to:
- Get quotes to your customers faster than the competition!
- Eliminate errors and/or manipulation associated with spreadsheets
- Increase quotation volumes
- Grow order value as a result of upselling, cross-selling and bundling
- Increase customer satisfaction and create a good impression
Because the ROI will be recognised in a very short space of time, can you afford NOT to invest in quoting software?
Related blog posts
Aberdeen Group, "Sales Enablement Advances with Configure/Price/Quote Solution," February 2011
Nagle, Tom; Hogan, John (2016). The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing
Simon, Hermann (2015). Confessions of the Pricing Man:how price affects everything.
Hamilton, Warren D (2014). Pricing Strategy: tactics and strategies for pricing with confidence.
McFarlane, Bill (2012). Pricing Strategy:how to price a product
Bird, Tom; Cassell, Jeremy (2012). Brilliant Selling: what the best salespeople know, do and say.