Many organizations often struggle to generate accurate quotes quickly. Since product information is stored across disparate systems, salespeople have to spend a lot of time retrieving information and have to apply pricing rules before giving quotes to the customers. The administrative processes such as reviews, clarification, and approval that take too much time in the whole process, dramatically increase the sales cycles. With the help of CPQ (Configure Price Quote) software, organizations can streamline their quote process to drastically accelerate the sales cycle.
What is CPQ?
In today’s highly competitive world, customers want sales teams to configure custom packages as per their specific needs. Organizations are selling a wide range of products and clubbing these with different services. While quoting, salespeople need to figure out which products and services to bundle. Furthermore, those bundles need to be approved and how those bundles will be delivered, making the whole process time-consuming and complex.
The “one-size-fits-all” pricing model is unfeasible in today’s scenario. In a scenario of volume pricing and bundle pricing, where special discounts are applicable, many facts and figures are kept into consideration. Misquoting anything could cost you a valuable customer. So, sales teams need something to keep these variables straight so they can provide accurate and consistent quotes.
Official quote needs to be clear and precise. It just looks professional and accurately reflects prices that are quoted to the customer by a sales representative. Quotes which are difficult to understand are more likely to be put off.
With CPQ software, all these challenges can be handled easily using a combination of process automation, guided selling, and quote management. CPQ software centralizes and automates rules on the product, pricing, and business, enabling companies to quickly generate highly accurate quotes based on specific configurations. With CPQ software, organizations can implement a set of pricing rules such as discounts, bulk orders, location, and pricing fluctuations, automating price calculations, enabling salespeople to quote customers quickly and accurately. CPQ software activates and streamlines sales channels to empower sales personnel.
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If we talk specifically about Salesforce CPQ, it is an award-winning sales tool that enables companies to provide an accurate price to customers with any given product configuration scenario. However, the real benefit of Salesforce CPQ lies in the right implementation. Given below are some of the best practices for successful CPQ implementation.
Establish Overall Goals
The very first thing you need to do is to set measurable goals for your CPQ. With this, you can easily evaluate whether the CPQ is delivering real ROI. Some of the possible goals for CPQ implementation can be
- Reduction in time spent selling
- A decrease in quotation turnaround time
- The average increase in order value
- Accuracy of quote generated
- Increase in win-rates and renewal rates
You need to select goals based on your specific business needs.
Optimize quote to cash (QTC) process
Different businesses have different sales processes. Salesforce CPQ implementation helps you standardizing the sales process while fixing the existing QTC process challenges. Based upon your business’ unique needs, you need to define, optimize and document the most efficient quote generation and approval process. It is recommended that you should design the overall CPQ workflow even before the initialization of implementation. Once you’re done with the CPQ workflow, you need to compile information about the products such as SKUs, types of value-added services, and scope of the contract to payment type, discounts, terms, and pricing. This is critical data that adds value to your CPQ. You should take the help of your sales team and subject matter experts to know customer behavior and to set pricing rules and product bundle configurations into your new CPQ tool. Implementation of customized rules ensures that salespersons get the best product-specific deals to offer prospective clients.
Prioritize CPQ Features
You need to prioritize your sales goals as most critical, critical, & not critical. You can start by “out of the box” Salesforce CPQ implementation to address the most critical business requirements. For instance, if you want to improve the speed of the approval process, you should opt to implement Advanced Approval features to automate cross-functional approval chains to ensure policy alignment. Once “out-of-box” features are adopted efficiently, you can always add more capabilities whenever you require.
System Integration & Data Management
This is a very important step since CPQ requires data from different sources or even physical documents. You need to identify what data is required for the CPQ process and from where it needs to be sourced. An example of this is CRM. Details like product tax rates, discount rates and tiers, pricing bundles, and templates need to be entered into the CPQ. Furthermore, data needs to be updated every now and then. So, you need to assign owners of master data who can make it accurate and error-free. You need to ensure that your Salesforce CPQ integrates seamlessly with your other ERPs.
You need to bring-in a well-detailed change management plan to make the adoption of the new tool seamless. You won’t get maximum return on your investment if users find it difficult to use or simply resist adopting. Also, spread awareness about the tool and its benefits.
Measure and Optimize Progress
Once, CPQ implementation is done, you need to keep track of the KPIs to evaluate their success. You need to check whether there is an improvement in response time to prospective clients or not; sales cycles have improved or not. You can conduct user satisfaction surveys to know whether the tool fits your team on not.
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With Salesforce CPQ implementation, you can dramatically improve your sales cycles. However, proper implementation is the key to success. The above-given tips can help you establish a proper implementation path for sure success. You can draft an implementation strategy based on the above-stated point to maximize your ROI with Salesforce CPQ. You can automate contract amendments, usage pricing, and renewals with Salesforce CPQ, making it easier for your team to maintain a revenue stream.